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Thursday, 19 November 2015 16:24


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No-Bleach No-Bleach

Chlorine bleach has been used as a general germicide for many years. In fact, some health departments still recommend it as a sanitizer and disinfectant. Chlorine bleach is also much cheaper per gallon than hospital-grade disinfectant cleaners. With this going for it, why doesn’t everyone use it?

Here are some facts you should consider before adding bleach to your arsenal of maintenance products:

  1. Chlorine is a strong oxidizing agent – in recent tests, chlorine bleach was exposed to samples of commercial-grade copper, cold rolled steel, and aluminum.
  • The copper samples discolored in three hours and showed green corrosion in 24 hours.
  • Aluminum showed signs of corrosion within 24 hours.
  • On the surface of cold rolled steel rust formed within 30 minutes.
  • On the surface of cold rolled steel rust formed within 30 minutes.

Some grades of stainless steel also can be damaged from the use of products containing chlorine.

A process known as “hydrogen embitterment” may occur as the chlorine bleach attacks the stainless steel, trapping hydrogen gas in the pores of the metal. Over time, the hydrogen can be released, resulting in weakened metal. It is especially damaging to welded joints.

The American Concrete Institute also cautions that sodium hypo chloric (chlorite bleach) will slowly disintegrate concrete and Portland-based mortars or grout.

Finally, many floor care product manufacturers will not stand behind the performance of their floor polishes if they are maintained with chlorine bleach.

Other Facts to Consider:

  • Worker Safety – chlorine is a strong irritant to human tissue. Violent reactions also can occur when chlorine bleach is mixed with amines. The reaction of chlorine bleach and bowl cleaners containing hydrochloric acid can release deadly chlorine gas. Every housekeeper’s nightmare is a vision of the “new guy” keeled over, head first into a toilet bowl, after adding a little bleach to help the acid bowl cleaner brighten a little better.
  • Shelf Life – In just a short shipping and storage time, an industrial concentration of 12 percent can fall to 7 to 10 percent.
  • Efficacy – Chlorine bleach works best in a slightly acid to neutral pH range. Alkaline soils must be removed prior to using the bleach to prevent the chlorine from losing effectiveness. In other words, the surface must be clean if the chlorine (hypo chlorite) is to have any significant effect. The only way you can be assured of killing organisms you want to control is to experiment with different ages/concentrations of the product and test the surfaces after use.
  • Cleaning Ability – Compared to modern disinfectant cleaners, chlorine bleach does not compare to cleaning ability. If you are trying to clean and control germs simultaneously, consider one of the newer-formula disinfectant detergents. With a dilution ratio as low as 1:256, proven efficacy, longer shelf life, and a less-corrosive nature, you might find the new disinfectant detergents are much better bargains than chlorine bleach.
Read 4846 times Last modified on Monday, 28 January 2019 17:35
Dick Grosswald

Dick Grosswald

I've spent the last 29 years becoming an expert in the cleaning in sanitation of Animal Sheltering facilities. I would like to show YOU a Faster, Easier, More Efficient & Less Expensive Way to clean any animal facility. Call me or Email and let me help YOU compare what we do to what YOU do, at what could be a fraction of the cost.

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