Chlorine bleach or sodium hypochlorite is a powerful disinfectant used in many households and facilities. This chemical compound is effective in killing microorganisms that cause diseases and infections. Bleach is inexpensive and readily available in stores, which is why they are widely used as a disinfectant. However, bleach is also hazardous because it is highly corrosive. It emits fumes that may be dangerous to your health, which is why bleach should never be used in full-strength. Learn how to use bleach as a disinfectant using the Center for Disease Control or CDC’s recommended 1:10 solution.
- Household bleach
- Plastic spray bottle (quart-sized or larger), or glass jar with lid
- Damp cloth
- Measuring cup
Steps in Making the 1:10 Solution
1:10 solution basically means, 1 part bleach for every 9 parts of water. However, if you need a smaller amount, you can start with ¼ cup bleach for 2 ¼ cup water. If you need a larger amount, you just need to increase the amount of water and bleach solution accordingly. For instance, for ½ cup bleach, use 4 ½ cups water, and for ¾ cup bleach, use 6 ¾ cups of water. Use measuring cup for accurate measurement.
1. Pour the bleach to the spray bottle or glass jar before adding water. This is done in order to prevent bleach from splashing to you.
2. Use cool water for the solution as hot water decomposes the active ingredients of bleach and may lose its disinfectant power.
3. Replace lid on container.
4. Gently invert the container back and forth to mix the solution.
Tips and Warnings
When learning how to use hydrogen peroxide disinfectant cleaner, you need to be careful so that your skin does not get in contact with the solution. Below are safety tips and precautions when mixing bleach for disinfecting:
1. Full-strength bleach products emit toxic fumes. Thus, when diluting bleach, keep the windows open for ventilation. Do not dilute in small or enclosed spaces. It is best if you dilute outside the home.
2. Do not add other ingredients to the solution, such as vinegar. Mixing bleach with acids will result to the emission of chlorine gas, which may cause breathing problems. Mixing bleach will ammonia is also not advisable, as it will release toxic chloramines gas, which may be fatal.
3. Wear protective gear, such as gloves when diluting to avoid getting it into the skin, which may cause irritation and allergic reactions.
4. In the event that you do get bleach on your skin, make sure to wipe it off immediately using a damp cloth.
5. Discard unused diluted solution after use. It will lose its disinfectant power when exposed to heat and sunlight. Thus, it is advisable to mix a fresh batch for every use and discard the remaining amount. For the undiluted bleach, keep it in a cool and shaded place, and make sure to keep it out of reach of children.
Now that you know how to use bleach as a disinfectant, you are ready to disinfect different areas of your home. However, after using bleach to disinfect bathroom areas or other surface areas in the home, make sure to rinse it with clean water to remove residue.
Bleaches help you whiten, brighten and remove stains from clothes. Bleach converts soils into colourless, soluble particles which can easily be removed with the use of detergents, and then it is carried on by water. Be sure to use the right amount of bleach to clean surfaces and not ruin them beyond use.