Bleach is seen as a go-to product whenever cleaning needs arise. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, cleaning and disinfecting homes and businesses has become more important than ever. Because of this, more people are using bleach to protect their properties against COVID-19.
The bleach used for cleaning purposes is often chlorine based, which can bring up concerns. While you want to do what you can to protect yourself and others from coronavirus, you want to do it in a safe manner. Fortunately, there are safe ways of cleaning with bleach, but there are also instances where you should not use bleach.
If cleaning with bleach is your preference, continue reading to learn more about how to use it safely.
Cleaning with Bleach
When using bleach for disinfection and cleaning purposes, the first thing you need to do is check that the bleach is not expired, otherwise it will be ineffective. That said, buy a new bottle of bleach if yours is past the printed expiration date.
Making a Bleach Solution
Once you have good bleach, you will need to dilute it. It is a strong, harsh product, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that a diluted bleach solution be used if you want to use the cleaning product for coronavirus protection and disinfecting.
For larger cleaning projects, use 1/3 cup (or 5 tablespoons) of bleach for every gallon of water. For smaller cleaning projects, use 4 teaspoons of bleach for every quart of water. Mix the ingredients together and allow the solution to sit for at least one minute before using it.
These solutions are appropriate for cleaning some hard surfaces, but not all. For example, chlorine is corrosive to metal, so bleach should not be used on metal surfaces. Otherwise, the bleach will cause permanent damage, discoloring the surface.
If you want to clean a soft surface, then you should not use bleach because of how harsh it can be. These surfaces can become discolored. Instead, you will need to use an alternative disinfectant.
Concerns When Cleaning with Bleach
While bleach might be a good disinfectant, it is not always the best choice or the safest product. As such, you must exercise care, caution, and consideration when using bleach.
One downside to using bleach is that, when diluted, its effectiveness is shortened. Bleach loses stability when combined with water, so it does not disinfect surfaces for as long when compared to other cleaning products.
Additionally, cleaning with bleach is actually a two-step process due to its lack of detergency. Chlorine does not have the ability to penetrate soils. Because of this, pre-cleaning needs to be done for surfaces before treating them with bleach.
Dangers of Cleaning with Bleach
One of the biggest concerns regarding cleaning with bleach is its harmfulness to humans and animals. Chlorine can cause burning and irritation to the skin and even blindness. Studies have also shown that, in addition to asthma and allergies, bleach exposure can be linked to respiratory illness for children.
Animal-wise, certain pets have a tendency to lick themselves ― most notably cats and dogs. Bleach and other cleaning products can stick to their fur and animal paws, so the use of bleach can be especially concerning if you have animals. Pets might consume the chemicals and become ill, leading to vomiting and sometimes death in more severe situations.
Alternatives to Cleaning with Bleach
Bleach has its benefits, including the fact that it is easy to find and cheap to purchase. However, it is good to consider safer, more effective alternatives when you can. This is especially so because bleach cannot be used for everything. Here are some alternatives to cleaning with bleach that you can use:
Warm Water and Soap
The same method you use to wash your hands is also a good technique for cleaning many objects and surfaces, aside from electronics and other similar items. Even better, soap does not present health concerns.
Whenever you clean a surface with soap and water, use a disinfectant after. This will ensure protection against coronavirus.
If you need to clean the plastic surfaces of electronics, then rubbing alcohol is a good choice. Just make sure it has a concentration of at least 70 percent to guarantee effectiveness against COVID-19.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
A cheap cleaning method, a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda is good to use for cleaning glass, removing grease, and cleaning fabric materials.
Professional Coronavirus Cleaning and Disinfection Services
Disinfection and cleaning are imperative in preventing the spread of coronavirus. This is especially the case for businesses and commercial properties with larger volumes of people, because the virus can spread more easily. The aforementioned cleaning techniques can help with COVID-19 prevention, but they might not be the best options if you have a business, commercial setting, or other large property.
ServiceMaster by T.A. Russell and ServiceMaster of Albuquerque & West Mesa offer professional coronavirus cleaning and disinfection services in Azusa, CA, and the neighboring areas of Southern California, as well as Albuquerque and all of New Mexico. We have worked with environmental science experts to create preventative baseline disinfection protocols regarding the coronavirus. We can provide disinfection and cleaning to offices, grocery stores, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities.
Whether you are being proactive with disinfection services or responding to COVID-19 exposure, ServiceMaster by T.A. Russell and ServiceMaster of Albuquerque & West Mesa can protect you, others, and your property during this pandemic.