We all want our homes to be as safe and healthy as they can be, and so some surfaces require disinfection to kill harmful micro-organisms. Chlorine bleach, sodium hypochlorite, when used correctly, is an effective disinfectant in breaking down the protein in micro-organisms like bacteria, fungus, and viruses.
While you can purchase commercial bleach-based disinfectant sprays, you can also create a DIY disinfectant spray for use on most hard, non-porous surfaces.
How Often to Use a Disinfecting Spray
A disinfectant spray should be used frequently when someone in the household is ill or if someone has a compromised immune system. In the kitchen, use the spray before and after meal preparation, especially when preparing meats or fresh fruits and vegetables.
Before You Begin
Bleach degrades if exposed to light or extreme temperatures. But, whether the bottle is opened or not, it will lose potency within six to 12 months after purchase. It will not cause harm because the chemical ions revert to hydrogen and oxygen just like water. It just won't be as effective at disinfecting surfaces or laundry.
Not all chlorine bleach formulas are the same strength. To be effective as a disinfectant, there must be a 5.25% to 6.15% concentration of sodium hypochlorite in the product. Read the label and check the manufacturing dates on the bottle. Open or unopened bottles of bleach should be discarded after one year.
Although chlorine bleach is a fairly common household item, improperly mixing it with certain ingredients can cause dangerous, toxic gases that can become explosive. Keep yourself and your family safe and do not mix bleach with the following:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Acetone and other solvents
- Other acids, such as lemon juice
Always be certain to keep all cleaning supplies, including bleach, out of reach of young children and pets.
Equipment / Tools
- 1 Opaque spray bottle
- 1 Cleaning cloth or sponge
- 1 Protective gloves (optional)
- 1 Old clothing (optional)
- 1 Measuring cups and spoons
- 1 Liquid chlorine bleach
- 1 Water
- Label for bottle
How to Make Your Homemade Bleach Cleaner
Before you begin preparing the disinfecting spray, gather everything together so you can work quickly. It's a good idea to wear protective gloves and old clothing when handling the bleach.
Use the Correct Dilution Ratio
For a disinfecting spray to be effective, you must use the correct dilution ratio. For daily cleaning, mix two cups of water with two teaspoons of bleach. If someone is ill or if you are cleaning away mold or mildew, strengthen the ratio by using only one and one-half cups of water and two teaspoons of chlorine bleach.
In a 16-ounce opaque bottle, add the chlorine bleach and water. Close and label the bottle and shake gently to mix. If undiluted bleach accidentally splashes onto your skin or surrounding surfaces, rinse immediately.
Unless you are planning to clean a very large area immediately, do not create additional bottles of the cleaner until they are needed. Ideally, a fresh mixture should be created each time you clean. Store any unused cleaner in a dark cabinet at a consistent, moderate temperature.
Use the Cleaner Correctly
For the disinfectant cleaner to effectively kill micro-organisms, you must use enough for the surface to remain wet for at least six minutes. First, remove any loose dirt or debris on the surface you are cleaning, then, spray on the cleaner.
Wait six minutes and rinse the surface with a damp sponge or cleaning cloth. Rinsing is especially important for food preparation surfaces or those that will be touched with bare hands.
Where to Safely Use Your DIY Disinfecting Cleaner
Your DIY disinfecting cleaner can be used on most non-porous hard surfaces like laminate countertops, ceramic tile, bathroom fixtures, and vinyl flooring.
Chlorine bleach is corrosive and should not be used on marble, non-stainless steel, aluminum, silver, copper, or chipped enamel. Do not use a bleach-based cleaner on electronics, porous surfaces, such as wood, or on soft surfaces like upholstery or carpet.