Does Vinegar Disinfect As Well As Bleach?



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Does Vinegar Disinfect As Well As Bleach?

Does Vinegar Disinfect As Well As Bleach?

When mom mentioned that you should disinfect your countertops with bleach we received a lot of comments about how great it is to use vinegar instead of bleach.

We would like to state our position on this.

We do not want to knowingly put incorrect or dangerous information on our website, so in situations like this we will refer to the best places we know to get the correct information. Usually it will be a government agency in that area. Also even the sites who recommend the use of vinegar say that the testing for it is very unclear because it has not been tested like bleach has.

Regarding bleach working as well as vinegar, vinegar is NOT as effective as bleach and does NOT kill as many germs. Vinegar does kill some things but it is only 90% effective against bacteria and 80%-83% effective against viruses and mold/mildew. Bleach kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and mold/mildew. This information came from the health department. I encourage you to contact your local health department to confirm if you don’t believe these statistics.

Another thing to consider is that using soap and water kills more germs than vinegar so, unless you are trying to get rid of soap scum, residue or mineral build up in laundry, why are you even messing with vinegar?

We are not suggesting that you use an entire gallon of bleach every day to clean your home. I wash whites two times a week using bleach. I generally disinfect every few days to a week or once a day when there is sickness in the house. A gallon of bleach lasts me 3-4 months! People say they can’t clean with bleach because the fumes take their breath away. If this is happening, it is usually not the bleach. Many people simply use way more bleach than they should. I also have to ask– Has no one smelled vinegar lately? The smell from it really takes my breath away and burns my nose.

I know there are people who believe that illnesses have increased because people are using products line bleach and other disinfectants. I have to say that I do not agree and think that we should be thankful that we have products that kill life threatening bacteria and viruses now.

I once heard a person from Africa say, in response to people who want to ban pesticides, “You rich Americans want to try and force us to stop using pesticides, but you aren’t dying from the diseases that these bugs carry.”

I think the same is true with the use of bleach. It has been 60-70 years since a lot of people were dying from major illnesses that are preventable. This generation has not had to go through the pain of losing family members to these diseases so many people haven’t heard the stories and aren’t often reminded about how very lucky we are to have things like bleach and pesticides.

 

If you are concerned about bleach and the environment, you might want to check out these facts from Clorox.com:

  • Household bleach is derived from sodium chloride, also known as common table salt.

  • Clorox® Bleach begins and ends as salt water: 95–98% of household bleach quickly breaks down into salt and water, while the remaining byproducts are effectively treated by sewer or septic systems.

  • No bleach gets to the environment. Studies have shown that dioxins are not produced when sodium hypochlorite bleach is manufactured, used in laundry or in household cleaning.

  • The main ingredients in Clorox® Regular-Bleach are sodium hypochlorite, a form of salt, and water. There is no free chlorine in Clorox® Regular-Bleach.

Most people simply use too much bleach when cleaning. Here is the proper way to clean with it:

If you are going to use bleach in your dishwater, make sure that your soap can be mixed with bleach. Look on the back of the bottle to make sure it doesn’t say “Do not mix with bleach.” Some of the new scented dish soaps will set off toxic fumes if mixed with bleach.

To disinfect correctly, follow these directions from Clorox:

  • To Disinfect Surfaces: Use 1/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water, or as directed on the label, to disinfect hard, nonporous surfaces in your home.
  • To Disinfect Water: If you need to purify water during an emergency, (and don’t have the means to boil it for 3–5 minutes), you can disinfect your water using bleach:
    • For clear water—add 8 drops (1/8 tsp.) of bleach per gallon of water
    • For cloudy water—add 16 drops (1/4 tsp.) of bleach per gallon of water
      Mix the solution thoroughly and let it stand for about 30 minutes before using it. Properly treated water should have a slight chlorine odor. If it doesn’t, repeat dosage and allow water to stand an additional 15 minutes. The treated water can be made drinkable by pouring it between clean containers several times.

Comments

  1. Bea says

    I think bleach is a great cleaner and disinfectant. Especially at my job in the winter when everyone is getting colds. I bleach my desk.

    • Bonnie says

      Please know that not all bleaches disinfect! Scented, most store brands, dripless etc. do not. The label must say that it “disinfects”. Check it out, I called Clorox and they verified what I am saying. They said the scented bleach NEVER has disinfected. Must use “Regular” Clorox bleach. I did find that Walmart’s store brand does disinfect. Hope this is helpful. Most people are not aware of this!!

    • LIlu says

      I can’t stand the smell of bleach and it burns my eyes and nose and I don’t even use it in laundry or anything because the smell goes thru the whole house (my bf uses it on his clothes in the laundry) and I have to leave the house. Isn’t there something else that doesn’t smell so harsh to disinfect with? I like vinegar and I like the smell of it. what about baking soda? thanks so much!

      • LIlu says

        I meant to add, how do you keep bleach from eating holes in everything if using a spray bottle for everything? Or causeing color loss in or white spots? If I sprayed my desk or baby toys with bleach I would need a mask and then worry spray would get on the floor or the desk chair or the wall and harm them. thanks for advice!

        • says

          Once again if you are eating holes in things you are using way too much. Maybe one lid in a 16 oz. spray bottle filled with water is more then plenty.That amount too should make it so you don’t need a mask or have to worry about it getting on things. One thing I do is to put the mix on a rag and wipe things down if I am really worried about over spray.

      • says

        Peroxide an disinfet too but be careful because it can bleach things out. One thing I find is if you are smelling the bleach most of the time way too much is being used. You should either not smell it at all or very slightly. Baking soda does not disinfect but you could try vinegar.

      • says

        I personally avoid using chemicals as much as possible by using Norwex microfiber cloths which are super absorbent. It traps all the nasty germs in the cloth and then you wash them away in your washer with a natural detergent or you can boil them out on the stove for 10 minutes. I love them so much, I decided to sell them even though I don’t consider myself a salesperson.

  2. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    I try to leave the smallest footprint on the earth possible. Most things don’t need to be sterilized I only use bleach when I must. Ipurchase colored clothes because they don’t need to be bleached. But now I am wondering about the impact of the dye in the manufacturing process.

    • says

      Yeah, my take on that is, the problem with all that environmental stuff is that no matter what you do something will be “wrong”. I personally don’t worry about how I’m harming it. The trick is to not waste, use the least amount you can and then don’t worry about it. That goes with gas, chemicals everything.

      We are very lucky to be living in a place and time when we do. Our lives are so much more comfortable and healthier because of advances we’ve made with things like bleach.

  3. Sheila says

    If you don’t want to use bleach, use hydrogen peroxide….most hospitals do all of their disinfecting with it.

    Personally, I use hydrogen peroxide for small jobs or enclosed spaces – like my bathroom and bleach for everything else. I am, admittedly, an “over bleacher”….I just dump it in for dishes, laundry, etc. so I should probably start breaking out the measuring cup because I go through a gallon every week or two.

    • says

      Sheila, I like peroxide too for different jobs too and like LittleLori said it depends on my mood and the job as to what I use but I really use a whole array of things. I usually start with the least potent and if that doesn’t get it, move on. I love peroxide for all kinds of things. I use it every morning for a mouth wash because it is a great stain remover on everything including teeth. Of course like many things you need to use it for a couple of weeks to notice a difference.

    • Sandra says

      As a 38 yr ICU/CCU/ER/Dialysis RN, I can tell you that there is a vast difference in ordinary clean and sterile. I do not believe in the overuse of disinfectants, germ killers, and other cleaning products in an ordinarily clean home. Numerous studies have shown that overuse of those type cleaners along with the overuse/incorrect use of antibiotics is what has led to the developement of so many antibiotic resistant germs as well as the increase in susceptibility of kids to illness. Where our children were exposed to small doses of bacteria and viruses over a period their early years they gradually built up a natural immunity to those things they were exposed to ( much like a vaccine works ) Now with the national obsession with keeping everything “sterile” ( impossible in a home) from the time of infancy, many parents are sending their children off to school with very little natural immunity and a weakened immune response to anything they are exposed to then wonder why their kids stay sick for the first few years of day care or school.
      That being said, there is a vast difference in the virus/bacteria killing power of vinegar, peroxide, and bleach. Vinegar in storng concentrations, kills germs by it’s acidity so will kill many of the more susceptable germs but does nothing against the really dangerous ones like HIV, hepatitis, TB and many of the Flu viruses. Peroxide works slightly better. Bleach is the only one that is recommended for use where someone in the household has a resistant bacteria or virus (MRSA, TB, resistant FLU strains, HIV, Hepatitis). We even use it for disinfecting in the dialysis units where there is a 20 times higher rate of hepatitis than in the ordinary population.
      I use a little bleach added to the dish and cleaning water when someone in the household has an illness and for wiping down surfaces where raw meat has been handled. For everyday cleaning I use a mild vinegar solution for its odor control ( I have pets ), but save your “big guns” for the really nasty stuff and don’t be so paranoid about germs around small children. Give them a chance to build strong healthy immune systems the way God intended instead of trying to keep them in a bubble and then having everything thrown at their weak immune systems a few years later.

      • says

        I agree completely that is why I always say do things in moderation – not too much, not too little and you should be fine. I use bleach, vinegar, peroxide etc. in cleaning. Some are perfect for some jobs and others are needed for other jobs. It is when we become extreme over things that they start getting out of wack. The same way with cleaning homes. They need to be clean enough to be healthy but dirty enough to be comfortable.

      • Catherine says

        I want my kids to have strong immune systems but I’m a germ freak and I do exactly what you say not to do but I really want them to not get sick what should I do I don’t see how they can be around germs but not get sick I’m a young mother/ wife and I’m just trying to do what’s best for my family

        • says

          Catherine it is a little (a lot?) scary being a young mom and it’s not always easy to know what is best to do. Now because the internet you can get almost information overload which in someways to me makes it even harder. Today alone I got 2 questions on a subject each stating opposite ideas and each saying they had research and info that says their ideas were the right ones so it is hard to know sometimes what to do. Don’t feel to bad either because when my first baby was born I had never even held a baby before. I didn’t have a clue to which end is up.

          The the thing is all moms want the best for their kids and to protect them but trying to figure out what that is sometimes is confusing and frustrating. First if you need to really try to realize your kids will get sick. Second there are germs every where in the air, on your skin, the dirt outside etc. Your kids are probably touching, breathing, eating millions of germs even with all of your precautions. With my first baby I sterilized every bottle and dish she would use until one day I saw her drop her bottle run the nipple along the floor and then pop it in her mouth. I thought “Ahh exactly what good it the sterilizing if 2 mins. after she has it it gets dropped on the floor?” Later as they got older I never knew what they would drag in the house like chewing on a piece of gum the had found on the sidewalk (ugh! panic :). The point they are surrounded by germs so you need to really relax and not worry too much about it. Control what you can (like spending the night with a friend who has strep throat, washing their hands before they eat and after they use the bathroom) and don’t stress over the rest.

          The one thing I am more concerned about that some times young moms don’t realize is how their fear of things can affect their children more then the germs. People are made of 3 parts – body, soul and spirit. With young children we tend to worry a great deal about the body part because they are so helpless in that area and sometimes to forget the emotional part. So many parents say well I don’t show my fear in front of my kids but the thing is kids have almost a 6th sense to what their parents are feeling and can easily sense things like fear. Since they can’t communicate verbally yet they are super good at reading body language too. I guess what I am saying is I would really try to overcome my fear more so then worrying about the germs because your children will pick up that fear and live their lives worrying and being fearful. Those things can cause more harm to them then getting sick or a cold once in awhile.

          I don’t know if you are a Christian or not but when I finally realized God was in control of my life not me I was able to relax so much more and not be afraid. I read a thing the other day that said so many people who say they believe in God don’t live their lives as if He really is God. Sometimes in our lives we are like a little 6 in. puppy who is barking and trying to protect his house from the giant stranger that walked in but the reality is that his barking, growling and biting trying to protect doesn’t do anything but wear him out. It takes the big strong daddy dog to deal with things. In other words do what you can with balance and relax over the rest.

  4. LittleLori says

    Found this debate interesting. I was not good at keeping my home clean. In my first apartment, my bleach broke back down to water after rare use over 3 years. Mum went to use it to help my w/laundry and it no longer smelled or was effective. I use bleach more often now but I use vinegar and other things too. Depends on my mood and what I’m trying to clean.

  5. Mrs S says

    While I am not against using bleach (and I do keep it around for occasional use) I use vinegar most of the time because I dont have to worry about little hands touching a cleaning rag, and I can use the same spray bottle for windows, counter tops and bathrooms floors, leaving everything clean and streak-free. If I need to sanatize something especially well, I prefer to use rubbing aldohol on a wipe, or a mild bleach solution, it keeps cold/flu germs from traveling around the family!

  6. coco says

    I love bleach! i’m not afraid to admit it. i have only white towels and bleach them with each wash. i also use bleach to clean the toilets. and all purpose bleach cleaner 2-3 times a week in the kitchen.

  7. Diane Thoroughman says

    Bleach is the single over the counter chemical that kills more bacteria than anything else. So I would say that yes bleach is also a disinfectant. It is important to follow the directions and like all chemicals keep it out of reach of children. Well, the young ones that is, I think after the age of ten children can be taught how to safely use some chemicals, of course this depends on the maturity of the child. In fact, in water treatment plants chlorine is the most effective disinfectant for a broad base of killing the most variety of pathogens of all the chemicals, thus that is what is used regarding chemicals.

  8. Yvonne says

    A few months ago I was watching THE EARLY SHOW on CBS. They were talking about disinfecting and sanatizing with bleach. The lady guest that was on there said that bleach was more effective in cold water than hot water. I thought you might be interested in this.

    • says

      Did not know that. I wonder then if you put bleach in with your whites if you should be using cold water instead. Will have to do some checking on that. Thanks for the heads up.

  9. says

    We found a GREAT disinfectant for those of you like me who don’t like to use bleach all the time because they are sensitive to the fumes, etc. We use Everclear! (grain alcohol) – You can dilute it quite a bit – I usually use 10 parts water to 1 part alchohol – and you can make it stronger if you feel the need. We clean just about everything we want disinfected with a spray bottle and a rag or paper towel. It’s so safe that you can soak baby toys in it too! There’s no toxic fumes and unlike bleach where you have to leave it on for at least 10 minutes to kill all the germs, the grain alcohol kills on contact for quick easy cleaning. We use it on light switches, doorknobs, sinks, counters, toilets – even our computer keyboards (make sure electrical stuff is turned off of course). We still use bleach for the toilet bowls and few other things once in a while, but the grain alcohol is our preferred choice. The ranchers around here actually use it to clean the grime of their ranch/farm equipment. I had hair spray residue built up on my bathroom floor – sprayed some grain alcohol on it, let it sit for a minute then wiped it up with ease! Yes, the bottle can be costly, but it lasts a long time since you only have to use a little bit for a big spray bottle.

  10. says

    I have used chlorox in my wash for underware,towels,some blankets; it helps
    when they look dingy or are dirtier than usual. I don’t like to use it to often, because it causes the fabric to break down and they don’t last as long. Makes good sense to me. Lately I have used white vinegar in my wash and rinse water, they smell cleaner, and takes out the soap residue. You could add baking soda too if you like fresher smelling wash. I Clean with white vinegar & baking soda, makes things smell cleaner and fresher. There are some things that cider vinegar is better for, but I don’t recall at the moment; if you’re interested, look on the internet as I did. I have used peroxide for mouth wash, but diluted with enough so the peroxide isn’t so strong. I haven’t tried full strength; it could be dangerous if you would accidently swallowed any by accident. I do know that alcohol disinfects very
    well, but I don’t usually use it for cleaning, but for my thermometer, and when it calls for it.
    Thank You Ladies, young & more mature, for all your helpful hints. I’m still interested in new ways to keep our home cleaner, and not have to smell the fumes. I have asthma, therefore, the chemicals aren’t pleasant to inhale at anytime for anyone, especially in small areas.
    Happy Cleaning Ladies.

    • Gail says

      Cynthia, one more idea for you. Dr. Bronner liquid soaps are also good cleaners and natural. I use it for the inside of the toilets, sinks, and bathtubs. I use bath gloves since they are kind of scratchy with this soap and it cleans the porcelain very well and makes it easy to get around the faucets and drain holes.

  11. b0nnie says

    I use vinegar to disenfect but there is one better than that. Rubbing alcohol. I put it in a spray bottle and spray all the things I want to clean, then wipe it and it dries. Sparkles the bath fixtures. And if you happen to be a smoker (like myself…ugh) it works like nothing else on the residue. I use it to clean the car windows and also TV screen. Alcohol can be used sparingly on electronics with no damage and does a great job with little effort. Definately have good air flow…it can get to you a bit.

  12. Elizabeth says

    I have to agree with the comment on bleach working better in cold water then hot water. In Washington state, health care and food service centers can loose significant points at inspections if they are using hot water and bleach for disinfection preparations. The active ingredient has a lower evaporation point then water, which returns it to salt and water as stated by Clorox.

    • says

      Yes and bleach also works better when mixed with water instead of alone. I really don’t of anytime I would recommend using bleach alone and without water.

  13. rose says

    i have a ??? re: bleach .. those bleach tablets u can buy for the toilets, do they really work? .. and instead of leaving htem in the flush tank can a person just break up those tabs and leave a piece in the bowl or should i just try to put in a pkg of unflavored koolaid (lemon) as one site suggested? .. i have hard water and my toilet bowls have stains that i have tried everything to get out ..
    any advice will be most appreciative .. thanks :D

    • says

      Rose I just recently tried those bleach tablets and I’m not real sure about them. I have an older toilet but my toilet started leaking after I used one. It may have been a coincidence but it also made my bathroom smell strongly of bleach all the time. Plus if you have pets you don’t want to use them just in case they drink out of the toilet.

      If you do try them I wouldn’t break them up. Also they aren’t for getting rid of mineral build up from hard water but more for stains and sanitizing. If you are trying to get rid of mineral build up from hard water then I would pour as much vinegar in the tank as you can and let it set for of 15 mins. or longer if it is really bad then flush. You could turn the water off at the outlet by the toilet before you flush and then when all of the water is out scrub with something like lime away or comet would work too.

    • says

      Hey Rose, We have hard water too and ring stains around the water line. A friend of mine told me to use fine grit waterproof sandpaper. It gets the deposits off and one treatment usually lasts a few months! I hope it helps.

    • Alice Lemieux says

      While we always like to use things that are less harmful to us and our environment, sometimes you just have to take out the big guns. To get rid of nasty stains in your toilets, white clothing, sinks, showers, get Iron Out and or Zud “powder form”. Definatly works! I had terrible hard water and iron in my water living out in the country and believe me I tried EVERYTHING! Tthis guaranteed to work. Hold your breath when you pour!! Good luck:-)

  14. rose says

    good idea jill about the vinegar .. i will try that .. i have drained the water out and scrubbed with lime away, the works and even comet (not all at once, of course) and nothing seems to work . i did put 2 efferdent tabs in the toilet and well some of it came off (the stains) .. when i used the works and lime away, the smell was very strong and even i have to admit, it bothered me ..
    i read on another site this lady used the efferdent tabs but they are expensive (even the store brand named ones) .. so that is why i was looking into seeing if one of those bleach tabs would work …

    • says

      If it is really bad I might be tempted to let it sit over night. Like I said I’m not sure the vinegar will get rid of stains but should get rid of mineral build up which maybe causes some of the stain. I have tried the efferdent tabs in my toilet bowl and didn’t have much luck with them but don’t know everyones is different.

    • Gail says

      Rose, I don’t know what’s it called, but there are these 12 by 12 inch sheets that look kind of like screens that dry wallers use. I use those in my toilets for water stains. They work really good, but they have to be kept wet, otherwise they scratch. They work on sinks too, Porcelain only, just keep the water running so they don’t dry out and steer clear of metal parts. They do work well and are easy to use.

  15. rose says

    well jill tonite my daughter and i went to the grocery store for some stuff and i went down the cleaning aisle to see if they had anything i could try ..
    they have little bleach like tablets and now little gel thingies that u put in the bowl ..
    i didnt have enuff $$$ on me tonight but i will go back later this week and get something like those little tabs ..
    i wanted to share this with u and everyone else .. also these things are a bit pricey so i will go to walmart and check out what they have too ..
    funny how u look at things all of the time but dont really “see” them and when u really would like to try a product u need to go back and see what the prices are and what kinds and etc .. of this product ..
    such is life! :D .. hehehe :D ..
    thanks again jill .. and everyone :D

    • Aria says

      Use toothpaste! Seriously. I have hard water too and had the same problem with our toilet. I tried bleach, comet, vinegar, and CLR and nothing really worked. Then for Mothers Day when I was almost 9months pregnant with our 2nd child, my hubby got someone to clean the house, top to bottom while I went to the spa. When I got home, imagine my surprise when the toilet stains were gone! I called the lady and asked what she used, and it was TOOTHPASTE! Just put a glib on the stain, let it sit for a while, depending on how bad it is, then scrub it with the toilet brush.

      • says

        If you think about it it makes sense to use toothpaste on a toilet because most toothpaste takes the stains off of our teeth so I imagine this would work great for a toilet. Just remember though it would be for removing the stains and may not disinfect too.

        You have to be careful because I hear so many who love using micro fiber cloths to wipe their kitchen counter tops because they don’t streak etc. but they don’t disinfect the same way hot soapy water does or some cleaners.

      • Priscilla says

        Toothpaste also works on formica surfaces to get magic marker stains off. We use to use it when working at a nursery school many years ago before washable markers came on the market. There is a mild pumice ingredient in it, so it may make a mark from rubbing left on your counter.

    • Kori says

      I work for a maid company that uses all natural cleaners and for toilet stains we use pumice stones. They are awesome and also work wonders in an oven with just a little bit of water.

      • Amy says

        Hi, I am wondering what you use for routine toilet bowl cleaning and what you would use for some mold on the walls of a toilet tank. It would be good to know what natural alternatives there are.

        • says

          Amy I don’t use natural things on my toilet because any natural thing that I know of does not kill most of the mold and germs in the bathroom. That maybe is why I have never had a problem with mold in my bathrooms in any of the homes where I have lived.I have never even had any fans for ventilation and still have had no mold. Kansas is very humid too.
          I have always felt the small amount of Clorox I use in my bathroom does way less harm to my family then what the mold and germs that many people who use natural products struggle with do. Mold is dangerous. More so then the small amount of Clorox type cleaner is and that is why I will only use Clorox for it. It not only kills all of it but because it kills it all so you usually don’t have to worry about it coming back as quickly or at all unlike natural products which seem to make it go away but it usually returns on a regular basis because it never really got it in the first place.

          That being said I know many people only want natural products so you can try vinegar, tea tree oil (don’t use because it is too expensive for me), or rubbing alcohol. I personally would try the rubbing alcohol over the others.

  16. Angie M. says

    I could be wrong but I think I’ve read that bleach is one of the safest things to use to disinfect. I think it’s the other antibacterial household products that are causing resistant germs.

    I know I have read really bad things about antibacterial handsoap and dishwashing liquid…I think the antibacterial ingredient is triclosan. I’ve read it’s better to use plain soap and water to wash hands (just as effective) and plain dishwashing liquid.

    I’ve read if you need a hand cleaner when you can’t use plain soap and water, it’s best to use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.

    I really don’t think it’s the bleach, alcohol and peroxide that are cauing the resistant germs and bacteria. It’s all of the soaps, dishwashing liquids and cleaners labeled ‘antibacterial’ with other ingredients.

    Lysol spray is also good at sanitizing surfaces and killing germs and bacteria. However, moderation is always key. One of my cousins becamse ‘germophobic’ when she had children. She became so concerned about her children catching illnesses that she sprayed everything down in the house with Lysol continually. She and one of her sons actually ended up hospitalized from breathing too many of the Lysol fumes. They developed a type of chemical pneumonia and to this day still have a few asthma issues that they didn’t have prior to this.

    It’s definitely good to clean and disinfect our homes. We just need to use good, old fashioned common sense and be moderate in our attempts. :)

    • says

      Angie you are right. What most people don’t realize is isn’t the Lysol or bleach which is the problem but people not using them properly and in moderation. We have this idea that if a little is good a lot is so much better. I wrote an article along this line and used the example of fertilizer. It is so good for helping your yard grow and works great but if you use too much of it it will kill your grass.

      More is not always better. We wouldn’t be having near the problems we are with chemicals and pesticides if people would,like you said, use common sense and moderation when using them but we live in a generation of excess in everything which always takes something good and makes it not work right.

    • Gail says

      Angie, For someone who is a germophobic, I would recommend keeping a bottle of white vinegar and/or a bottle of Dr. Bronner Soap diluted with water and
      spray and wipe away without any ill effects, and it might help them feel better.

  17. Angie M. says

    A quote from this article

    “Antibacterial agents and antibiotics share the same resistance problem. Resistance will certainly increase as the drug persists, especially at low levels (e.g., residues) for long periods of time. Of course, that concern is irrelevant with substances that do not leave residues (e.g., alcohols, bleaches, and peroxides). No current data demonstrate any health benefits from having antibacterial-containing cleansers in a healthy household. However, use of these products may change the environmental microbial flora.”

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no3_supp/levy.htm

  18. Melanie says

    I don’t use much bleach, don’t care for the smell. I use a cheap vodka and Young Living oils and thieves cleaner. For fabric freshner and when I change the bed I use a spray bottle with the vodka and water with purification and lavandar. I also use a Norwex laundry soap. Use a tsp for front loaders and a bag will last a very long time. There are no fillers, dyes or perfumes so there is not the residue left in your laundry, fabric lasts longer and doesn’t get that dirty look to it.

  19. Cindy says

    I use Clorox Clean-Up and just refill the bottle with the following recipe (I may have gotten it on this site – can’t remember!!) 1 T. bleach, 1 T. liquid dish detergent, fill the rest of the way with water. If I did get it here, thanks so much for the savings!

  20. jennifer says

    I don’t use bleach too often as it bothers my asthma. But I do use it when needed. I am a nurse and I know that there are several germs that are ONLY killed with bleach. Even effective handwashing does not kill them. When a patient with this bug leaves, their entire room is bleached down. I agree with Tawra; use things in moderation and be thankful for the wonderful things God has given us to help keep us healthy.

  21. Karen Pruneau says

    When I used the bleach tablets in my toilet it started leaking too. I had rust stains which would not go away. I used baking soda on them – gone!
    As for Lysol spray, a teacher had it at school, she stepped out of the room and a child went wild spraying it. I got a call because my son’s eyes were blood red suddenly.

  22. Karen N. says

    As an LPN, I am mandated to attend yearly inservices at my job. At one about proper washing of clients’ laundry, the instructor informed us that using bleach and detergent together in wash water destroys the sanitizing properties of bleach. Also, to sanitize countertops and plastic cutting boards, mix one part bleach to ten parts of water. This mixture is good for only 24 hours and then a new batch must be made.

    Regarding the bleach tablets made for toilet tanks: my plumber advised me against using them. The chemicals destroy any rubber parts inside the tank over time. I just use a good squirt of diluted bleach whenever I swab out the toilet.

    Tawra and Jill, thanks so much for your site–keep up the good work–

  23. Sherri says

    I used to work at a daycare and we disinfected with bleach. I can’t tell you how many clothes I ruined from little bits of the spray getting on my clothes. I still am unable to disinfect my home with bleach without getting it on my clothes EVERY TIME! I use Hydrogen peroxide. My dad is a college professor. One of his students won a Science Fair put on by the Cleveland clinic and he proved that Hydrogen peroxide actually kills more than bleach. YEAH! No more ruined clothes cleaning. Now if I could just control the jug when I pour it into my washer . . .

    • says

      Sherri you will make Tawra’s day. Almost daily she ruins a top from bleach for some reason yet I have never ruined anything I was wearing while using it we have tried to figure out for years what I do different from her so go figure. So she will feel good someone else has the same problem. :) :)

    • Chelly says

      Peroxide will also bleach out clothes so be careful! Peroxide is great fro removing blood stains form white clothing my son has frequent nose bleeds! Great site thanks!

  24. joe says

    You might try a pumice stone. They are sold in stores and swimming pool supply stores. They are strong enough to scour the hard water marks but will not scratch the porcelain in the toilet bowl if kept wet.

    To get off really bad lime deposits IN THE TOILET BOWL ONLY! Janitorial supply stores sell bowl cleaner – most of it is either sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid both work well but are dangerous if misused. Follow the directions. The bowl cleaners are pretty cheap and last a long time if only used as needed rather than every day.

  25. Jean says

    HI! I’m surprised no restaurant/food service people have not commented on bleach. ON THE FOODHANDLERS TEST, for this state, 30% BLEACH COMBINED WITH TAP WATER IS REQUIRED TO CLEAN ALL KITCHEN SURFACES AND LINENS. Bleach is basically ocean salt water. I’ve used the 30% for many years at home and work with the only problem being a few bleach spots on clothes – my fault.

    As to the gal who ony buys “colored clothes” so no bleach is required: think about it – why is toilet paper all white now? Because they dumped the color into the water!! (Our boat would be a mess when we went past a CZ plant on the way to fish.) Jean

  26. Tammy says

    I have avoided using bleach in my laundry only because I have a similar problem as Tawra. I ALWAYS wind up with a spot or two in the next few loads. I even tried to wash the load with bleach last for that day, and things still seemed to creep up. I try to wash a light colored load that does not need to be bleached per se as the load following the bleached load. So, does anybody have any hints on how to avoid this? Do I need to completely wipe out the inside of the washing machine tub after a bleached load? Help! And Thanks!

    • says

      Tawra usually gets a spot on the clothes she is wearing some how. I have never had any problem with washing a load with bleach and the washing a dark load afterwards. I wonder if there is a problem with your machine or something. When I do my clothes they are rinsed at least twice in plain water so there isn’t any real amount if any at all bleach left by the time the load is done.

      I wonder if your tried rinsing an extra rinse after your bleach things if that would help. I always rinse and extra rinse for all my loads anyway so you might try that and see what happens.

  27. Kira says

    “This generation has not had to go through the pain of losing family members to these diseases so they haven’t heard the stories and aren’t reminded of how very lucky we are to have things like bleach and pesticides.”
    Are you kidding?!?!! What about CANCER for this generation? What about the pain of losing family members to Cancer? Bleach may kill deadly viruses and bacterias but it also causes cancer!

    • says

      First of all cancer isn’t just unique to this generation. Generations past had lots of people dying from cancer. The thing was they not only had people dying from cancer but also from all the diseases from viruses and bacterias. Also I question things like studies which are done in places like a bleach factory on people who breath huge amounts of vapors etc. and not done on people who use bleach properly on a normal basis. It is kind of like going to a manufacturing company where people do repetitious drilling with a drill press to study carpel tunnel and they come to the conclusion that most of these people have carpel tunnel so we need to get rid of all drill presses.

      We get all excited about certain things but you know I haven’t had to many people lately holler about banning cars and ambulances lately even though tens of thousands of people die in car wrecks all the time.

      The point I am trying to make is most things have a good and a bad side but if we are careful, use them the way they were meant to be used and in moderation they can be a good thing for us.

  28. Patricia says

    I have to agree with Jill on the Bleach ‘debate’.
    Bleach is one of the most effective cost effective anti microbial, anti germicidal, sanitizing, and sterilizing common agents. ((Cleaning and laundry))
    Although, as with almost ANYTHING, good common sense should be utilized also.

    As far as the Clorox tabs or generic bleach tablets that go in the back of the toliet-I use them. Yes, they can eventually errode some of the rubber and plastic part things…ie phalanges and such, but as far as I’m concerned, the pay off is a plus. It keeps the potty much cleaner and disinfected. As an added bonus, it keeps down mold and mildew in the bowl area.

    IMO, research the subject, then consider the pros and cons…make an informed decision accordingly.

  29. says

    I use a bleach and water spray to quickly spray the toilets, any mildew in the shower, and the kitchen sink once a week. I tried vinegar in the shower on a daily basis, to prevent mildew, and it didn’t work. Many common mildew strains are not affected by vinegar. If you don’t want to have to treat for mildew in the shower as often, you can seal the grout. This needs to be done once every few years, but works wonders. It’s on my project lise for this summer.

  30. Paula says

    Hi Jill…You mentioned that you used PEROXIDE as a mouth wash…Please check that with a dentist or doctor….

    I had a MASSIVE Strep infection that my doctor told me was the ‘flu’….Gave me the advise of “rest, fluids, motrin etc”… Three days later, I was admitted to the hospital with a raging fever…As my husband helped me into the car, he accidentally hit my hip with the car door. This caused the hip to burst open and a HUGE piece of flesh to go necrotic (tissue death)…I was left with a wound that was
    5″X7″ X 2″ deep and took 8 years to close (Thank GOD)… Part of my regimen for cleaning the wound was PEROXIDE… When the wound was not healing fast enough, I went to a wound care clinic at a local hospital who told me NEVER to use PEROXIDE in/on the body as it destroys EVERYTHING GOOD or BAD (like the new skin trying to grow and close the wound)… I grew up having peroxide used every time you got cut, so I was skeptical… They instead, told me to use ONLY SALINE as it was safer… I started healing much faster after stopping the PEROXIDE. Also, if you think about it, surgeons don’t irrigate wounds or surgical sites with peroxide, they use SALINE….

    Having worked in a lab for several years, PEROXIDE is GREAT for getting blood out of uniforms. Use COLD water for blood removal, as HOT water sets the stain into the fabric. (Also great for the occasional monthly OOPS in the undies)

    • says

      I’m not sure what to tell you on that Paula because I have had so many different nurses and doctors say to use peroxide and I think that is what it is mostly sold for too. They also use peroxide in so many toothpastes and mouthwashes which are sold now. I do know not to use the peroxide straight but to dilute half with water.

      At the same time I know saline is really good too. Saline is basically salt water and salt is great for healing things too. Just ask you doctor if you have any questions.

      • says

        My own two-cents on peroxide — my dentist told me to use a diluted peroxide mouthwash when I had a gum infection just 2 years ago. And I’m fairly certain Dr. Oz on TV said you could use peroxide, I’m not sure, but I think it was for the outer ear. So, mixed messages from the medical community.

        My current bottle of hydrogen peroxide says ” first aid antiseptic, oral debriding agent, for treatment of minor cuts and abrasions, for use as a gargle or rinse”.

        The other thing peroxide is good for, is a capful straight, poured around the drain to your bathroom sink, once a day, just after brushing teeth or washing. It keeps the bottom of the sink very clean.

        • delvin says

          Peroxide (H2O2) is essential. Vinegar too.

          Paula’s problem was that she repeatedly put hydrogen peroxide on her wound. Wounds will not heal if you keep applying peroxide, instead it will keep it ‘raw’.

          H2O2 is imo the best at cleaning wounds, but it doesn’t take more than one good application on a wound to prepare it for proper healing. Once you stop seeing the bubbles, put it away and cover the wound.

          IMO, People who use saline are wasting their money. Why spend money on a unitasker when you can have a multitasker like h2o2. Its better at cutting bacteria and doesn’t ‘sting’ nearly as bad as alcohol. And, in the bubbling reaction, you get a cool visual of whether the wound is clean in the bubbling reaction.

          As you say, its an debriding agent; debridement is the removal of bad/ dead cells and tissue to improve the healing potential of the healthy cells.
          I also mix h2o2 with water as a mouthwash. If I have a cough, this helps me clear my throat; so it can help draw phlegm from my throat and clean my mouth of bacteria, listerine doesn’t do that. Just be sure not to swallow any and rinse with water after.

          On topic of this thread:
          I keep a small bottle of h202 fitted with a spray nozzle from two regular spray bottles (for ironing), the other bottle holds vinegar. If you spray h202, and then vinegar on a surface, bacteria doesn’t have a chance.(who needs bleach?). You should NOT MIX the h202 and vinegar in the same bottle. They should combine and react on the cleaning surface.

          Also, h2o2 will lose its extra oxygen molecule if exposed to light for very long, this is why it comes in a black bottle (not because its evil). So make sure you black out the bottle or use a small bottle it came with. Its also convenient to be able to spray peroxide on wounds instead of rubbing the wound, wasting cotton balls and q tips.

          My wife is allergic to bleach. But this stuff smokes bleach. This is both my heavy duty and regular table and counter-top cleaner. And much more safe. You can spray this on your vegetables or greens and then give em a quick rinse.

          The black bottles at the drug store are 3% h2o2. If you want you can even get 35% food grade h202, but it should be stored in the fridge and kept opaque. Its kinda like buying bulk, you can dilute it down to three percent when you refill your bottle. Some circles even have had success with a drop of food grade h202 in a glass of water at fighting cancers. But who hasn’t had success at fighting cancer, these days…

          While I’m on cleaning; I also hardly ever use my microwave for food, so I use it to clean my scrub pads. Once I’m done cleaning, I wet the pads and put them on a ice tray and microwave a pad for about a minute until its good and steamy. I keep em till their a shadow of their former selves. Just don’t microwave dry pads, that wouldn’t be good.

          And I am not even being paid to sell Hydrogen peroxide. :)

  31. says

    Dentists have been saying use peroxide for gum and mouth infections for years.
    They may be behind the times but I will go for the old tried and true.
    I just got put on pills to drop my immunities as they think it will help the RA. sure hope it works but it means that now I will have to be careful about germs so I guess a spray bottle of diluted bleach in the bathroom and the kitchen.
    I do think they sell unscented bleach so will try to find that. The days they add the bleach or whatever to the water supply I hate to take a shower as the chlorine smell really makes me sick.
    Still can’t drink the water in town so I suffer with no good results in the water supply.
    I prefer vinegar but I want to live long enough to enjoy my grandchildren and watch them graduate from childhood to adulthood.

    • says

      To help with the smell and all use just a little Clorox in the spray bottle of water. It really doesn’t take hardly any at all to work. That is often why it smells so bad because they are using too much. It only takes about 6-8 drops for a sink of dish water to disinfect a kitchen and dishes but I know I have done this and most do and that is pour a couple of lids or even a couple of “glups” straight from the bottle.

      The water department has to do that sometimes if they find extra impurities in the water. Plus if you let the water set for like 24 hours the smell and taste is not there so letting it set in the spray bottle might help with the smell too.

      I recommend calling the 800 number on the back of the Clorox bottle to find out exact amounts. The last time I called I actually was able to talk to people and they very very nice and informative.

    • says

      Lynda I just happened to think too if you can’t stand Clorox then you might try just wiping things down with a little alcohol. It disinfects as well as Clorox. I like to use it sometimes in between my “main” cleanings. I just pour some on a rag or paper towel and quickly wipe everything down with it.

  32. says

    the bleach will be fine. not enough to smell it forever.
    don’t know why I can’t drink the water but when we moved here that is when I got sicker to the point of not being able to function.
    The pulp mill was the culprit we think and the apt. was brand new but mold was in the wall of ours and that added to the sickness.
    Now that they have found the RA which I have had most of my life hopefully something can be done. Not holding my breath though.
    thanks for the info. it helps.

    • delvin says

      For what its worth, I’ve had similar water issues. I’ve done a lot of personal research into water filters and have decided that the best filtration and dependability is a ceramic filter countertop model such as the Black Berkey. You can take red food dye and run it through and the water will be pure, you can also run rainwater or groundwater (or the even dreaded city-pond tap water).

      Their best features are that they are gravity filters. Its like one bucket on top of another, to drop to the drinking bucket, the water must pass through the ceramic filter elements. The drawback is, it takes me about an hour to filter a good 2.5 gallons. BUT its not dependent on electricity, or even the pressure in your pipes in case of emergency.

      My mother recently had her thyroid removed due to a tumor. Many people are suddenly having thyroid problems. I personally believe it is because she has always drank lots and lots of water (being healthy, dont-ya-know) which was treated with fluoride. The same toxic agent used in toothpaste is, for some unknown reason, thought to be safe if ingested in ‘small’ quantities in the water supply of almost everywhere in the US.

      It is incredibly hard to filter fluoride, Brita and all the other name brand filters, even the black berkey, doesn’t remove any fluoride. To do so, you must use either: Distillation, Reverse Osmosis, or Activated Alumina. Berkey sells an attachment filter for the ceramic one that contains activated alumina for filtering fluoride and arsenic called “pf-2″. Activated alumina is a necessity in places like India and Pakistan where the ground water has very high levels of fluoride causing widespread fluorosis, which basically strips the enamel of your teeth and weakens bones (so don’t brush too much and too hard with that toothpaste. The pf-2s, however, do have to be rejuvenated (cleansed) or replaced every year or so depending on how much you’re filtering.

      I’ve done a good bit of study on water and am not going to be caught buying bottled water. Proper distillation is the only other alternative for me, and while I have seen some very good almost practical designs for stovetop (or firewood) home distillers, it is just too much for me to handle (and a waste of heat energy). Also, some people believe that prolonged ingestion of distilled water could deprive the body of necessary minerals, especially if a proper diet isn’t maintained. That wouldn’t be a problem for me, but I’m very happy with my berkey system and use it for drinking and cooking. highly recommend it with the pf-2 attachments.

      Hope this helps somebody :)

  33. Marie says

    I saw on TV a frugal young mother who used rags for toilet paper. Whenever her children had sleep overs, she would warn the parents that they did not use T P. I had about 3 dozen of white bar rags from Walmart that were too dingy to go to the thrift store and too good to throw away so that’s what I use. I rinse after every use and keep in a bucket of bleach water until I do laundry. For really dirty jobs I wrap one square around one of my personal used tissue (store in an empty boutique box).

  34. Maggie says

    I drink a lot of iced tea and bring my own plastic cup to work. After a while, the inside is no longer white but brown and despite soap and hot water, it never looks clean. The man who runs the restaurant in our building told me to put a few drops of Clorox in the cup and fill it with water. After 30 minutes, dump out the solution and the cup is snow white again. The Clorox works great. Then I just put it into the dishwasher for the next load. I recycle the solution it by pouring it into stained coffee cups and putting my stainless steel forks and spoons in it to clean the cloudiness from the dishwasher. The stainless looks like new and so do the cups. I use peroxide on stains for clothng I put in the wash. Each has it’s use and they are certainly cheaper than all the chemical products currently on the market and they work very well for me.

  35. robertpri says

    Wow, so glad to find this site. I’m a retired widower now, and wonderful wife understood all these bleach and peroxide issues. Now, I’m trying to learn, and this site is great.

  36. robertpri says

    I want to disinfect the shower and obviously bleach will work. Or alcohol. But what about throw rugs in the bathroom? I don’t want to wash them all the time because the bottom begin to fall apart. Can I spray alky on them? Misty-light?

    • says

      I would spray something like Lysol on them. You could try misting them with vinegar although since you wouldn’t be rinsing them that may leave a smell. You could lightly mist them with the alcohol too. But of course don’t use bleach or peroxide on them.

      I always used the type of rugs you are talking about because that is usually what they sale for a bathroom rug but then a friend mine told me to buy a 100% cotton rug and use it as a bathmat or rug. It drys better then the other kind so it doesn’t allow things to grow as much plus I can toss it into the wash often and not worry about the back getting messed up. I have never had a problem or worry about my rug slipping but if you do put a piece of something like the rubber shelf liner or anything like that under it.

  37. robertpri says

    Many thanks. Lysol makes sense. I have a new rather slippery bathroom floor and ordinary throw rugs slide. Dangerous. I tried those rubber pad thingees but they are useless. I have to buy rubber backed rugs that work perfectly, buy they do not survive many washes before the rubber falls apart. Drying on air dry or low heat does not seem to help longevity.

    Will go buy Lysol. Thanks.

  38. JazzFest says

    I have heard of people putting used lemon halves in bleach to give it a fresh smell. The idea seems like a good one (Gives a us for lemon halves other than composting and too much cleaning fumes gives me a headache :P) but does anyone know if this will affect the effectiveness of the bleach?

    Thanks!

    • says

      It shouldn’t affect the bleach but you might check they now make bleach in lemon scent and other scents too you might like better then the regular scent.

  39. Char says

    In my training, I was taught that not all bleaches disinfect. If you read the labels, some say cleans and whitens. If you compare plain Chlorox bleach and any of the others (fresh scent, gel, no splash), you will see that the plains disinfects. The others do not. Very few cheaper bleaches disinfect. Also, bleach does degrade. It should be made fresh daily, if using for disinfecting on a daily basis, i.e., daycares.

    • says

      I posted this but I have really checked out many places and researched this a lot and this is the only place that I could find that says if you heat vinegar it is as good as bleach so I would be a little cautious. Personally I am trying to simplify my life and having to heat up vinegar to wipe my counters and things would take more time then I want to spend doing this. Note you have to use it warm too so you can’t just make it up and have it always handy and ready to use. Also the chances of me getting sick or dying from using bleach properly is small if any at all and I can’t say the same for sure with vinegar yet. It has not been proven to be as good. The chances of getting sick and dying from something by using only vinegar and not bleach is way more then the other way around.

      Bottom line for me is I ask myself if my family were sick and dying from some kind of contagious deadly disease would I really want to chance disinfecting with vinegar. I don’t think I would. It is like pesticides. Everyone has hollered about them and tried to get rid of them and they do have a down side but so does everything. They have stopped using them very much now and guess what we are starting to have – an out break of bed bugs and other insects some of which are destroying our crops. Let me see would I rather have my children covered in bed bug bites and miserable our to use a small amount of pesticides to protect them. In so many ways not using them has cost us much more then using them ever did. I’m worried the same thing is going to happen if people stop using bleach and start using vinegar instead. We could have an epidemic on our hands that will be out of control. Go live in a 3rd world country for a bit and you can see exactly what I am talking about. They would give anything to have a few pesticides and bleach.

  40. Remove hard water stains says

    To get rid of the hard water stains in the toilet first turn off the water and flush. Cut a grapefruit in half (any citrus fruit will work, but grapefruit is too big to go down the hole), grab the table salt, put on your gloves. Pour some salt on the fruit portion of the grapefruit and scrub the stain away. Works for rust stains too. Then you can turn the water on, add some bleach and swish around with the bowl brush to disinfect.

    As far as going green, the homemade recipes are quite good for some things, however, there is no alternative to me for disinfecting with the proper bleach solution. Did not know cool water is best, thank you!

  41. Jillian says

    I’m all for using bleach if it disinfects better. My question is, how do you keep it from ruining clothes when you clean? If you are using the correct amounts will it not bleach clothes or do you just wear sweats?

    • says

      I usually wear older clothes when I clean and don’t worry about it much. But as corny as some may think it is throwing an apron on really helps too. I love aprons. I dry my hands on them and they protect my clothes. Then if I have to go someplace I just pull off my apron.

      Now I don’t always wear one but a couple of things I try to do when using bleach is to be extra careful when I am pouring it and I don’t use too much in my bucket of water. If it is diluted down enough it often won’t harm your clothes if just a bit splashes on you. Remember you only need about 4 Tbsp. of clorax to 1/2 gal. of water. for dishes you only need 2 tsp. per gal.

      You could also tuck a hand towel in the collar of your top while you are pouring it too.

      Some people tend to be prone to bleach spots on their clothes and I for the life of me can’t figure out why. I have maybe had one bleach spot on my clothes in 60 years but my poor daughter gets one weekly. We joke about it all the time but it is a mystery to me.

  42. Ashley says

    Hi, I just wanted to clarify that vinegar kills 99% of bacteria, 82% mold, and 80% of viruses. It will also not harm our environment when it goes down the drain or gets dumped from the mop bucket into the storm drain. Be safe…

    • says

      It’s the 82% mold and 80% viruses I have a problem with. If you do decide to use vinegar remember plain old soap does the same thing as vinegar so you really don’t even need to use vinegar as far as killing things. It has been shown now that even plain tap water gets rid of most things. What people don’t realize is in everyday cleaning like washing your dishes it is the rubbing and rinsing away that kills things. The soap causes the things to let go of the dish and be rinsed away.

    • Tabitha says

      This is why I also use tea tree oil or blend of anti fungal & antiviral essential oils. Love vinegar with essential oils. Once the vinegar smell dissipates everything is so fresh and clean. I also have a preK daughter who can get a hold of spray bottles so I’d rather put her to work on the cabinets or something where she won’t spray our eyes or clothes.

      I do have bleach to deep clean an area (like toilet or kitchen sink that
      hasn’t been cleaned in too long), but haven’t been using it much. Good to know I need to replace it since I tend to be too lazy to do the hydrogen and vinegar cleanse of my kitchen surfaces. With a 4th baby on the way, sometimes it’s just faster to get everything clean without the two- step. (Yes, I’m contradicting myself and am ok with it.) I’m sure I will get behind on cleaning when the baby arrives and have to do the quick bleach method again.

  43. getforfree says

    MAny years ago I used bleach for my white socks and undies, and they didn’t last very long. When I stopped adding bleach, I was amased that my white clothes lasted like 2x longer now. So I would rather have it not as white but last me longer and save lots of money that way. Later I also started to hang dry my clothes and it last even longer. I also try to buy colored undies and socks now instead of white, they seem to never turn yellow anyway.

    • says

      Part of the secret to using bleach is most people use way to much of it. I know I use to just glob it into the washer not measuring but when I stopped to measure it and my detergent I was shocked at how much more I was using then I should have been. I also have found the number one cause for undies and socks wearing out is drying them in the dryer. I couldn’t figure out for years why I never had to hard replace my and my kids undies and socks the same way other people did. I mean I can wear the same undies for at least 10 years and socks 5-8 years. Then I realized I have rarely used a dryer but have mostly line dried my clothes.

      For those of you who want more info on this check out this post Air Drying Clothes Without a Clothesline from our web site.

  44. Danielle says

    I had a root planing (deep dental cleaning) and the hygenist put chlorox (most likely diluted) into my mouth at the end of procedure. I was lying down and did have the suction tube in my mouth. I was concerned about swallowing chlorox. I did ask if I could rinse and swish, but she said to let it sit for a while. My home treatment was to put 1 teaspoon of chlorox in 10 ounces of water in a waterpik and use twice a week. I did not worry for a couple of days until I went to store for chlorox. I have had cancer and realized that maybe I should not have this in my mouth, even diluted.

    I cancelled my next treatment as I was having a quarter of my mouth done each time. I liked the hygenist and the work that she was doing, but now having had cancer I am afraid for them to use this, especially if there is the danger of swallowing. The only positive thing I found was from a Dr Slots from USC who wrote a paper regarding this. Everything else online and in person was negative and told me NOT to do this.

    Comments welcome.

    • says

      I do use clorox for cleaning and we do have it in our water that we drink. I’m not sure about it causing cancer. Now a day “they” say you can get cancer from just looking at a tree and I say that with tongue in cheek. Like I said I don’t mind using it myself but if there is something less harsh I could use in place of it I probably would in a case like this. If there was nothing else that would do as good of a job I wouldn’t worry about having a treatment like this once. Once again it goes back to doing something too much that I think is more harmful.

  45. Mrs says

    In the e-mail I received today (I love getting this & love your site) it stated regarding the alt recipes for disinfecting wipes – ” Well, vinegar and tea tree oil do not disinfect properly like you should in a bathroom. I know people swear that these ingredients disinfect and they do disinfect to a certain degree but to say vinegar totally disinfects as well as bleach is not true at all.”
    You don’t mention the tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is actually an antiseptic, an antifungal and an antimicrobial. In essential oils this is called a triple threat. There are also oils with greater germicide properties, however tea tree oil is quite reasonably priced, I got 2 ounces for $3.89 and it has lasted 2 + years. I do use bleach occasionally, however since being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder (Hydr.sup.)I have found using the cleaners i have used for years and many foods I have always eaten seem to lead to flare ups these days. Now when something doesn’t work, I try something else.

    • says

      You’re like me June I read an article connected with cleaning and get inspirited at least it does until I find something more fun to do. : ) : )

  46. says

    Thank you for this great info! I am a fan of bleach and also wash my whites in bleach and use bleach to disinfect when needed.
    Just yesterday I saw a news story that the tight seal on new front load washers and no bleach ever being used is causing those machines to grow dangerous mold inside. Yuck!
    This refusal to use bleach is about like the refusal to get vaccinations. I think it is much better to prevent illness than to be stupid and the have to suffer the consequences.

    Thank you for info, I hope at someone is listening to you

    • says

      Rhonda I have wondered about the same thing on the washers growing mold. I wondered why they started coming out with new products to get rid of the smell and all in your machine. At first I didn’t know what they were talking about because I never had that problem then it dawned on me – people are not using bleach as much now an the results of it are starting to show up. Now they have to spend more money and buy another product which if they would stop and think about it if they are trying to save the environment how does that help with more manufacturing (all that comes with that) more products.

      It is like getting rid of all pesticides. Now we have bed bugs like crazy and it is starting to get worse. I really wonder if people think these things through sometimes. You can tell this is a pet peeve of mind. : ) : )

      • Jen says

        Don’t worry – pesticides are big money and here to stay. There has been an explosion in the manufacture and use of them in the last few decades with no or minimal testing and regulation.

        The bed bug phenomenon has been overhyped. I am more concerned about bee decline, which has been linked to a relatively new pesticide that was recently banned in parts of Europe.

        I really wonder if people research thoroughly and think objectively.

    • Gail says

      Rhonda, Using white vinegar in your laundry will help with mold and bad odor. I have never had mold in my washer, but would probably leave the door open to let air in if I did.

  47. Margaret says

    Thank you for giving your opinion and backing it up with facts from a reliable source. We are so easily swayed into erroneous ideas and then pass them along as facts. We need to step back and see long range implications, like those the African pointed out. I love your practical suggestions.

    • says

      This is so true about not believing everything you read on the internet. We all know this but we will read one thing and totally believe it. Even the surveys can be way off. I know a group of about 15 people who were paid to fill out a survey. They all did it together and were laughing about it because they really didn’t answer the questions but made a game of it like they would answer every other question with the letter A or they would close their eyes and pick a letter. Since I learned about that I am real leery of so called polls and surveys.

  48. says

    Both bleach and vinegar cause my nose to burn, but vinegar does not give me a migraine. Bleach does and I know 3 other women that all say the same.

    • says

      You might check out how much you are using. If I use too much of either vinegar or bleach my nose burns but if I use only as directed and a small amount (which is all you need and that is why a large bottle of bleach lasts me 1 year) I don’t have any trouble at all. What happens with many cleaning supplies is people use way more then they should and that is what causes many problems. Even in natural things like essential oils many people don’t realize they can burn you when not used correctly.

  49. Carol says

    Please be mindful when using bleach. I was told by a plumber that it is not good for your septic tank. Over use of bleach will kill the medium in your tank and it will not decompose waste as it should. Makes sense, if it will kill the germs on your counter top, think what it will do to your septic tank.

    • says

      That goes back again to the fact it is fine to use and if you are using it correctly and the right amount it is fine. For example 1 gallon of bleach diluted down and used over a whole years time will not hurt it. It is all in the amount. If you use too much toilet paper it can really mess up my plumbing but I would never stop using it because of that I would just use less and the right amount.

    • Gail says

      Carol, Thanks for this bit of info. I have a new septic tank. I am not a bleach user, but will remember this information if ever I am tempted.

  50. Mary Snow says

    Make sure you know what kind of bleach you are using before you make up your cleaning solution – I know its confusing but with the ‘new’ concentrated bleaches on the market you are talking a difference of using a few drops or cups depending on if its concentrated. So double check you don’t want to accidentally make yourself sick by using a mixture that is incorrectly mixed.

  51. Corie B says

    I could not agree with you more! Pesticides are needed and the alternative is not working look at all of the Maleria cases in Africa.
    Bleach is a staple in my house and to me it is the only thing that makes my house smell clean. I tried vinegar and to me it just never smelled and felt clean to me, now I know why it wasn’t. Lol

  52. Sharon says

    I use Hydrogen Peroxide (you can get a Food Grade 35% at Health Stores) this can be used like bleach, adding drops to water to disinfect, but has less fumes/smell. Even grocery store Peroxide can be mixed in a spray bottle and used to disinfect just like bleach. It is like bleach, but with less smell. What do you think?

  53. Judith says

    Bleach is, hands down, the absolute best disinfectant ever. The safest way to use it is is very dilute and leave it in place to dry. That way it continues killing while it is drying over night and does the least amount of potential damage to any surface or fabric. I dilute it 1 part bleach to 20 parts water and keep it in a spray bottle that is opaque. I use it on my cat liter boxes to kill bacteria responsible for the odor of the cat box, let the bleach water dry through evaporation and when dry, put new liter in there and never have an odor. I use it on my kitchen counters at night before we go to bed and let it dry. When I worked at a health clinic as a sonographer, I started using this dilute bleach on all the surfaces that anyone’s hands touched in the winter time and that winter, we had NO volunteers out for colds, flu and other illness. I did ALL hand panels on restroom doors, hand railings on stairways, telephone pads, computer keyboards, all door handles, floor selectors in elevators, handles on telephones, arm rests on chairs, every single thing that was touched by any hands at all. I even spritzed the water fountain water dispensers and you’d be surprised how they changed color back to clear metal!! Heaven only knows what sort of bacteria was there. Hydrogen peroxide is NOT as good as bleach if for no other reason than the extra cost between $1 for a pint vs. $1.19 per gallon diluted to 1 ounce bleach to 20 ounces of water. That is less than 1¢ per 21 ounces of disinfectant since there’s 128 ounces in a gallon of bleach for $1.19 in cost. I have even sprayed this dilute bleach cleaner/disinfectant on fabric and carpet with NO bleaching of the cloth or carpet. Again, this is VERY dilute and left in place to dry, the longer it stays in place, the more bacteria and odor and mold it kills. The less dilute the bleach, the faster it kills the bacteria and destroys fabric so one has to be VERY careful and respectful with bleach.

  54. Jen West says

    Regarding the bleach tablets for the toilets…I use the Kaboom® Scrub Free!® Toilet Cleaning System. It DOES NOT keep the tablet in the tank which does corrode the bolts and other metal part. It actually is a device that allows the water which fills the bowl to pass by the chlorine tablet. So only the chlorinated water is sitting in the bowl. It does create that chlorine smell each time you flush. It is great when little boys “forget” to flush. If you choose to use the system, don’t buy the refills. Buy the small chlorine tablets used for pools. They are cheaper.

  55. Katharine says

    We have been told that bleach should NOT be used if you have a septic system. That it will kill the good bacteria that is in there breaking down the waste.

    Hydrogen peroxide works just as well as bleach but without the smell.

    • Judith says

      We use bleach in our septic system all the time but you can’t use it in the first stage of your septic system where the solids are broken down by the bacteria. You MUST use it in the last stages where the water is sprayed out onto the ground and must be bacteria free in your aerobic, newer septic system. Otherwise, you spread the bacteria from the elimination biproducts onto the dirt and your yard which is NOT part of the protocol of the newer septic system guidelines. Bleach smell is NOT evident except when it is in the bottle in the 3% over the counter concentration. When you dilute it in your washing machine, it does not smell either. Otherwise your clothes would be destroyed. If you can smell it, as bleach concentrate, your clothes will be bleached and have holes in them where they were attached by the 3% straight from the bottle bleach. When you dilute it, as I do, there is NO bleach smell.

  56. Marcia says

    Someone earlier mentioned using toothpaste to eliminate stains in the toilet bowl…well guess what there was a hard water stain in ours that I tried EVERYTHING on and nothing worked…I got out a pumice stone, put whitening toothpaste on the stone, and scrubbed away…couldn’t believe it…the stain WENT AWAY! GONE! So now I’m going to keep a tube of superwhitening toothpaste on hand for cleaning…thanks to whoever suggested the toothpaste!

  57. Rebecca says

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned the fact that you cannot use vinegar based cleaners on stone surfaces like granite. It causes pock marks to form. I use both types of cleaners in my home but only diluted bleach spray on my counters for this reason.

    • says

      You need to read it carefully because it actually proved my point about there not being very good studies and people hearing what they want to hear. It said that it did kill bacteria but it only killed 90% mold (it is the 10% that is left that I am concerned about) and it didn’t even mention viruses at all. what also concerns me is they don’t mention how fast that seemingly harmless 10% left behind can multiply and grow in some place damp like a bathroom. If you will note too at the very end they made the comment that it killed mold too – yeahhh – but they eliminated the fact that it only killed 90% and made it sound like it killed everything.

      Also we have worked with the media for years and there is one thing straight across the board we have found – they usually get something wrong in what they are talking about. One of the first big magazine articles on us said Tawra was the mom of 2 teens when she had 2 toddlers at the time. Just one of many mistakes and misquotes they have done.

  58. andrea says

    I enjoyed reading this & all the comments, too. I wanted to mention that the reason that the mold grows in the new HE washing machines is because they are so air tight. You should not close it up in between loads. Someone stayed in my Mom’s house while they were on vacation. She always leaves the washer door open–they closed it & it was molded when she got home. I also leave the tray open that you add the detergent to when not in use. I rarely use bleach in my laundry (maybe once or twice a year!) but I don’t have any problem with mold in my machine as long as the door stays open. Thanks for all the tips :)

  59. jimmy says

    I would never use bleach because in my experience it is sickening to me and I believe it is harmful to the environment but I do use vinegar and have read that vinegar in combination with bleach will strengthen the bleaching power, meaning that with vinegar less bleach is required for as good or better results!

    • says

      The thing is there are very few things in this world that aren’t harmful to the environment and people if they are used improperly or over used. Cars probably kill way more people then bleach even begins to and they are probably even worse on the environment but we still use them all the time. Why because there is the other side of the coin where they can also be helpful to us. I talk to so many who want to get rid of harsh chemicals in their lives so they want to know how to make homemade soap. Ahhh…. you have to use lye in many soaps and it doesn’t get more caustic then that. I mean did you know when many of those homemade soaps that we think are so great for our skin are made you have to wear a mask, special heavy gloves, apron etc for protection from the chemicals that are used to make it? You rarely hear people holler about that.
      Another thing is many people love their “natural” essential oils and can’t rave about them enough but some of them can burn your skin terribly if you aren’t careful with them. I personally don’t have sensitive skin and have never had a reaction to anything except one time and that was when I was given some homemade chemical free bath salts and my skin turned red and I thought I would itch to death. It burnt so bad.
      I say this because there are usually to sides to everything and we have to be careful in saying this is totally bad or good about different things.

  60. michelle says

    I just hate using bleach because it always ends up somewhere I dont want it and ruins something. It ends up being a big ordeal for me to use it, I have to change clothes make sure no drips end up on the carpet and so on.

    • says

      That is so interesting Michelle. Tawra has this same problem and has had for years. I have a friend too who is forever getting bleach on them somehow and I some other friends have used it for years and never gotten a drop on us. We can’t figure what we do differently.

  61. Nicole says

    Some of your points were spot on others were not. I personally can tell you (I work in a Diagnostic Lab) that the stronger disinfectant or antibiotic it takes to kill something the more it will mutate to survive. What we are seeing now is many bacterias that are no longer susceptible to some antibiotics (most things are resistant to penicillin meaning it won’t kill them). Yes you can over use these substances. Believe it or not some bacteria is good. When you kill all of the good bacteria it gives bad bacteria the upper hand. Vinegar though it doesn’t kill as many organisms is still a very useful and cheap cleaner. If required I use bleach when illnesses strike only because other avenues have not worked. Remember to you only need a 10% bleach solution to effectively clean and kill bacterias (1 gallon of bleach for 9 gallons of water).

  62. Alicia says

    I just need to set the record straight that one of the adverse effects of bleach is the creation of “super bugs.” While many people believe they are protrcting themselves from bactrria, they could actually be creating bacteria that become adaptively resistant to cleaning products such as bleach. Please look it up. When we can’t kill these germs any more, we will have a big problemon our hands. This is along the same concept as overuse of antibiotics which are creating antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. I use traditional soap and water on my household surfaces, and I can’t remember the last time I was sick. It’s good for the body to continue to be exposed to germs to build immunity. That’s not to say that bleach isn’t helpful in some cases, because it certainly is. I use it to combat mold and for laundry. Also, it’s frequent use on surfaces can be beneficial for the immunocompromised (those with aids or undergoing chemo treatment) but not for healthy individuals.

    • says

      Yes that can be true, but we aren’t saying you should bathe your house in it. It is a very safe cleaner when you use it in moderation and for general disinfecting.

  63. Alicia says

    That’s just it. What is considered using “in moderation?” Research is proving that general disinfecting is not necessary. The majority of the posts I have read here have indicated overuse of the product.

    • says

      Alicia I do agreed with you. If you read my articles on cleaning I try to push people not to use any cleaning products homemade or otherwise but just to use good old hot soapy water most of the time. It cleans almost everything and I usually only use bleach when I am dealing with chicken or something like that once in awhile. This article you are commenting on was not so much written about the over use of bleach as it was to try to explain the difference of using vinegar vs. bleach.

  64. Alicia says

    Hi Jill, I do the same! Glad you pointed out the use for cleaning up after chicken bc I felt bad that I forgot that point!
    Anyway, I was researching the differences in cleaning properties between vinegar and bleach when I came across this web page. My husband put away all of our baby clothes in a mold-ridden room in our basement. Now, just a few weeks away from the due date of our second baby, I pulled these clothes out to discover the mold issue. I’m trying to save them, so I put them through one cycle with diluted bleach and detergant and a second cycle with just detergent. I’m still wary on the outcome. A friend of ours told us to soak them in vinegar and water. So began my search on the difference in cleaning properties. Along the way, I was so surprised at what seems to me as an over use of bleach (and the author of this article was clearly pushing it)–scary.

    • says

      Yes I love bleach but I too am concerned about the over use of it. That is where most of the problems start is people think if a little is ok the a lot is even better which isn’t always true and once they start thinking that way then things get out of control and so they start banning it instead of trying to understand to use this stuff (even vinegar) in moderation.
      I have mentioned before it is like fertilizing your grass. You may think if a little fertilizer will help it grow then a whole lot will be even better but as they quickly find out too much kills the grass and doesn’t help it.

  65. erin james says

    Let me get this straight…….We are to believe the safety of bleach from Clorox? Seriously ?? Bleach is poison, Period. The EU will not import chicken from America because it is soaked in a chlorine solution. And of course that bleach emits toxic fumes and ends up in our water table. It might be about time to use alternatives. Vinegar applied with lemon or baking soda are just fine. I’ve been using anything but bleach for many years and my clothes are white and my counters are safe. Let start cleaning responsibly. And to kill every single bacteria is not a good thing, as many bacteria are beneficial. Please think about it.

    • says

      Erin bottom line is that if the plague hit here I would rather they use Clorox to disinfect with then lemon, vinegar and baking soda. We get up on our soap boxes about the environment so much sometimes that we forget there is a reason we are living longer now and are healthier and part of that is better products to use then just vinegar and lemon the way they did 100 plus years ago. Moderation in everything is important. It isn’t as if I think people should take a bath in the stuff. Plus as much as everyone loves vinegar we forget that everything has a down side. Try pouring vinegar on a plant and see what happens.

  66. Tom Higgins says

    To Disinfect Surfaces: Use 1/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water, or as directed on the label, to disinfect hard, nonporous surfaces in your home.

    I HAVE BEEN TAUGHT THAT THE CORRECT FORMULA IS ONE CAP-FULL OF BLEACH TO ONE GALLON OF WATER.

    • says

      Tom these things are not set in stone. It really depends on what you are cleaning the amount you use. You can add more or less and to be honest I don’t get my measuring cup out to ever measure it. I wonder if what you are thinking about is to disinfect water. To bleach and whiten something you usually need to use more.

  67. Mary Sloan says

    I am taking care of my elderly mother and when she has a poopy accident, don,t I need to disenfect her bedding and clothes?And what should I use? They aren’t all whites. Can I use Lysol it’s a disinfectant ?

    • says

      Lysol can mess with the color too unless you are talking about just spraying things with Lysol which would be fine. Other things like peroxide can bleach things too if you aren’t careful. Some people try vinegar or tea tree oil but the main thing that I have found works for me and after studying have found that way more things can be safely bleached if you don’t go insane withe the amount you use but if it is something you really are afraid to try then just wash it in the hottest water with detergent that you can (maybe wash twice) and dry it on the hottest setting you can. I would wash those things separate and run some bleach through the washer before washing other things.
      You would be surprised first at how many colored things can handle a little bleach used in washing and how really good washing with soap and water is. Also if you can ever afford it you can buy machines which have a sanitize cycle which would be perfect for something like this.

  68. says

    My Mother thought Clorox bleach was a wonder drug. Every Saturday without fail she would thoroughly clean with a bleach solution all surfaces both kitchen and bathrooms. Poison ivy was a given during the summer in our household. My Mother would use a mild bleach solution and a white cotton wash cloth to eliminate the oil anywhere we were exposed. If any got by and erupted she would again clean the same way and it would dry up by the next day. Athlete’s feet called for a small cap full of bleach poured into the shower at the end. Never fail cure. Ringworm out came the Clorox to wash all bedding, towels, clothes, and her trusty white cotton wash cloth to clean the affected area. With ringworm this had to be done more than just the once to eliminate completely. Goes without saying she used in the wash for all towels, underwear, socks, and bedding. Most people use way too much. You would be surprised that in the correct proportion or ratio of water to bleach how it can be used even with colored loads of laundry.

    • says

      I preach that all the time Erma. The main thing wrong with Clorox is not Clorox itself but people and not using it in the right amounts. I have to laugh when I say use a couple of caps of bleach in the dish water (once in awhile only) to wipe things down. You would think I had told everyone to take several jugs of Clorox and splash it all over the whole kitchen the way they react but this reaction is usually because they have never known or been taught the proper way and amount to use it.

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  2. [...] Spray your cleaning products on your rag. It saves you money and time. When dusting, spray your Pledge on your rag, not on the table you are dusting.When I did professional cleaning, I was repeatedly instructed when cleaning a bathroom to spray the cleaning products on my rags*. This way, I didn’t waste time rinsing and re-rinsing the sink or tub.Fast forward 15 years and someone has invented a new product everyone is crazy about – bathroom wipes. People love them because the can just wipe and run. This is the same thing professional cleaners had been doing for years. [...]

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