Versatile and inexpensive, Clorox bleach can help keep your home clean, deodorized and disinfected. However, Clorox contains powerful chemicals that can damage surfaces and fill your home with toxic residue and fumes if used improperly. When cleaning with bleach, always take the necessary safety precautions to protect you and your family.
Clorox May Discolor Exposed Items
Clorox can damage various items, including fabric, carpet, wood and upholstery. When the bleach comes in contact with the surface, it can either strip the surface of its color or cause unsightly and permanent discolorations. By covering floors and furniture with a drop cloth you can help prevent damage to the item while cleaning with Clorox. If possible, move the item you are cleaning with Clorox outside and place on top of a plastic tarp.
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Danger: Clorox Bleach Fumes
The Clorox itself produces harsh fumes that can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches and fatigue if breathed in for long periods of time if you don't use Clorox safely. The fumes can also cause a burning sensation in the nose and throat. If you experience any of the side effects, move into fresh air immediately. Sit for several minutes, taking long, deep breathes until the feeling passes. By keeping the work area well-ventilated when using bleach, you will lower the possibility of experiencing these side effects.
Skin and Eye Exposure to Clorox
Skin irritation will occur from exposure to Clorox bleach. Skin damage will result from prolonged contact with the material. Should Clorox come into contact with skin, flush the area immediately with cool water and wash for 15 minutes. Consult your primary care physician if a rash or irritation occurs. To prevent contact, always wear rubber gloves, long-sleeved shirt and pants when using bleach.
Immediately flush the eye with cool water. Hold the eyelid open and allow cool, running water to rinse the chemical from the eye for 20 minutes. If the person whose eye has been splashed with Clorox is wearing contacts, flush the eye for 5 minutes with cool running water before removing the contact lens, and continue flushing for another 15 minutes. Contact a physician after flushing the eye for 20 minutes.
Don't Mix Clorox With Other Substances
Like bleach, ammonia is an inexpensive and versatile cleaning chemical that is a common ingredient in glass cleaners. Mixing Clorox with ammonia or products that contain ammonia will result in dangerous fumes that could prove deadly. To prevent the toxic fumes, never mix Clorox with other cleaning chemicals.
Ingestion of Clorox Bleach
Ingesting Clorox can lead to serious health complications that can be fatal. Even simply gargling with bleach at the very least can cause burns to the mouth, tongue, throat and esophagus. In healthy adults, a lethal dose of ingested Clorox bleach varies from 7 to 18 ounces of undiluted product.
Never induce vomiting if someone you know ingests Clorox. Instead, have the individual drink a glassful of cool water and remain calm. If irritation, dizziness or vomiting occurs or the amount of bleach ingested was substantial, contact a physician.