We recently posted an article on the alternatives to using bleach around the home, so we thought it would be useful to post a follow up article on the dangers of bleach and advise of the best non-toxic alternatives to bleach after reading your comments & tweets!
There’s a reason generations have turned to this solution of sodium hypochlorite (i.e bleach!) besides effective marketing: It’s a very effective pathogen-slayer. In fact, it’s so effective that any bleach product that claims sanitizing or disinfecting powers is classified as a pesticide by the EPA. It’s rather nasty, corrosive stuff, and it belongs on the list of Toxic Chemicals We Can Live Without.
Bleach can cause irritation to the skin and mucous membranes (yellow gloves at the ready!) and respiratory problems. And not only does it exacerbate asthma in those who already have it, bleach can actually cause asthmathrough repeated exposures. Sodium hypochlorite also forms noxious gases when combined with other everyday household cleaners, such as ammonia or acids (even vinegar). And it’s the most common cause of accidental poisoning for kids….
Thankfully, there is a better way. Hot-water-and-soap is a great start, and for many jobs around the home cleaning with soap and water is all you need to get the job done. But if you want to go the extra mile, your cleanup should be followed by sanitising. Cleaning helps physically remove gunk and germs, but sanitising kills them.
So what magical non-bleach elixir shall we call upon for this task? Baking soda & vinegar based DIY products are very much up to the task of sanitising . Some experts advise that undiluted vinegar, left to soak on surfaces for at least 10 minutes (and/or heated up first) can be a useful sanitiser. Perhaps an even better option for the truly germophobic is hydrogen peroxide, an effective sanitizer that doesn’t pack yucky fumes and breaks down into oxygen and water.