Bleach, also known as Sodium hypochlorite is an extremely dangerous chemical to use, especially for the purposes of cleaning the home. It has been used for years and is especially dangerous when mixed with ammonia, not a lot of people know that ammonia is put into spray and glass cleaners.
Bleach is created by a direct electrical current that is sent through sodium chloride (a salt and water solution), this splits the atoms leaving chlorine and caustic soda. The chlorine and caustic soda themselves are lethal, especially the caustic soda as it burns the skin. Both the caustic soda and the chlorine is mixed together to produce what we know as Bleach, now you can see how dangerous is really is, if you are interested in knowing more on the scientific side, please see here.
Is Bleach Organic – Since It Uses Natural Compounds?
Well the short answer is, no. Bleach is organic in the chemical sense but it does undergo some serious radical changes which are not natural and also make it a lot more harmful to us as humans and our environment.
Also remember, not all natural, organic compounds are good for us either.
Let’s take mercury and lead for example, these substances are natural and created by the environment around us, yet they are deadly to humans. The same goes for some plants and herbs, arsenic is found in many fruit pits and mistletoe, just to name a couple.
So, What Is Bleach Doing To Our Health?
Let’s face it, bleach is a poison there is no other way to put it, yet it can be found under kitchen counters and drug stores across the world and it is still in wide use. As it is such in high demand it is important to know the risks associated with bleach and the potential risks it can cause to small children as it effects them more than it would in adults.
Here are just some of the health and environmental concerns:
- When bleach and ammonia are mixed it creates a deadly gas, also remember, urine contains ammonia, so using it in the toilet increases the risks and this can also stop the lungs functioning.
- Chlorine and the soap used for washing up creates mustard gas, the same chemical used in WWI, please remind me, why do we use this in our homes?!
- It is extremely corrosive to the skin, which is why they tell you to wear rubber gloves, it will also effect the eyes, lungs and can actually cause frost bite!
- Chlorine is actually a gas at room temperature, which makes breathing it very likely in the home.
- The family pets are also at risk due to their smaller lung capacity.
Those are just a couple to name, there are literally thousands if you were to browse around online,
Creating Eco-Friendly Bleach Alternatives
I see many people using Bleach to eradicate mold and mildew, yes bleach does indeed kill both of these, but it also kills everything else it touches! Mold and mildew cannot live in dry air, so the first method of attack should be to properly ventilate areas where mold and mildew are forming. You can also open windows, wipe down the shower and bath after use and let the sunlight in wherever possible.
For a simple spray solution for cleaning;
- Mix equal parts white vinegar and water into a spray bottle, spray to effected areas, then wipe clean!
Green living activist Annie B. Bond said that undiluted vinegar may kill up to 82 percent of molds and mildews.
For those looking for the Eco-friendly dry cleaning alternative, there is a wide range available which is much nicer on the environment, they can also whiten clothes and remove those icky stains. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down to water and oxygen and is a biodegradable oxygen-based bleach. Adding half a cup of baking soda to your normal detergent (Eco or non-Eco) will also bring a white glow to your clothes.
- Mixing Bleach Dangers – Washington State Department of Health.
- Accidentally Mixing Bleach & Acid – An experiment carried out by Berkeley.
- Bleach Alternatives – from HowStuffWorks
Author Byline; This article was created to outline the dangers of Bleach, there are plenty of maid services which are becoming Eco-friendly cleaners and are starting to use greener and more environmentally friendly products. I myself never knew how incredibly dangerous it was until I was researching article on creating my own cleaning products.