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Are you wondering does bleach kill viruses and other germs? If yes, you should click right here for the key things to understand.
Keyword(s): does bleach kill viruses
Did you double your efforts in cleaning your business with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind? Are you wondering if the bleach you are using is enough to protect your employees and customers?
The history of the household bleach in the United States dates back to the early 1900s. It was initially used as a water treatment solution and an institutional disinfectant. Today, over 85% of American homes use bleach.
But how does bleach kill viruses and germs? Did you know that there are different types of household bleaches? And how sure are you that the one you are using at the business place is effective in eliminating these pathogens?
Continue reading below as we take a closer look at how bleach works.
Does Bleach Kill Viruses? The Squeaky-Clean Truth
With the coronavirus pandemic ravaging different parts of the world, more people are asking “does bleach kill viruses and germs? The resounding answer is “yes!”
However, some factors play important roles in this whole bleach vs virus discussion. Clorox, which is the most popular brand of household bleach features sodium hypochlorite as its active ingredient.
This ingredient is the one that makes bleach a potent killer of different kinds of pathogens.
Key Ingredients at Work
How does bleach kill germs? Is your Clorox bleach powerful enough against these pathogens? As we mentioned above, it is the sodium hypochlorite that works against germs and viruses.
If we are going to be more specific, your household bleach can also kill fungi and bacteria. It can also kill streptococcus, which causes strep throat. Moreover, it is effective against staphylococcus and the common cold.
It even eliminates pathogens that cause more serious health issues. These include the influenza virus and salmonella. The latter is the one that causes a combination of diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever.
But what happens when bleach comes in contact with germs and viruses? The sodium hypochlorite ingredient targets the protective membranes of the pathogens. Thereafter, it burns or oxidizes these membranes.
With no membrane to protect them, the pathogens become much easier to kill. Let’s take the influenza virus as an example. Typically, this virus can thrive on surfaces for as much as 48 hours.
But when you clean your surfaces with bleach, the virus’s life will become much shorter.
Using Bleach the Right Way
Though there is no vaccine yet for COVID-19, it doesn’t hurt if you disinfect your surroundings using bleach. But you must note, however, that there is a proper way of applying bleach.
To ensure efficacy, you must first examine the nature of the area you are planning to disinfect. You need to determine if the surface can handle disinfectants, in this case, your bleach.
If you are planning to disinfect your wooden chairs or painted floors, do not use bleach. The latter will only ruin the paint and texture of these items.
But bleach is the perfect option for cleaning bathroom sinks, kitchen counters, door handles, and other surfaces that people often touch.
Making a DIY Bleach Solution
Part of ensuring success is the efficacy of your bleach solution. But you don’t simply mix bleach with water. There is a proper way of preparing your bleach solution.
Here’s how you do it:
Prepare a measuring cup, a damp cloth, and a quart-sized plastic spray bottle. If you don’t have one, use a glass jar with a lid as a substitute. You also need a pair of household rubber gloves, some water, and of course, your bleach.
Arrange all ingredients outdoors or in a well-ventilated room. Make sure the windows are open. This is crucial considering that bleach emits toxic fumes.
As for your clothes, pick a shirt and pants that you don’t mind bleaching. The same thing goes for your pair of shoes. Before wearing your rubber gloves, pin back your hair.
After wearing your gear, only then can you start mixing your ingredients. The measurements depend on the areas that you wish to disinfect. Since you are cleaning key areas in your house, mix 1 cup of bleach with 5 gallons of water.
This mixture is enough to disinfect your kitchen countertops and bathroom sinks. Carefully mix the ingredients and slowly transfer the solution inside your spray bottle or glass jar. Close the lid or cap then gently shake the bottle or glass jar.
But before you spray the solution, you must clean the surface first. Prepare some clean, hot water and soap and wash the surface before spraying your solution.
Additional Safety Reminders
As we mentioned above, bleach is a potent disinfectant. As powerful as it is in killing pathogens, it can easily damage important items. It can also become an instant health hazard.
Here are additional safety tips to consider when using bleach.
Avoid Mixing with Other Cleaners
If you think that mixing your bleach with other cleaners makes a more powerful solution, then better drop the idea. Never mix your bleach with other cleaners. The only other ingredient that you can safely mix with bleach is water.
Mixing bleach with ammonia, for example, creates a highly hazardous mixture. The fumes can cause shortness of breath and chest pains if you inhale them. The same thing goes if you mix bleach with rubbing alcohol or vinegar.
Plain and Unscented for Drinking Water
Did you know that you can use bleach to disinfect drinking water? Use bleach to disinfect water during emergencies that compromise the main water supply.
When disinfecting, make sure to only use basic and unscented liquid bleach. Find bleach that contains either 6% or 8.25% of sodium hypochlorite.
If you choose bleach with 6% sodium hypochlorite, mix 8 drops with 1 gallon of water. If you go with the 8.25% variant, mix 6 drops with 1 gallon of water. Mix the water and wait for 30 minutes before consuming it.
Dilute for Dishes
Last but not least, reduce your bleach’s concentration when sanitizing dishes. You may want to require this in your business place's lounge or kitchen. The ratio is 2 teaspoons of bleach for every gallon of water.
Wash your dishes with soap and water then allow them to dry. Thereafter, soak them in your diluted solution for 2 minutes and transfer them to your dish rack for air-drying.
But never use bleach to clean your hands. It is best to go for a foaming hand sanitizer.
Sanitize Your Buildings Right
Does bleach kill viruses? When handled properly, the answer is yes!
You can disinfect your office and keep your employees and customers safe does bleach kill viruses and healthy. But for bigger buildings and facilities, you need more powerful cleaning solutions.
Call us today and learn more about our sanitation equipment and services. Let us know your requirements and we’ll give you the most effective solutions. Let’s start sanitizing your areas, today!