There seems to be a misconception in general about cleaning with bleach. The fact is, bleach does not have a cleaning agent therefore is not suitable for cleaning. It has some disinfectant properties but the fact that bleach is corrosive makes it a harmful chemical to use.
Lots of people will say they have been cleaning with bleach for years when in fact they may have been using bleach, but it has not been cleaning much of anything.
Research on the effects of bleach
We have found research carried out by Hillyard, a janitorial manufacturer & distributor, where they ran a competitive analysis tests on a couple of their products Re-juv-nal and Vindicator (both cleaning & disinfectant agents) vs. Clorox bleach. The research compare the label claims, cleaning efficiency, deleterious action on all types of floors and also a quat resistance test on floor polish.
The first set of tests was done on samples of commercial grade copper, stainless steel, and cold rolled. The bleach had discoloured copper in 3 hours and showed green corrosion in 24 hours. Cold rolled steel was showing rust in thirty minutes!
Re-Juv-Nal and Vindicator + on the other hand, brightened copper in 30 minutes, and showed no effect on stainless steel after 24 hours of continuous contact. Rust did appear on cold rolled steel, but instead of 30 minutes, it took place after three hours of continuous contact.
Using bleach as cleaner, sanitizer or disinfectant
Bleach is often used as a sanitiser, however, the use of bleach must be done on previously cleaned surfaces since the oxidising effect of bleach can be tied up with soils. This impaired the ability of the bleach to function properly as a disinfecting agent. It also means that bleach is not a cleaner and cannot be used as such.
Bleach usually requires pre-cleaning in order for it work properly, whereas using proper cleaning & disinfecting products achieve at least the same and most likely a better result than bleach, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in one step. To both clean and disinfect, the preferred choice would be a good quality disinfectant.