How to Prepare a Chlorine Sanitizing Solution

Chlorine bleach makes an inexpensive disinfectant solution.
Chlorine bleach makes an inexpensive disinfectant solution. (Image: bottles of cleaning product. bleach. disinfectant. image by L. Shat from

Chlorine sanitizing solutions destroy bacteria, fungi and microbes on hard surfaces. Used in daycare and home settings, chlorine sanitizers prevent the spread of disease. Most state daycare licensing offices require daycare providers to sanitize tables and toys daily using a chlorine solution. Inexpensive and easy to make, the solution loses strength quickly due to heat, sunlight and evaporation. Make fresh solution daily and store it in a dark place away from children.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator
  • Liquid chlorine bleach
  • Cool, fresh water
  • Container (spray bottle or bucket)
  • Spoon
  • Cleaning rag

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Find the formula. Divide the percentage of chlorine in your liquid bleach by 0.5 percent. Subtract 1 from your answer. Your answer is the parts of water you should use for each part bleach. For example, if your answer was 6, you would mix 6 parts water to 1 part chlorine bleach. Because the amount of chlorine in liquid bleach varies depending on the product, using the above formula ensures that your solution will be the correct strength.

Mix your solution. Using the formula above, mix chlorine bleach with cool water. Depending on the amount of solution you need, you can use any measuring device: ounces, cups, gallons, or even an unmeasured pitcher. Stir with a spoon or shake a closed container to mix the solution.

Spray the solution (if using a spray bottle) or apply the solution with a cleaning rag. Allow the solution to remain on the surface for 10 minutes. Wipe the solution off with a paper towel and allow the surface to air dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Chlorine bleach solution will bleach fabrics. Wear an apron to protect your clothes and only use the solution on hard surfaces.
  • Sanitize plastic toys in the dishwasher. If you use chlorine bleach on toys, rinse them thoroughly before allowing children to play with them.
  • Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to prevent disease.
  • Most household settings don't require routine sanitizing. Use chlorine sanitizing solution during periods of illness only.
  • Chlorine bleach can cause skin, eye and lung irritations. Use carefully, keep out of children's reach and follow the label directions.
  • Chlorine sanitizing solution does not kill all bacteria.


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