Chlorine Bleach: Magic or Evil

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Forever ago I wrote about bleach and eczema and to this very day it is one of my top read posts with a high number of comments. Anytime I seem to talk about chlorine bleach there is uproar on both sides of the fence. Those that inhale the strong scent and like its disinfecting whiting super powers and those that pretty much think the stuff is evil.  I haven’t really found a middle of the road with it comes to chlorine bleach – you either use it or you don’t.

When I talked about carrots and chlorine bleach I was called names and basically told I was stupid (insert heavy sigh and eye roll).  To be honest, I haven’t used chlorine bleach in my home for 4 years and I haven’t missed the stuff so I’m not sure why people swear by it but some do.  I have to agree with Eco Child’s Play, I don’t believe chlorine bleach belongs in our homes or where children play, it just isn’t necessary in my opinion. Soaking my kids bottles, toys and pacifiers in the stuff, diluted or not is just silly – we can clean and disinfect without the harsh toxic and corrosive cleaner. As a past preschool teacher and child care worker, I know it used often for cleaning an disinfecting and I’m guilty for soaking toys, spraying tables and most likely not diluting properly – which is exactly what I suspect many teachers are guilty of but you only know what you know and do what you are told.

Chlorine bleach is highly caustic, meaning it can burn skin and eyes. It can be fatal if swallowed and it can easily aggravate asthma symptoms. With the ultra-concentrated chlorine bleaches sold on the market is easy over use or not dilute appropriately. If you have bleach in your home just look at the warning label. When it comes to the dangers of chlorine bleach and the link to childhood asthma and poising I spell it out here but what I want to now know is what you think.

So tell me do you use chlorine bleach at home or how about your child’s school or childcare center? What are your thoughts on using this cleaner around children and bleaching toys and their environment – does that really keep them safe?

13 thoughts on “Chlorine Bleach: Magic or Evil”

  1. I don’t use bleach in my laundry anymore, and my whites come out just fine. I really dislike the stuff, but I will admit that I keep a bottle around for getting rid of mold in the bathroom. If I could find something else that worked as well, I’d happily switch to that. My babies are now teens, so I don’t have to worry about disinfecting toys anymore, but I wouldn’t use bleach for that either. I cringe when I see those TV ads using the bleach wipes to clean kitchen counters — YUCK!

  2. I know a lot of people that keep it on hand but don’t use it often. Does it expire?

  3. Yes bleach does lose its effectiveness over time. I’m pretty careful in what I recommend to people with bleach. I’ve found most people use it improperly. To sanitize food surfaces it only has to be 200ppm which is 1 tbsp per gallon of water and for other surfaces it’s 500ppm which is about 2.5 TBSP per gallon. If you smell fumes you’re using it wrong.
    That said I only use it for specific applications. Most people don’t need homes THAT clean. If you’re cleaning for someone with a compromised immune system, that’s a whole other ball of wax and you must follow their health care provider’s guidelines.
    So I guess I’m pretty middle of the road on the subject.

  4. Domestic_goddess

    I would save your money and ask the daycare if you can bring the organic products. Places like daycares, preschools, etc are state regulated and there is a short list of items that are considered “OK” to use in the centers. If your organic supplies, no matter how great it is, is not on the list, you will be wasting money and time taking it there becuase they legally cannot use it.

  5. We do NOT use bleach here. I have skin problems and asthma. I stopped using it LONG before I had kids and found alternatives. I would never use bleach to wipe anything that might be touched by me or my kids, like the kitchen counter. Recently we had to buy some to abate some mold and both my 13 year old and I had serious reactions to it. I will be looking for something else to treat mold in the basement. 

  6. slipknotguy86

    We use it at the blood donation processing center i used to work at just for a blood spill to disinfect the area and kill any blood diseases. I understand using it for that but would never use it on something i would eat off of.

  7. you know guys n gals, i don’t use bleach either, and i make sure to only use biodegradable soaps and i even use the soap and backing soda on things like mold, like say in the shower or whatever, and you know what, it works! And even when i need to clean my volcano vaporizer for example, i just use the super eco-friendly all purpose cleaner from the website and it works like a charm! And I must thank the greenandcleanmom for the suggestion!

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