Dangers Of Bleach And Its Safer Alternatives

Dangers Of Bleach And Its Safer Alternatives

Do you know how much harm your common household products can cause? One of such products is bleach. It’s like the standard disinfectant, which is used in almost every household for cleaning the germs.

Despite all the fancy TV commercials that you see, declaring it to be safe, it is extremely dangerous if you don’t know what are you using along with it. It can cause severe respiratory problems, particularly in growing kids.

This article is informative for those, which like to make combinations of the bleach, without realizing what they are creating. It is better to educate yourself without even doing it practically. No one would like themselves or their loved ones to get harmed by such a thing.

What is bleach?

Bleach is a common name among household cleaning products. It is a disinfectant, which cleans the surfaces, floors and what not. It is also a stain remover. It is available in liquid and powder form and you can use any of these two.Bleach has chlorine in it or hydrogen peroxide, which make its status a little more chemical.

What is inside bleach?

To understand the harms of bleach, it is necessary to know that what is its composition. Inside a bleach bottle, it is typical to find the following.

  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Sodium hypo chloride
  • Sodium chloride
  • Sodium carbonate
  • Sodium chlorate
  • Sodium polyacrylate
  • Sodium c10- c16 Alkyl Sulfate
  • Hydrogen peroxide

These ingredients are not always safe for human use. They are highly vulnerable of causing an interaction with a certain type of chemicals. This special chemical composition makes it perfect for the use of following particular jobs.

  • Cleaning toilets
  • Mopping the floors
  • Removing stains from tables, windows, glassware.
  • Cleaning and adding shine to glassware.
  • Whitening the clothes.
  • Removing stains from clothes.
  • Cleaning furniture, particularly outdoor furniture.
  • Cleaning the mold.

These are only a few uses and there are a lot more.

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What are the dangers, which bleach, can cause?

Despite the benefits of the bleach, there are a few things, which can cause a problem while using bleach. Take a look at the following.

  • Making bleach combinations

The biggest mistake that many of us do is to mix the bleach with a number of other products. All these products have these warning labels on them, which shows that these interactions can be harmful. They particularly forbade the mixing of bleach with any ammonia product.

But people don’t take care of these things. They don’t read labels and the result occurred is usually a disastrous effect. Let’s know more on what happens when you mix bleach with other powerful agents.

Bleach and Ammonia

This combination is as deadly as it may sound. Both are equally powerful but in opposite regard. It means that combining these two will bring unwanted effects. One is that when you mix bleach and ammonia, the chlorine, which is a part of bleach coverts into chloramine gas.

This gas is extremely dangerous and the exposure can result into any of the following effects.

  • Persistent coughing
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty to breath
  • Chest pain and congestion
  • Eye irritation and watery eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Throat and nose infection
  • Pneumonia

Bleach and common Acidic products

Another combination that you may use but never notice is the bleach and acidic cleaners. These acidic cleaners can be anything i.e. glassware cleaners, toilet cleaners, stain cleaner, drain uncloggers etc.

This combination releases chlorine gas, which can cause many unwanted effects such as.

  • Irritation in eyes
  • Irritation in nose
  • Throat blocking
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose

If you continue to use this combination and ignore the hazards, it is more likely to develop into severe infections such as pneumonia, fluid in lungs etc. Moreover, the chlorine gas can also be absorbed by the skin and cause inflammation. It may show up blisters, pain, and redness.

Bleach and Alcohol

It is a common practice to rub alcohol and acetone for cleaning. By any chance, if you have already used bleach on the surface, it is more dangerous than you think. Many types of alcohol can have cancer-causing agents in them. They can make worst interactions together, which may end up causing lethal diseases in humans.

Bleach and other cleaners

It is probably the most common thing to experience in which people mix bleach in bleach for better effects. Adding one type of bleach to other can cause the enormous fumes to cause. They may look like the same as pesticides. They can cause breathing issues. It is a very bad idea to combine bleach with bleach. Just make sure you don’t do it.

What are the alternative choices for bleach?

Chlorine is the ingredient in bleaches, which you should avoid. If we talk about the harmful interactions, most of them are caused due to the presence of chlorine. You can try other products, which help in cleaning but doesn’t have chloroform causing chlorine gas to it.

Some of the best options that you can try are as follows.

Distilled vinegar

Vinegar is an acidic product, which has a fantastic cleaning product. People may not like how it smells but it’s a sure thing that it will work to keep the germs away and not cause a harmful combination.


Lemon essential oil and lemon juice have rich potential to kill bacteria and fungi. You can dilute it with water and use. It even works well for stains. Make sure that you are storing it in a glass container.The acidic ingredients of lemon juice hinder with the constituents of the plastic and dissolve it.

RELATED- Lemon and honey- Two best ingredients to keep at home

Hydrogen peroxide

Looking for a safer alternative? Hydrogen peroxide is all that you need. It will maintain the whitening of clothes as you do with bleach. You can also use it to disinfect anything. There is so much variety when it comes to safer cleaners. Many of them are eco-friendly.

DIY stain removers

Tired of persistent stains and want to get rid of them? Can’t find a safe alternative to bleach? How about you make one for yourself? There are so many ideas to make the best stain remover which works for glass, surface, and windows too. Just search on the Internet and find the one that suits you.

RELATED- Cleaning Compounds Increase The Risk Of Birth Defects

What should you do for safe home cleaning?

Bleach is one name that has been associated with all cleaning products. It is a common thing, which has multiple usages in our routine life. Most of the times, without even thinking for the second time, we go for such things, which are otherwise very harmful.

Bleach itself is not harmful. There is no problem if you are using it to clean the surfaces, mop the floors or to remove the stains from your window glass. Just don’t combine it with other things, to have an enhanced product.

This idea of matching can create so many problems. As the products may hinder with the constituents of the bleach.

Keep the bleach and all cleaning products away from your children’s reach. Use it for surface cleaning or whitening the clothes but don’t use it against the mold. Using bleach on the mold is useless; it may never end it but encourage it to grow more.

A destructive effect of bleach and its combinations is to cause respiratory illness. It includes asthma, sinus problems, chemical pneumonitis and much more. Make sure that bleach is out of the hands of infants.

By any chance, if someone ingests bleach, make him drink water so that it can dilute it. Throwing up is not a good idea rather water intake is a better choice. Meanwhile, make arrangements for emergency medical care. Alternatively, the best is to use the safe alternates of bleach and avoid making bleach combinations at home.


  • http://articles.dailyamerican.com/2004-12-29/news/26326877_1_skiles-fumes-poisoning\https://www.clorox.com/dr-laundry/chlorine-vs-non-chlorine-bleach/
  • https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/sodium_carbonate#section=Top
  • https://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm

The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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