November 17, 2022

Is Disinfectant the Same as Bleach?

Is Disinfectant the Same as Bleach?

Disinfectants and bleach are both chemicals that are used to kill bacteria. They are both effective in disinfecting surfaces and objects, but they have different chemical compositions. Bleach is a sodium hypochlorite solution, while disinfectants are a variety of different chemicals. Some common disinfectants include alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and quaternary ammonium compounds.

If you have access to bleach, you may be wondering if you can use it as a disinfectant. Bleach is a powerful disinfectant and can kill a wide range of germs. However, it can also be harmful to your health, so it is important to use it safely.

Bleach is a favorite cleaning agent for most people in the laundry. You will often find this product in most households, mainly for cleaning purposes. However, you can use bleach for disinfection purposes. Most disinfectants will require you to clean the surfaces before applying them.  But when it comes to bleach, you can use it for cleaning surfaces as well as disinfecting them.

Uses of Bleach

  1. Disinfecting and cleaning surfaces: Bleach is a powerful disinfectant that kills most types of bacteria, fungi, and viruses on household surfaces.
  2. Laundry whitening: Adding bleach to laundry helps whites stay bright and prevents yellowing.
  3. Stain removal: Bleach can help remove stubborn stains from clothing and fabrics.
  4. Sanitizing dishes: A solution of bleach and water can be used to sanitize dishes and other kitchen items.
  5. Mold and mildew removal: Bleach is effective in killing mold and mildew in bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas of the home.
  6. Cleaning toilets: Bleach can be used to clean and disinfect toilets, sinks, tubs, and other bathroom fixtures.
  7. Swimming pool maintenance: Chlorine bleach is often used to sanitize swimming pools.

Bleach is the Best disinfectant you have always missed out

Bleach is an excellent disinfectant. It is especially effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. In addition to being a powerful disinfectant, it is also very inexpensive and easy to use. To use bleach for disinfection, dilute it in water following the instructions on the label and use it to clean surfaces. Be sure to wear protective gloves and avoid contact with your eyes and skin.

How to Prepare a Bleach Disinfectant

With little knowledge and the necessary tools and equipment, you can easily prepare bleach at home. Just a few steps and you are ready to clean and disinfect your house.

Tools and Equipment Required

  • Household bleach
  • Water
  • A spray can and bucket
  • Tablespoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Damp cloth
  • Personal protective equipment (mask, goggles, rubber gloves, and plastic apron)

Preparation Procedure

  1. Put on your personal protective equipment (PPE). Bleach may irritate the mucous membrane, the skin, and your airways. You should also remember to be in gumboots or any shoes you will not mind bleaching in case of a spill. Consider having a mask that will cover your hair too to prevent discoloring it in case of a splash.
  2. Ensure your room is well-ventilated when you are preparing or applying bleach. Keep windows open to allow for the circulation of air. You can also make your bleach in the open air if you can’t find a well-ventilated house. Some stronger bleach may emit toxic fumes, which may cause health problems if used in a poor-ventilated room.
  3. Get bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite and dilute it with water. Observe mixing the two ingredients in a ratio of 1:99(10 ml of bleach for every 1 liter of water) for general household cleaning. For disinfection purposes, mix the bleach and water in a ratio of 1:49(10ml of bleach for every half a liter of water). For a heavy-duty task, you can use a cup in your dilution process. Healthy facilities require slightly more concentrations to deal with the taints caused by contagions effectively. Make the solution of bleach and water in a ratio of 1:10.
  4. If bleach contains above or below 5.25 percent concentration of sodium hypochlorite, make adjustments in the ratio of your dilution appropriately.
  5. Use a tablespoon or a measuring cup to measure the amount of bleach to add accurately.
  6. Get the spray can or container and pour the bleach carefully into it. Then add water in the ratio mentioned above depending on the purpose of your end product. Using this order to mix the two ingredients will prevent the splashing of the bleach.
  7. Once you have mixed the ingredients, tighten up the lid on the container, and shake gently to combine them.
  8. Your solution is now ready for use.

You can do the washing of the surfaces using soap and clean water before applying the bleach. Ensure you thoroughly wet the surfaces when applying your solution and allow them to stay wet for a few minutes to kill germs. Then rinse the surfaces using clean water and wipe them to dry. Dispose of the gloves and the mask carefully. If they are reusable, soak them together with other tools you used in the exercise and rinse them thoroughly before reusing them. Finally, after you are through, you can wash your hands and dry them using a clean towel.

Considerations When Preparing Your Bleach Disinfectant

  1. Remember to use cold water for dilution. Hot water renders the active bleach ingredient ineffective by decomposing it.
  2. Consider preparing a bleach solution you will use every time you want to disinfect your house. You should discard any leftovers. Making excess is not practical since the leftover will lose its effectiveness with time.
  3. You should not add any other ingredient by any chance to the bleach solution. There are some health hazards attached to mixing the following ingredients.
  4. Acidic compounds. These compounds create chlorine gas when added to the bleach. If you expose yourself to chlorine gas, you may experience chest pains and vomiting.
  5. Adding this compound to your bleach converts chlorine present in the bleach to chloramine gas, which may cause shortness of breath, coughing, and pneumonia if you breathe in its fumes.
  6. On the other hand, when you add alcohol to bleach, it converts to chloroform. Chloroform is responsible for fatigue, dizziness, and even fainting if you inhale it.

Benefits of Using Bleach Disinfectant

  • Bleach can be used for multiple purposes at home.
  • It is cheap and readily available. It can be economically used for simple disinfection and cleaning jobs to heavy-duty cleaning and disinfection of commercial places.
  • It is a powerful cleaner and disinfectant. Bleach is believed to be effective six times more than iodine. This explains why it is preferred to disinfect swimming pools.

Precautions to Take When Using Bleach

  • Bleach can irritate the skin, airway, and mucous membranes. It is recommended to use personal protective equipment whenever you are using the product. If it gets into your eyes, you should rinse them immediately with clean water for 15 minutes before consulting your doctor.
  • It decomposes under heat leading to loss of effectiveness. Due to this reason, you should store it at room temperature and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight. For the store-bought bleach, consider using it immediately after opening the seal. If stored for long after opening, it also loses its effect on germs. Store-bought bleach expires after one year from the time of manufacture.
  • After diluting bleach, you should use it within 24 hours for effective disinfection.
  • You should not use too much-concentrated bleach. It may lead to the production of toxic substances that can be harmful to the ecosystem.
  • Bleach can be corrosive to surfaces if not used properly. Nevertheless, consider avoiding bleach use on metal, nylon, wool, and silk. Use color-friendly bleach (hydrogen peroxide) on colored fabric and painted surfaces.
  • Avoid mixing bleach with other detergents, as this may reduce its effect on pathogens. If you combine the bleach with acidic detergents like those used in toilet cleaning, it will produce toxic gas. Not only should you avoid mixing but also consider storing the bleach separately from these other cleaners.


Bleach can work as a disinfectant. It all depends on the ratio of bleach to water dilution. The percentage of the presence of sodium hypochlorite also matters in preparing a disinfectant out of bleach. Intensive care should be observed through the process of making and applying the bleach solution in your cleaning and disinfection exercise. Always keep bleach far from the reach of children and pets. Nevertheless, you can easily relieve yourself from a tight budget for cleaning and disinfection by opting for your homemade bleach. participates in the Amazon Associates Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. This means that whenever you buy a product on Amazon from a link on here, we get a small percentage of its price.