How to Safely Use Bleach to Disinfect Your Home
We’re all trying to keep our homes as clean and disinfected as possible. For many of us, household bleach comes to mind as a way to disinfect our clothes and a variety of surfaces around the house. But, considering its ability to turn your favourite sweater into a blotchy mess, some may wonder if bleach is safe to clean with.
To help you get a better understanding, we’ll answer that last question first. And it’s a bit of a two-parter. First, used correctly, bleach products are safe to use in your washing machine and as a disinfectant around the house. But, second, cleaning with bleach should be avoided.
In other words, before we get into how to use it, you must start thinking of bleach only as a disinfectant, not a household cleaning product.
How to Use Bleach Around the House
By understanding the disinfecting role that chlorine bleach plays, you’ve taken the first step to using bleach safely in your home.
The second step is to use bleach properly. And that starts with keeping bleach in a safe place where children and pets can’t get to it.
Whether it’s in the washing machine or disinfecting a countertop, make sure to dilute bleach with water first. You shouldn’t use more than one and a half cups of bleach per gallon of water. And always use rubber gloves when disinfecting with bleach solutions.
Never Mix Bleach with Household Cleaners
You should avoid mixing bleach or a bleach solution with household cleaners, especially toilet bowl cleaners or any cleaners with ammonia. Doing so releases chlorine gas, which can be harmful to your eyes and lungs. It can cause serious breathing problems and even prove fatal in some cases.
Clean First, Then Disinfect
Dirt, grease and grime on surfaces weakens bleach’s ability to disinfect. So you need to clean surfaces with soap and water first before disinfecting with bleach. After cleaning, let the surface dry before wiping it with your bleach and water mix. Leave the solution on for at least 10 minutes and then wipe it clean with plain water.
Using Bleach in the Laundry
Even if you have a horror story about bleach and your clothes, used properly, bleach will sanitize and brighten any bleach-safe clothing. But, just to be clear, you should never use bleach to wash spandex, wool, silk, mohair or leather, of any type or colour.
Always check clothing labels before using bleach in your laundry. Even if they are bleach-safe, you can damage your clothing if you use too much bleach. A good rule of thumb is to add half a cup of bleach to a normal, average-soiled load, and one cup for a large and/or heavily soiled load.
Your Best Option for Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Clothes
Even if you know how to safely use bleach in your laundry, accidents happen to the best of us. Irreversible accidents. And usually to your favourite clothes.
If you want to clean and disinfect your clothes the safest way possible, regardless of their fabrics or materials, get them professionally dry cleaned at Parkers Cleaners. Our specialists are experts at cleaning even your most delicate items.
If this post was helpful, check out our recent article “3 Easy House Cleaning Hacks”.