Bleach is a go-to cleaning product for many household chores, including removing tough stains, disinfecting surfaces and killing germs. It is especially effective for sanitizing toilets, sinks, bathtubs and other bathroom fixtures. Bleach is also popular for sanitizing laundry and for keeping fabrics white and bright. However, it is important to remember that bleach is a strong chemical and can be dangerous if used incorrectly. It can irritate the skin, eyes and lungs without proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
PPE includes rubber gloves, face masks and eye protection, as well as covering the ears, mouth and nose when applying or breathing in bleach solutions. It is also important to work in a well-ventilated area and open doors and windows to allow the fumes from bleach to dissipate quickly.
When working with bleach, it is recommended to read the instructions on the label of the product for dilution and application rates. Concentrated liquid bleach should not be used at full strength, as this is dangerous and will irritate the skin. Diluting bleach with water, as instructed on the label, makes it safe to use and economical.
It is recommended to use a 1:1 solution of bleach and water to clean most hard, nonporous surfaces. Some examples include sealed granite and glazed tile, vinyl and plastic, stainless steel appliances, painted surfaces and some metals. It should not be used on bare wood, upholstered furniture or porous fabric, as this can damage the surface. Bleach can also cause the color to fade on some surfaces, so a test patch is always recommended before proceeding with cleaning and disinfecting.
Disinfecting is a process that kills germs on the surface of an object or in the air, whereas cleaning only removes visible soils from a surface. It is important to always perform a cleaning procedure before disinfecting, as germs can hide under existing soils. After cleaning, it is necessary to rinse the cleaner from the surface or object being disinfected, as this will prevent any remaining chemicals or grime from interfering with the disinfectant’s effectiveness.
Bleach can be mixed with vinegar, rubbing alcohol, ammonia and other chemicals, but these mixtures can create toxic fumes and may also interact with certain materials. Mixing certain products with bleach can cause a reaction that releases poisonous gas, which can lead to severe lung irritation and even death. It is best to only mix bleach with water or other nontoxic ingredients.
When it comes to disinfecting a concrete floor, it is critical to follow all safety precautions and recommendations on the product label. It is also essential to hose down the entire floor, including cracks and crevices, after the final rinse with fresh water to ensure that all bleach has been removed from the concrete. This will help to protect workers and visitors from harmful bacteria and other pathogens that can be trapped in cracks and crevices. It is also important to use a quality concrete cleaner that contains calcium carbonate to reduce the risk of acidic residues that can cause damage to the surface of the concrete.