Bleach is a common household cleanser and disinfectant that you can purchase on its own or mixed with other cleaning chemicals. Use this cleanser to brighten whites, remove mold and even sanitize baby bottles. As a disinfectant, bleach kills 99.9 percent of germs; other household disinfectants cannot approach this effectiveness.
Compared to other disinfectant products or sanitizers, bleach is relatively inexpensive. As of 2011, a consumer can purchase a gallon-sized bottle of bleach for an average of less than $2. Other gallon-sized chemical disinfectants can cost at least double that price. When cleaning with bleach, you only need a small amount of the product mixed with clean water, which means that bleach products last for a long time and still provide quality disinfecting.
Bleach is an approved disinfectant and sanitizer by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is effective at disinfecting and removing viruses such as the H1N1 virus. Bleach can sanitize baby bottles, which are prone to bacteria growth, in a solution of 1 tbsp. bleach to 1 gallon of clean water. Soak bottles, nipples and rings for two minutes in this solution and rinse thoroughly in clean water. On hard surfaces, use bleach to disinfect and sanitize by creating a sanitizing spray of 3/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon of clean water.
Mold and Allergen Remover
Bleach kills bacteria and viruses, but it is also effective at killing and removing mold from wood, clothing, tile and other surfaces. Allergens such as mildew and mold are difficult to control. Even after a cleanser or cleaner kills mold, the spores in the dead mold can trigger allergic reactions, according to WebMD. A mixture of 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of clean water is enough to create a disinfecting compound strong enough to remove mold from hard surfaces such as tile, glass and plaster. Always wear proper safety equipment such as gloves and safety goggles when spraying bleach onto a surface.
Bleach is used to clean bedding, towels, clothing and even stuffed animals in the wash cycle. Cold and flu germs, allergens and food stains remain on clothing. Clothing does not have to be white to use bleach in the washing machine, according to the Clorox company, but it is best to test a colored item before adding bleach to the cycle. Add 2 tsp. of bleach to a 1/4 cup water and blot on a piece of clothing to perform a bleach test. Clothing, stuffed toys, bedding and pillows that are washer- and bleach-safe can then be cleaned, disinfected and freshened with 3/4 cup bleach per wash load.