There is one powerful disinfectant that can be found in nearly every household, and that is bleach. It is usually preserved for the toilet or for cases when serious sterilization is needed, and not usually used to clean ‘regular’ surfaces. However, with the outbreak of the coronavirus, many people are looking to take extra safety measures to keep their homes as germ-free as possible. This is where bleach comes in.
Is it actually effective? The short answer is yes. Studies confirm that bleach can indeed kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses, such as influenza, streptococcus, and salmonella. This is because the sodium hypochlorite found in bleach oxidizes or burns the protective membranes of bacteria and the protein shell of viruses, thus leaving them vulnerable to destruction. Influenza is known to survive 24-48 hours on inanimate surfaces, while COVID-19 can live on them for 72 hours or even days depending on the surface. Bleach radically reduces the chances of that happening.
Still, before you resort to bleach, there some important precautions you should be aware of!
Related Article: Washing Hands With Soap Is the Best Method to Fight COVID-19
What is Bleach Safe For?
Do NOT use it on wooden floors or painted surfaces! Always wear gloves when working with bleach.
How to Kill Germs with Bleach According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
1. Mix one cup of bleach and five gallons of water in a bucket. For a smaller dose, use 4 teaspoons of bleach with one quart of water.
2. Scrub the surface using a stiff brush and the solution.
3. Let it air dry for at least 10 minutes. This is important, as it assures proper disinfection.
Using Bleach to Sanitize Fabric:
1. For a normal-sized load of laundry, add ¾ cup of bleach to the wash cycle. In case of a large or heavily soiled load, add 1 ¼ cups.
2. Dry on high heat.
3. Note! This is to be used mainly on whites, as bleach can ruin and fade colored fabrics.
For further laundry advice related to Covid019 click here.
Important Warning - bleach may release toxic fumes. The CDC recommends seeking medical help immediately if you feel one of the following after using bleach: