Chlorine bleach is a common product used in millions of households for millions of different things. It helps make the home healthier, cleaner, and more sanitary. It definitely has its advantages, but it also carries disadvantages.
Bleach can be a dangerous product to work with, especially if you have children, babies, and/or pets in the household. That is why it is very important to read labels on any chemical in the home. Even if you think you know all about it, you should read the information on the product.
Bleach Whitens and Sanitizes Your Laundry
Millions of households use bleach to wash their white laundry, such as socks, underwear, towels, rags, etc. It not only cleans great when mixed with hot water and detergent; it also sanitizes and kills any germs or viruses on the materials. It does tend to fade colors in most cases so do not use it on colored items unless you spot test first.
Bleach Sanitizes and Revives Used Surfaces
Because bleach has excellent sanitary benefits, it is often used on solid surfaces like counters, sinks, tubs, and floors. After it sits or soaks, it needs to be rinsed or wiped really well, but it does the job. It kills any germs, bacteria, allergens, or viruses that reside on solid surfaces.
Porous materials receive no effects from bleach, except on the outside surface. What happens is the bleaching chemicals separate from the water because the water can go into the tiny grooves and gaps where the bleach materials can’t. Therefore, the bleach sits on top and evaporates while the water passes through the porous surface. This is why it is not a good method to eliminate mold on items like lumber and concrete.
According to Mold-Advisor.com, the water that penetrates the surface only promotes further mold growth since it does not kill the mold roots that hide inside. EPA.gov also mentions the use of chlorine bleach on non-porous surfaces only since bleach cannot penetrate porous materials. This fact is often misunderstood and not known by millions of bleach users worldwide.
Avoid Toxic Reactions
Chlorine bleach can have gas and toxic reactions when coming in contact with other chemicals. Ammonia and acidic chemicals are the worst.
If mixed directly with ammonia, toxic chloramine gases develop and a gas known as nitrogen trichloride causes an explosive reaction. With other chemicals, it can lead to the creation of dangerous fumes.
Besides the above disadvantages, you never want to mix bleach with other cleaning products that have bleach in them. Avoid contact with oven cleaners, dishwashing detergents, glass cleaners, lime removal products, sink cleaners, etc. You don’t want to breathe in the toxins generated from the chemical reaction or experience a horrible explosive disaster.
Avoid Corrosive Reactions
Chlorine bleach tends to corrode the skin, as well surfaces like stainless steel. If it gets on your skin, it will cause severe irritation. Bleach on stainless steel causes rapid corrosion, leaving no time to stop it.
Not many have even thought about or know about the fact that bleach expires. It loses its strength over time. After six months out of the manufacturing facility, it begins losing its life and every year it sits, it reduces its effectiveness by around 20%.
Chlorine Bleach Fades Your Colored Materials
Bleach works great for white towels, socks, underwear, etc., but does not like colored fabrics. If you spill or splash any on your cotton shirt, it will leave a faded spot. It can also happen to curtains, couches, sofas, carpets, rugs, shoes, upholstery, and many other products. Some materials may survive, but that usually does not happen. Be cautious where you store it, especially if other items are around that will fade, like your child’s teddy bear.
As you can see, household chlorine bleach is a powerful tool, but it must be handled with caution. Once the bleached surface is dry, it is safe to the touch. Chlorine bleach has been used in households and commercial facilities for many decades, but remember that it is corrosive and explosive when it is exposed to other select chemicals. Wear gloves and eye protection at all times as a safety precaution. By using household chlorine bleach in your home or facility, you will help stop viruses, bacteria, allergens, and other bodily irritants from spreading. Above all, you will reduce the spread of sickness in your home and in your community!