Shame on you Clorox: Bleach Doesn't Belong in our Homes

According a Clorox commercial on TV today (during a baby show, meaning lots of Moms saw this ad) you should sanitize not only your child’s toys but also their BOTTLES and SIPPY cups in a bleach and water solution.

Are you freaking kidding me?

Bleach is a huge cause of calls to the poison control center, and the makers of Clorox Chlorine Bleach want us to soak young children’s food containers in it?

These are just some of the oh so useful suggestions found on Clorox.com under AMAZING USES. Heh… the only amazing thing about bleach is its ability to strip fabric of all colors and eat through fabric when used repeatedly or in higher concentrations (and that SMELL!)

Chlorine bleach is bad for the environment and more importantly, it is bad for the health of our families and our homes. While traditional household concentrations of bleach won’t cause any life threatening reaction if ingested, it is still a toxic chemical, one that our homes should be free of.

The MSDS for Clorox Regular bleach states: “DANGER: CORROSIVE. May cause severe irritation or damage to eyes and skin. Vapor or mist may irritate. Harmful if swallowed. Keep out of reach of children.”

I’m just absolutely shocked at the recommendation to clean an infants bottles and sippy cups with a bleach solution. For one, WHY do we need to sanitize to the level of killing all bacteria (good and bad)? If for some reason, sanitation is required, boiling water works wonders without chemicals. Many dishwashers on the market today have a sanitation cycle, you can stick lots of toys, bottles and sippy cups on the top rack and they come out sparkling clean.

According to Clorox, one should mix one tablespoon of bleach with a gallon of water and soak prewashed bottles in the solution for two minutes. Then you should pour the solution through the nipples and drain dry. They don’t even recommend a final rinse.

I’d like to think that we are well beyond the days of feeling like we have to sanitize our children’s bottles. But if you do want to or have been advised to by a Doctor, then use boiling water (you know, the old fashioned method our parents used when we were infants). There are also options on the market for microwave sanitation.

Comments

  1. That’s marketing for you. Thanks for this informative post. Useful outgoing links which I really appreciate. I can tell you’re passionate about the topic, rightfully so!

  2. So what should us green-minded moms use in lieu of a bleach pen on the occasions we need to remove a stain from a white piece of laundry?

    I rarely use it, but do keep one in my home and never really thought about it.

  3. Crimson Wife…Try this…pour cornstarch onto the stain and let set for 15 minutes or so. Cornstarch absorbs moisture so it will lift a lot of the stain. Wash as usual.

    Thanks for this great post!!! That commercial drives me nuts too! I just want to go right through the TV. I’m going to blog about this too and link to you within. The power of blogging!!

  4. Rebecca- great tip for stains!

    Also, I use hydrogen peroxide directly on the spot. Vinegar and lemon juice are also effective. It may take some experimenting to figure out what works for which stain with you water (harder or softer water can cause differing results!).

    I make a paste out of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and my Eco’s liquid detergent. Then apply with a toothbrush (another great use for old toothbrushes). Only make a small amount as the hydrogen/baking soda mix will cause foaming, etc… and make a mess if you try to store it!

    Good Luck! I cannot STAND Clorox.

  5. I’m glad to see all the helpful tips on how to “green clean” stains. I have to admit, I did use bleach a couple months ago. We had a septic problem, and it migrated to the kids’ bathtub! That would be my one “excuse” for it… but then I green cleaned it numerous times before the little guy set foot in it.
    Otherwise, I agree: there are plenty of alternatives.

  6. Tara Corcoran says:

    I just saw this commercial this weekend and couldn’t believe it. After soaking, just rinse and let dry. Really???? Why not mix some bleach in with the juice for a nice cocktail. I really could not believe this commercial. Even in the days where I was sanitize happy – I was extremely careful about what I used to clean things that went in my kids mouths.

  7. I also noticed today during a TLC baby show, Clorox recommended soak, rinse dry for toys and soak and dry for bottles. The commercial needs to be edited at the very least to indicate a rinse for bottles as well. We mothers have to make concious decisions based on all the marketing ploys out there, it is our responsibility to make educated choices. There is likely an issue the lack of education on the use manufactured chemicals and sterilization for any application.

  8. Fiona Murray says:

    You need to get your facts straight. Every product needs to put scary disclaimers on it’s product. For goodness sake, WATER is corrosive as well. Should you not use that around your baby? Bleach breaks down mainly to salt and water.

  9. Fiona Murray is right when she states that Clorox Liquid Bleach breaks down to saltwater — which is back what it begins with. Also, It’s viruses that really make kids ill. Bleach is one of the reasons why so many lives have been spared over the years due to it’s viral killing properties — it has saved thousands of lives. If you don’t believe me, go ask the Red Cross to prove it to you. So before you jump off the deep end, and get everybody stirred up with a bunch of ignorant inaccuracies — get your facts straight Jaime — and quick spreading lies about the “myths” around Bleach.

    Rick- everything stated here is factual. Clorox does not break down to saltwater completely. There are byproducts left over which Clorox states will be taken care of by the septic or sewer system. I’m not sure about yours, but my septic tank treats NOTHING and chlorine bleach is highly discouraged for users of a septic tank because it kills all the beneficial bacteria causing septic issues, like nasty overflow. There’s some virus and bacteria to make people sick. We do not use chlorine bleach in our home and my children and daycare children are sick less than average, so I don’t buy that its necessary to prevent the spread of illness. There are plenty of alternatives out there.

    • Katharine says:

      Rick, I did ask the authorities – not the Red Cross, but the CDC, that is the Centers for Disease Control, and they do not agree with you. Well, the pharmaceutical industry’s marketing is alive and well. Growing up in Europe, I can assure you that my mother never used bleach. For some reason, my sister and I both reached adulthood without succumbing to deadly viral or bacterial infections. Our baby bottles and other feeding accessories were sanitised with steam, a method that worked so well that I also used it for my daughter who is now 13. I do not have bleach in my household. I use vinegar, lemon-based cleaners, Method products, etc. I also do not use antibacterial wipes or soaps. I think this is mostly an American mentality, and I have noticed that you have one of the highest rates of allergies in the world. The use of all these products weakens the immune system, and it also causes bacteria to become resistant resulting in even more dangerous infections. It’s a vicious cycle.

  10. Bleach is a horrible health hazard. I use to use it to disinfect my house. I now have chronic lung problems because of it. When ever I am around bleach even in the smallest amounts it takes my breath away and I can not breath!!!!
    It is a shame too because it is used in all childcare centers. I can’t believe it is even recomended for use there. I hope more kids don’t develop breathing problems. Vinager in a 5 percent or higher solution works just as well as bleach and it is safer.

    • Susan,
      Vinegar is not a disinfectant. Please visit the Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov or the US environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov.

      If you tell people it is a disinfectant they might believe you and use it to disinfect their cutting board after preparing raw chicken. This could cause a food borne illness in the household that will not only make someone very sick but if you are elderly or less than toddler age, could be deadly.

  11. just because something breaks down to salt and water, does not mean it is “safe’ or does not pose a risk of health hazards. the chlorine in bleach is the hazard, oxygenated bleach is generally safer.

  12. JR Trantow says:

    This is proof that idiots are taking over the world! Dishwasher will not kill most viruses or bacterial organisms you need something stronger that will stop the spread of infectious diseases. I run a day care and will put a table-spoon of bleach to my dishwasher to sterilize the toys and dishes. Just because one idiot failed to follow the directions and call the company for proper use don’t allow them to change the world. People who can’t breath around bleach are 95% of them are smokers and will not tell you. If you follow the safety sheet of the product or use the MSDS material safety data sheet will not have problems. Medicines in the cabinets are more hazardous, paints, gas, and oils in the garage or basement are worse to the environment human health then bleach!

    • I totally agree with you! I am a nurse and I have been using bleach to disinfect things for years. Since chlorine evaporates within minutes, it is safe to use on toys and bottles. However, if you are not comfortable doing this, simply rinse with clear water to remove the bleach smell or taste. I like to rinse my tea pitcher with Clorox, not because it is stained from tea but, for some reason, after awhile it takes on a moldy smell and taste. The Clorox kills the mold on contact!

  13. Bleach is bad news period. The fumes? Anything that smells so strongly that you must use it in a well ventilated area doesn’t belong in my home.

    Bleach DOES NOT break down COMPLETELY to salt + water:
    “The remaining 2 percent to 5 percent breaks down to form by-products that are effectively treated by municipal wastewater treatment plants or septic systems.”

    That was quoted directly from Clorox’s website on bleach and the environment. So, we have salt, water and 2-5% of unknown by-products which will be effectively treated by wastewater plants or septic systems?

    Huh…. by the way, chlorine bleach kills the good bacteria lurking in your septic tank… you know the little guys who eat up all the junk and keep your septic from having major issues.

    The use of chlorine bleach doesn’t fit with a chemical free home… and we that’s what we are all about here. Some people want to gloss over chlorine bleach by making claims such as “breaks down to salt+water”, etc… when in fact those claims are not the complete truth.

    If a product has nasty (eye burning) fumes, eats through clothing, burns my skin, etc… it’s not coming into my house and it definitely isn’t being used on my children’s products.

    I am also a daycare provider. I have a natural home without any commercial chemicals. We use vinegar, lemon juice, tea tree oil and water for disinfecting and cleaning purposes. I can tell you we do not have more illness than any other daycare, I would venture to say we have less than most in our area. Bleach is not necessary to clean and disinfecting is only necessary when there is a virus or bacteria present (which isn’t often). Over disinfecting leads to more illness because we can’t fight off the germs.

    No home should have hazardous substances like paint, gas and oils laying around. We certainly don’t. Paint gets used and then RECYCLED… the same with motor oil and cooking oils… we only bring in the amount of gasoline needed to run the mower and don’t store any extra outside of the mower. These items are not (or shouldn’t be) sitting in the house (or used in the house) where a child has access to them and you certainly aren’t using them on your child’s toys and bottles.

    • Silly girl! What do you think they put in city water to purify it? And the swimming pool? Chlorine of course! Neither vinegar, lemon juice or tea tree oil disinfect anything. You are kidding yourself if you think it does.

  14. Wow this is ridiculous. Bleach is one of the best sanitizers we, as the human race, have to kill microorganisms. If you eat at a restaurant or a bar or ANY food service establishment chances are they use bleach diluted to 100ppm with water to sanitize. You do not need to rinse anything with water after using this dilution of bleach. Its RECOMMENDED by the FDA and is very common in food safety.

    The fact is that this quote, “We use vinegar, lemon juice, tea tree oil and water for disinfecting and cleaning purposes.” doesn’t jive with food safety. Vinegar, Lemon Juice, and tea tree oil are acids. Acids are effective at killing SOME bacterias, but I would venture to say they are about 80% less effective than a simple dilution of bleach. You need the oxidation property of bleach to thoroughly kill bacteria and disinfect surfaces.

    If you want a “safer” alternative to bleach, I would suggest hydrogen peroxide, as it acts as an oxidizer.

    If you are so against using bleach I suggest two things; Stop spreading ludicrous claims with no scientific evidence to support your conclusion. And secondly, perhaps you should pick up a chemistry book, learn something about science, and then make a claim.

    Your mindset is the exact reason we don’t have nuclear energy as out main source of power. Misinformation and drawing conclusions from hearsay or not fully understating. Here is a little FYI Nuclear plants produce about 97% less radiation than coal burning plants. I bet you would have said that the other way around…

    • Katharine says:

      My aunt used to run a restaurant in Germany (30+ years), and I can assure you that she did not use chlorine bleach. She was very eco-conscious before it became fashionable and popular, and used natural cleaners, etc. Despite that she never had any health issues. Her place was spotless, and passed every safety and health inspection with flying colours. Again, I think this is a uniquely American fixation/issue.
      BTW, her place was extremely popular among American soldiers and tourists who would rave about the quality of her food and her establishment. She has thousands of guest book entries from people who came back dozens of times.

  15. Hi,
    I completely agree about the clorox bleach. It DOES NOT belong in a household. I nearly died yesterday after cleaning my bathtub with it. This product s/b banned.

  16. you are making it sound like they want you to soak the cups in a whole tub of straight bleach, you never heard of diluting with water…dumbass…

  17. Does vinegar kill viruses? i think not. Virus are what make kids sick. You’d be better off to use an alcohol solution, vs vinegar. At least the properties of alcohol has the ability to kill viruses.

  18. Try using the scented bleach. It does not have the strong odor as the regular strength bleach. More pleasant scent to use around the house if the standard scent bothers you.

  19. Do you realize that hospitals, doctor’s offices, and pharmacies use bleach to sanitize surfaces? How about restaurants? They use bleach to sanitize cooking surfaces, food trays, dishes, silverware, and counter tops.
    Bleach breaks down into sodium chloride in the environment. Sodium chloride is also known by its other name: table salt.
    There are plenty of more dangerous chemicals you use on a daily basis.

  20. Vic Maietta says:

    “Chlorine bleach is bad for the environment and more importantly, it is bad for the health of our families and our homes.”

    I’m just adding my 50 cents worth. If something is bad for the environment, it’s way more significant than just your family. Maybe not to you but in the real scope of things, toxins in the environment are not “out there,” they are everywhere and will harm everything. The environment keeps ALL life alive on Earth and it’s not just saving whales! Without the environment, we have no food, water, soil, resources- so the environment is way more important than a sick family. I know the truth hurts, but what can I do?

  21. Christie says:

    I cannot believe the commercial! I am a Clorox user for moldy rags in the laundry, but that’s about all I use it for. I would never put bleach in my baby’s bottles.

  22. healthymommy says:

    Thank you for writing about this. I actually spoke with a lady who I once asked how to quickly remove smell from my kitchen trashcan, and she said that she is a day care director and she sprays the toddler room after diaper changes and it works wonders with removing odor from the air……., glad my toddler isn’t in that room every day. People need to educate themselves.

  23. Sorry, JR Trantow but you need to get your facts straight. People who can’t breathe around bleach are not smokers. Bleach is a hazard, the bottle says to only use in a “well ventilated area”!

    Please keep believing what the ADVERTISERS say and keep adding to their pockets. THEY wouldn’t have a reason to mislead you now would they?

  24. Explain how a teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of water is more dangerous than the water itself with fluoride, lead, bacterias and parasites and who knows what else in it. If you’ve ever taken a chem class, you’d know baking powder, salt, vinegar can be caustic if not dangerous as well if you’re careless or over indulgent with them. The key is “clean” – whatever works, green or mean. Be responsible, do what works for you and know your facts about products and marketing.

    • Katharine says:

      I had several years of chemistry, and I also know that bleach and ammonia result in chlorine gas, which was used as a weapon in World War I.
      Oh, and here’s another bit of information for you: A recent European study indicated that sodium hypochlorite and organic chemicals (e.g., surfactants, fragrances) contained in several household cleaning products can react to generate chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chlorinated compounds are emitted during cleaning applications, some of which are toxic and probable human carcinogens. The study showed that indoor air concentrations significantly increase (8-52 times for chloroform and 1-1170 times for carbon tetrachloride, respectively, above baseline quantities in the household) during the use of bleach containing products.
      Here is the source: http://pubs.acs.org/journal/esthag
      It’s a scientific journal.

      • Bleach and ammonia can react to form monochloramine, dichloramine, nitrogen trichloride, chlorine gas, nitrogen gas, and hydrochloric acid. This reaction is also very exothermic (heat generating).

        I don’t care to be a part of the bleach or no bleach discussion, but for anyone reading this – NEVER mix bleach and ammonia containing products (clorox and windex for example) together.

  25. Bleach Sucks says:

    FDA are a bunch of idiots, they once allowed the promotion of smoking as a healthy way to treat the throat!

    Stay natural keep the big chemical companies out of your house.

    Germs don’t make people sick, weak immune systems do.

    • Katharine says:

      Agreed, Bleach Sucks. I really don’t trust the FDA. They are too influenced by big pharma.

      • Katharine
        Thank you for being a becon of light in the storm of stupidity that seems to be excepted these days.
        “A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have….”

        Thomas Jefferson

        • cindy,

          i laughed when i read your post and suggestion that others are involved in a “storm of stupidity”. i was wondering what kind of “storm” you are in?

          in a short post, you not only blatantly misspell the word “beacon”, but go on to misattribute a GERALD FORD quote to thomas jefferson.

          if i had to guess, something tells me that you might be a beacon of stupidity.

  26. I work in a pharmacy and we compound bleach and distilled water to make a dressing that helps heal wounds that are are not healing properly. Small amounts of bleach kill bacteria. You also flush bleach thru well water systems to kill bacteria that can cause illness and swimming pools use chlorine to sanitize the water. And just recently a medical study found that putting a small amount of bleach in kids bath water can help heal eczema. All chemicals are not bad many save lives everyday. The trick is moderation and getting all the facts before you act and write on blogs.

  27. What can I do for my skin, I was cleaning my walls with bleach and it burned the skin of parts of my hands and arms?

  28. CLOROX bleach rocks! says:

    THe reason they do this is because bleach is completely safe. IF you know how to use it. All three of my kids are healthy and I have only used clorox to sanitize, but then again, I also have a background in chemistry and know how to make proper dilutions. my guess is that the general public does not. I do not suggest it is for every household, but you should know that Clorox bleach works well because it is oxidized, but cheap-o brands are not always so. be careful what you choose and how you do it folks! babies can be harmed by “natural” cleaners too.

  29. Matt Lowman says:

    @ Shalini
    “I completely agree about the clorox bleach. It DOES NOT belong in a household. I nearly died yesterday after cleaning my bathtub with it. This product s/b banned.”

    … a bathroom is typically a small, enclosed area with limited ventilation. Without diluting the bleach in water, of course you are going to run a severe health risk. Even with dilution, you still want to use it when the door is OPEN, with the air vent running.

    @ Jamie Irvin:

    “Bleach is bad news period. The fumes? Anything that smells so strongly that you must use it in a well ventilated area doesn’t belong in my home.”

    If you want a “chemical free home” make sure to filter all your tap water, for every purpose… ever. Tap water has trace chemicals which sanitize it (chlorine, for example… found in BLEACH nonetheless, fluoride, etc)

    @ E Magnet:

    Yes. I agree 100%

    @ the majority of the people saying “BLEACH IS THE DEVIL”… get serious. Learn to dilute things, and how to handle it properly. Heck, even vinegar can be dangerous… splash some of that in your eyes and see what happens.

  30. here’s a solution, if you don’t like it, don’t use it. don’t knock the people who do. its a personal decision, what works for some might not for others. just use common sense while using any chemical.

  31. Microwave to sanitize????? Really I though better advice would have been given by this website. DO NOT USE A MICROWAVE!!!

  32. bleach water is required to be used in the food industry and in childcare! Its one of the finaly stages when cleaning anything. And your not allowed to wipe it off or rinse it off our it deplites the purpose. Bleach water drys and isn’t harmful or they wouldn’t make it reguired!

  33. Laura- most American’s have a microwave in their homes and several companies make microwave sterilization kits for baby bottles. Our home is microwave free, but I recognize that most people do use one.

    SJ- Bleach water is NOT required in my state for childcare, it is RECOMMENDED. There is a difference. Believing that governments will only require or recommend an item that is SAFE is incorrect and unsafe thinking. The FDA has proven this many times over. I am a Registered Childcare provider and I do not use chlorine bleach in my home for anything. My inspectors are aware of this. I use hydrogen peroxide or diluted lemon juice or diluted tea tree oil in a spray bottle to disinfect after I clean. It is a safer option for home and the earth.

  34. I just was cleaning for many hours with straight bleach. Now I can’t stop coughing, today, my eyes keep watrering & I keep sneezing, I feel all stopped up in my nose, & I just plain can’t breath very good. What the heck is going on. And what do I do about this. ?? TY. Concerned. Now I feel like I am getting a headache, as well.

    Sherry- I would advise lots and lots of fresh air and a call to the Doctor. If you start experiencing respiratory distress, then go to the ER. I’m not a Doctor, but I do know that inhaling chemicals esp. at full strength can be dangerous.-Jamie Ervin

    • That is also why “It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” Good luck, read the label next time and I hope you feel better soon.

  35. Beckinah says:

    I think some people have chosen to go without Clorox because of the adverse affects that they have experienced after using it incorrectly. I think that Clorox when used with the proper ratio to water is an excellent way to clean and disinfect. I personally use it to keep dirt from collecting in the cracks/scratches in my Corelle dinnerware. It makes them like new. If I were working for Clorox I would advise them to sell their bottles with a smaller pouring spout. I really don’t believe that people use the correct measurements as they say they do. Perhaps people are just pouring straight from the bottle and not paying attention to how much has spilled out. Over pretention makes for overdose.

  36. It is amazing that all these people, except for the ones who have spring or well water, use water all the time that has chlorine in it. The snacks and drinks that kids get cause more problems than chlorine bleach used correctly. Can you find a product today that does not have horrible warnings on it. Do you not have a place to safely store products away from children? Do you have only child safe prescription drugs in your home? Use common sense and get a life.

  37. Mary Mikolajczyk says:

    Nothing is funnier to me than reading chemistry lessons from the completely clueless and uneducated public. This entire thread is stupid. Maybe when your baby comes down with H1N1 this fall you will feel differently.

  38. Clorox bleach is the only cleaning agent that will get a stain out when everything else fails. I have tried all sorts of combos-lemon, vinegar, peroxide, sunlight etc. At the end, a few drops of Clorox and the stains vanish.As far as disinfecting items like toys and baby bottles, use your common sense.If you feel there is mold or certain dirt,put the bleach into hot water,rinse and air dry. Stop whining and talking stupid!!!

  39. You do know that bleach is added to lake and stream water to make it drinkable in primitive situations, don’t you? They sell the tablets at any camping/outdoors outfitter. The same tablets are distributed to disaster areas as well. Chlorine is added to our drinking water to kill germs that get through the filtration process. Restaurants use it to clean and disinfect. In every situation it is always diluted.

    Lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda do NOTHING to disinfect! They can be used as cleaners, but they do not kill microorganisms.

    There is never a reason to sanitize baby bottles. That’s an old wives’ tale that hasn’t gone the way of the dinosaur. Hot, soapy water works perfectly well for washing them.

    In fact, disinfecting everything leads to weaker immune systems in people, and stronger, more-resistant germs. That’s why we now have flesh-eating bacterias, and antibiotic-resistant infections. We created the problem through our obsession with killing all germs.

    Common sense, people. Common sense.

  40. Bleach evaporates– that’s why you have to keep putting sanitizing chemicals into a swimming pool!

    The directions to clean toys and bottles in bleach are to soak in a dilute solution (1:10 solution). This will sanitize surfaces after a short period of immersion, but the bleach will evaporate from the surface after being allowed to thoroughly dry.

    Do some research before you take any one person’s blog entry as truth. People DO get paid to blog about specific products, you know! That’s why there are numerous advertisements on this page you’re reading.

  41. Let all the green people quit using bleach and lets see how bad the flu viruses get out of hand. I’ve worked in the restaraunt biz for many years and you better make sure you have diluted bleach around and ready for when the state department comes to inspect! If the state requires it, it must do the job. Our church has a bleach cycle in our commercial dishwasher-are people going to quit going to church food events? I should think they would feel more confident to use our dishes and utensils than if we were washing with merely dw soap and hot water!

  42. Last week my childrens school had a 20% absentee rate due to the various flu epidemics. 2 children out of 25 in one class were hospitalized. Lets quit using bleach so that your children can infect my children who come from a clean and bleach sanitized home. I am not a bleach freak-small diluted quantities can work quite well. As for septic tanks-asked our plumber-unless you dump gallons a week through your tank it is not harmful to the good bacteria.

  43. I run a diaper service and I have to laugh whenever someone asks us if we use bleach on our diapers. Um, yes, unless you feel comfortable that plain ole soapy water (or vinegar — Ha, that’s a good one!) can protect you and your baby against e. coli, strep bacteria, staph infections, tuberculosis, rotavirus, MRSA, swine flu, and God knows what else! Vinegar does not kill viruses. Some people argue back that we could wash each child’s diapers separately as some services do… to which I ask, How exactly are they disinfecting the MACHINE in between loads??

    Honestly, the whole thing with bleach is a concern but it is WAY overblown and bleach does have its place. Maybe it’s not absolutely necessary in the home, but it’s absolutely a blessing when it comes to public services (including restaurants). If you don’t agree, do some research on what public sanitation conditions and disease used to be like.

  44. So bleach is a bad chemical. That’s interesting. Do you people that are against the use of bleach have a pool or allow your children to swim in others pools?

    Clorox is Chlorine…..same base for pool Chlorine. Do you drink city water? That has Chlorine in it too. Another poster hit the nail on the head…Just because one person got hurt by not following label directions…………

  45. Kurt-

    Personally, my children only swim in chlorine free pools. Since we are “crazy hippies” and proud of it, we also prefer to spend our time outside in rivers and lakes.

    My children also do not drink city tap water… chlorine in all forms is not good inside mine or my children’s body.

    That said, I can’t speak for everyone.

  46. clorox is the worse thing you can wuse

  47. If you had any idea on how to use it you would not have a problem. Bleach can save more lives then kill. The bacterium and/or Eukarotic organisms that it destroys cause more problems if not cleaned out properly. Like certain amoebas if not taken out of, say, a properly cleaned bottle could be ingested and it in turn could eat its way to the brain, and having an amoeba in the child’s brain will probably not help its growth. That is only one of thousands of possibilities.

  48. Anything not naturally chemically based is a health hazard. This is why there are some many more people dying from cancer and other major health problems. There are tons of safer ways to clean. I use Melaleuca products. They’re a wellness company that only produces environmentally save products. Everything they make is from nature. Find out the great benefits from them at http://www.melaleuca.com. Take the tour. Find out for yourself what you are missing out on.

    • Sarah James says:

      Melissa, Melaleuca is definitely not a safe way to clean!!! Read the ingredients label of your so called “safe” products that dont harm the environment and they have the same toxic rubbish all the commercial brands have. Melalueca is another greenwashing company just like Clorox whose main goal is profit through lies and at the expense of the environment.

  49. Just come across this site, thanks a lot

  50. OMG WTF R PPL TALKIN ABOUT?! TV = BRAIN POISON! TAP H2O = CITY POISON! POLLUTED AIR = OUTSIDE POISON! YOUR OPINION = SOCIETY POISON! SO WE CAN’T WATCH TV, DRINK CITY WATER, GO OUTSIDE, OR LISTEN TO YOUR BULLSHIT BECAUSE WE WILL ALL DIE!!! SHUT YOUR “GREEN” MOUTH BEFORE I SLAP THE TASTE OUT OF IT!

  51. Wow, you guys are all retarded. Bleach EVAPORATES INTO THE ENVIRONMENT. Once it is dry it isn’t a problem anymore because it is already gone. Learn some basic science before you spout out how ‘deadly’ something is. Morons.

  52. Is weed good for you too now because it’s ‘all natural’ and ‘comes from nature’? What about tobacco?

  53. Marlene says:

    Hey Sarah,

    Go ahead and drink a gallon yourself and see if you are still such a fan of bleach?! You are calling them a moron?….. you sound like the moron here! The article sounds pretty right on to me. We are so ultra paranoid about a few germs, yet it’s safe to clean things with bleach….and to let our little babies such on bleached items? That sounds pretty moronic to me!

    • Drinking a gallon of bleach being dangerous is your argument for bleach being bad? It’s ignorant claims like this that make writers like the author of this article so dangerous.

      Ever heard of water poisoning? Yes, you can die from drinking too much water. Better remove your plumbing system and keep water away from your kids…

      I wish people would educate themselves instead of believing everything they read on some eco nut job’s blog.

  54. O-K, Sarah…being a little rude here, which does little to promote your correct viewpoint.

    Marlene…bleach is not a beverage! It has a child-resistant cap and parents do need to use their heads on storage. Bleach starts out as saltwater, and ends the same in the environment. Chlorene itself rappidly attaches to water. When a dilute solution dries, it is gone.

    Mis-use, like many home chemicals, can cause damage. So can table salt, vinegar, baking soda, soaps, shampoo, and most medicines!

    Even the Sierra Club acknowleges that bleach is likely the safest chemical to use in the home. It is a cleaner that is quick, can be done away from home without access to boiling water.

    Also, there is nothing that will selectively kill bad bacteria/virus and not harm “good” bacteria. And the whole pasturization, sanitation concept was born partially out of infant deaths from improperly cleaned bottles.

    This whole article is emotional knee-jerk reaction based on no substantial fact.

  55. People that write articles like this cause more harm than anything they’re writing about.

    Uninformed, baseless claims like this with no science or evidence to support them trick equally ignorant people into doing dangerous things like not properly cleaning their children’s toys and eating/drinking utensils.

    Don’t like bleach? Don’t drink tap water. That’s what’s used to keep it from giving you diseases like e-coli. It’s also used to sterilize water in survival situations. If you don’t like it, go have a nice big glass of water from your nearest lake.

    Commercial drink and food processing equipment is sterilized with bleach. I use it to clean my brewing equipment in between uses. Think bleach is so bad? Don’t eat or drink anything from a store.

    Of course bleach can be dangerous. So can #2 pencils if you’re stupid enough to leave a sharpened one out where your two year old can jam it in an eye. It’s called common sense. Take responsibility for your own parenting skills instead of throwing blame at every faceless corporation you can think of.

    You’re as bad as those anti-vaccination nut jobs.

  56. Anything that has a safety cap is harmful and if you think bleach is the only cleaner out there that kills 99.9 percent of germs you are wrong. I work for a company that make a non toxic cleaner that kills 99.9 percent of viruses including H1N1 so why risk your health? Instead of calling people nut jobs and dumb asses why don’t you state your opinion nicely and just leave it alone. Unless, I can call you a nut job or a dumb ass!
    Rude!

    • Wow. There are a lot of truly impassioned comments and bits of info on this post. Please… let me add my two cents worth here.
      First, I don’t like chlorine bleach either.
      And yes of course you can boil your sippy cups. Great idea. Or if you have a good dishwasher with the sanitizer cycle, by all means. (NSF.org certifies the good ones!)
      The bigger issue here is disinfecting.
      You cannot remove the most common household germs, bacteria and viruses with out a disinfectant. If you prepare raw chicken in your kitchen and drip the juice on the counter top, floor, sink, whatever, you aren’t going to be able to fit that in the dishwasher.
      Disinfectants are tested to prove their claims and registered by the US EPA. They will include an EPA registration number on the label and an explanation of how they are to be used for the job at hand.
      Don’t underestimate the power of bacteria and food borne illnesses. It is not worth the risk to your family to not remove e coli from your kitchen counter.
      For an alternative to bleach, please visit http://www.vitaloxide.com. Vital Oxide is a disinfectant that utilizes the power of oxygen to disinfect and has a 5 log reduction meaning if you had 100,000 e Coli on your counter, it would reduce the amount to 1 tiny bacterium. It is non corrosive, odorless and has the lowest hazard ratings given by the EPA. There are alternatives. Please, check it out.

    • Janine… a product that “kills” cannot be considered non-toxic”.
      http://www.epa.gov.

  57. Excellent article. I think its so important that people realize how dangerous bleach is. Not only for our health, but it has devastating effects on our environment too. Thanks for posting this article!

  58. Brooke says:

    For everyone out there that has bothered to educate themselves in basic chemistry: You are a testament that teaching science in public schools still works. It is you I am posting this for.

    It is a waste of time attempting to talk to people who have decided they know how something works, yet need to rely on generalizations and sweeping non-logical claims because they fail tremendously when asked to state or explain the actual physical mechanisms behind their claims. The reason? They have no interest in learning.

    They will refuse to read, critically consider, or research information from any source containing information that cannot be manipulated to support their pre-formed conclusions and that usually contain generalized factual observations that are slanted to support a viewpoint with no true understanding of the concepts at hand. Do not ask me why – I don’t understand it either – but that’s the MO, regardless of the subject at hand.

    Walk into any high school science classroom (probably middle-school, as well) and they can map out – at the molecular level – the complete chemical structure of bleach (NaOCl), as well as it’s interactions with the chemicals known as “water” (H2O) and “air” (a homogenious chemical mixture of O2, CO2, N2, and Ar) and what is produced by said reaction.

    And the “2-5% of unknown by-products which will be effectively treated by wastewater plants or septic systems?” They are only “unknown” to you if you haven’t bothered to go find out. The information is available by examining the Clorox ingredients list and applying basic chemistry from a high school textbook. I won’t ruin the surprise – try putting it together for yourselves. Warning: It might actually require dusting off a chemistry textbook and working some equations.

    This quote from Clorox: “The remaining 2 percent to 5 percent breaks down to form by-products that are effectively treated by municipal wastewater treatment plants or septic systems” was mis-represented as being related to the safety of using diluted bleach as a disinfectant. It is actually a statement that was made about how household use and disposal of sodium hypochlorite bleach may/may not affect the environment. Said byproducts result from common additives that stabilize the solution to keep it from degrading in the bottle.

    A water and sodium hypochlorite solution breaks down to salts and water. Period. It is a scientific fact. It is not open to your opinion – it just is.

    Show me a correctly balanced chemical equation proving otherwise for an aqueous solution of NaClO at the concentration prescribed in the manufacturer’s instruction for sanitizing baby objects. I’ll save you some time – you can’t.

    Also – hydrogen peroxide? It has all of the same properties claimed make bleach so unsafe for sanitizing baby/child objects!

    This is the MSDA for 30% hydrogen peroxide – 10x the strength of household hydrogen peroxide: http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9924299 Does it look like it describes household hydrogen peroxide to you? No – because it’s 10x the strength. The Clorox bleach MSDS that is for a 5% solution – right out of the bottle for the laundry. The instructions for kitchen sanitization dilute the bleach out of the bottle 48 to 1!

    It’s all about the concentration. Elementary school students learn about this.
    I will not hesitate to hold manufacturers responsible for making false claims about a product. However, I will also hold the remainder of society to the same standard. Shame on the author for baseless fear mongering.

  59. ajkoer says:

    CAUTION: In my opinion, a one time chemistry major, the products of bleach that has long since expired are a possible threat to life and property, due to the increased likelihood of fire! The chemistry has long been known (see Watt’s Dictionary of Chemistry Vol 2 available online). Bleach breaks down mainly into salt (NaCl), NaClO2 and NaClO3 (or Sodium Chlorate). The latter Sodium Chlorate was used in World War I to fill artillery shells. It is a strong oxiderizer and when dry and in contact with organic material may increase the likelihood of fires. So when your bleach manufacturer tells you to change your bleach there is possibly more afoot than just good marketing!
    A spectacular story occurred when workers clothes were exposed to ammonia and then fumes from a leaking container of Chloric acid (HClO3, who salts are chlorates). Due to the formation of ammonium chlorate (NOT found in your bleach, a more powerful and dangeruous oxiderizer than NaClO3) from just the vapor exposure, the workers clothes sponanteously burst into flames!
    You can’t make this stuff up. Don’t worry though as you are not likely to read such tales on your bleach bottle.

    • don altman says:

      only 2-5% of a gallon of bleach is actually bleach… 98% is water.. so your saying 2% of one full gallon completly evaporated out would then have to be physically sperated out again into 4 different chemicals dried and purified to produce one super fire chemical we all should be scared about it making contact with organic susbstances…
      We could avoid this by not sperating out all the chemicals and tossing them into the yard.. Shew.. Iw as getting scared for a second.

  60. Chlorine solution is used in every restaurant as final rinse of all dishes. They are then air dried, the chlorine vaporizes off, and the dishes are germ-free. The same thing can be done at home with your own dishes. You can buy the powder the restaurants use and the test strips to make sure the concentration is right in large commercial applications, or you can use approx. one capful of household bleach per sink of water. Leave stuff in for only a minute or two. Clear plastics may cloud in this, so avoid doing them. This works well for all kids’ stuff, too. I regularly sanitize all our things, just like my mother and grandmothers did. Bleach is cheap, works easily and wonderfully, and is extremely safe when used properly.

  61. They add bleach to your water to remove bacteria at the pumping station. Bleach is not as dangerous as you seem to think. It has been used around the world as a cheap way to sanitize drinking water for villages. Oh but you probably think that we are trying to poison the poor villagers. Lets start a mob…. kil’ the evil chlorine monster…. get ur pitchforks… the uses of bleach are very practical.

  62. BleachUser says:

    I use bleach all the time when I wash dishes , especially when I use meat. Kills the nasty e-coli. Bleach is a must when cleaning the washroom. Bleach evaporates and leaves salt behind. Life without bleach is unimaginable. You’re not drinking a bottle of Clorox, you’re disinfecting with it. Use it diluted. Besides a little amount of bleach is in the water you drink. For all the people that don’t use bleach, their homes must be infested with soo much bacteria. Baking soda, vinegar that’s not going to clean much and you would need a lot of hydrogen peroxide to clean on a regular basis. Nobody saying bathe in a tub full of pure bleach…….

  63. Rupert Rutabega says:

    Emotion over science again. If you foolish people understood how many lives the use of bleach has saved you would recant your idiocy. The assertions without facts are useless. Try some science.

  64. i work in a restaurant, and there are alot of older people that I work with who are bleach crazy. they use it for anything and everything that needs cleaning. I look at them and think to my self, wtf is in this stuff, crack?? I am 23 years old, and been on my own for about 4 years now, in my home i bought some dawn dish soap for washing hands and doing dishes, and haven’t gotten sick. I believe that bleach is poison. I won’t put it near my dishes or my food. But on the contrary, bleach does have some really good uses in my opinion like laundry and bathroom cleaning. I just recently bought a gallon for 1 dollar, and used some on the toilet, and the thing looked brand new. but im not going to treat my dishes like my toilet.

  65. Well I believe to each there own, I’ve used clorox bleach for lots of things my whole life, just as my mother and her mother, and so on and so forth! It in no way harms you unless you are dumb enough to misuse it, everything in the whole world is harmful in some way, i think people just need to get a life instead of trying to bash and put down everything around them. And further more, yes i have spoken to poison control about it as well and they agree that even if ingested it may be painful and make you sick, even then it will not kill you!!!

  66. I came looking for a scientific breakdown of bleach and its properties and instead found a bunch of hysterics.

    “don’t want it in my home”

    Jesus Christ, grow up.

    • Richard,

      Over time, bleach will undergo a disproportionation reaction (a redox reaction with itself) and form NaClO3 and NaCl. This reaction can be slowed by raising the pH and diluting the bleach. Hope this is helpful.

  67. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and didn’t purify my water–other than by using bleach: two drops per liter, via an eyedropper. I heard about this from a guy I met who had a friend who’d hiked with the director of water safety for the state of New Jersey–and he did the same thing.

    Chlorine is what they use in pools, and a little is not gonna kill anyone.

    (Were moms always this annoying, or is this a recent phenomenon?)

  68. john portugal says:

    (Were moms always this annoying, or is this a recent phenomenon?)
    It´s more a recent phenomenon, I think.
    Moms wish to be perfect and bright clean, santifyed, the best in the world.
    It´s another manifestation of idiot vanity which comes with ignorance and propaganda from the new world order angels.

  69. I applaud all of your efforts to sustain our planet and lead healthier lives, but for almost a century, chlorine bleach has helped the human population in many ways. Do you use your city’s water? Have you contracted cholera from it yet? If you live in the continental U.S., I: think not. Think if when you go to your neighborhood grocery store, and you happen to glimpse into the butchery and you see the maintenance personnel cleaning up after raw meats with lemon juice, vinegar, and tea tree oil, would you feel comfortable buying meats for your family’s consumption? Imagine, your children become sick with a terrible GI bvvirus causing vomiting and diarrhea, would you feel comfortable cleaning soiled surfaces with lemon juice, vinegar, and tea tree oil. You take a vacation to

  70. I applaud all of your efforts to sustain our planet and lead healthier lives, but for almost a century, chlorine bleach has helped the human population in many ways. Do you use your city’s water? Have you contracted cholera from it yet? If you live in the continental U.S., I: think not. How would you feel if your local government used vinegar or tea tree oil or lemon juice to clean waste water? Would you bathe with or cook with your water? Think if when you go to your neighborhood grocery store, and you happen to glimpse into the butchery and you see the maintenance personnel cleaning up after raw meats with lemon juice, vinegar, and tea tree oil, would you feel comfortable buying meats for your family’s consumption? Imagine, your children become sick with a terrible gastrointestinal virus causing vomiting and diarrhea, would you feel comfortable cleaning soiled surfaces with lemon juice, vinegar, and tea tree oil. You take a vacation to India, and you need to drink water from the river Ganges, would you feel comfortable sterilizing your water with vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice?

    Let’s be reasonable, how many people do you know enough have had food poisoning directly related to improper sterilization practices in foodservice ? How many people do you know who have developed cancer or have given birth to children with difficiencies or deformities because of their using reasonable, appropriate amounts of bleach for the right applications? Bleach is a wonderful product, and it deserves a little more respect.

    Back when there was no bleach, there were not as many diseases floating around, and people died in great numbers from simple viruses.

    In today’s world, bleach is a necessity, and like salt, and firm counsel, when used in moderation, is a good thing.

  71. Mr Bleachypants says:

    Reading this article lowered my IQ.

  72. don altman says:

    I bet you eat meat.. I bet 99.9% of resturaunts and grociery stores use straight bleach to clean. I worked in the meat industry and gorciery stores for years. Everynight the butcher area from the floor to the meat saws had a bleach and hot water solution sprayed onto them and allowed to soak followed by a light rinse later. If you drink wine most industries use bleach water solutions to clean the vats and equipment used to process your grapes.. as well as the bottles.. if everything wasn’t killed by the sanitizer you would have a bottle of very bad stuff when you went to drink it. The dairy industry uses the same standards..t he dairy itself uses bleach to clean all the equpment.

    The center for deases control even suggests 1/2 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water for drinking if you are having to get dirty water for survival.

    Bleach DOES evaporate with air. Infact the bleach will be evaporated before the water that it is mixed with.

  73. don altman says:

    And if your kid is drinking bleach the problem isn’t that you had bleach in your house it that you didn’t store it properly and or wasn’t paying close enough attention to your child.

  74. The dishwasher soap has bleach in it so what’s the difference?

  75. It is so unfortunated that the big Manufacture companies really don’t have the best interest of the consumer in mind. The bottom line is the $ signs. I have been in the health and wellness industry for the past 19 years and with research I have found that clorox bleach is the worst product that can be in anyone’s home. I know alot of you are thinking well my parents and grandparents used the product and you are so right. But, today the ingredients are different, you maybe looking at the branding of clorox but the manufactures are using a cheaper ingredient but they are increasing the price that is pass onto the consumer. Have you every wonder why juvenile cancer is on the rise? as well as breast and prostate cancer. The clothing that we bleach THE MOST are the white clothes which consist of under garments. If you use bleach, think about this. It takes 17 rinses to get out all of the residue from your clothing if you are using the basic powders, liquid etc., so if you can take a birth control patch and place it on the skin and it can stop you from having a child, just think about what clorox bleach is doing to our skin and blood system when a piece of clothing is sitting on your skin all day. Sodium Hypochlorite(clorine bleach), Lung and eye irritant. Household bleach is the most common cleaner accidentally swallowed by children. If mixed with ammonia or acid-based cleaners (including vinegar), releases highly toxic chloramine gas. Short-term exposure to chloramine gas may cause mild asthmatic symptoms or more serious respiratory problems. (Source: Children’s Health Environmental Coalition) There has been a call from the U.S. Canadian Commission to BAN BLEACH in North America. BLEACH is LINKED to the RISING rate of BREAST CANCER in women, REPRODUCTIVE problems in MEN, and LEARNING & BEHAVORIAL problems in Children. Furthermore, the FDA is nowing finding out that alot of the products that they approved for consumer use is now causing alot of medical illnesses, so the FDA is only part of the big manufacture companies as well. DID you know…Cancer is the #1 CAUSE OF DEATH IN CHILDREN today(after accidents), There’s been a 26% INCREASE in BREAST CANCER since 1982. Breast cancer is the number one killer of women between the ages of 35 and 54. PRIMARY SUSPECTS: LAUNDRY DETERGENTS, BLEACH, HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS, AND PESTICIDES. This was just some food for thought.

  76. I have changed to a healthier, better value product. Eco-Friendly, no chemicals. I have not suffered anymore from migraines – used to use bleach as a cleaner! I know use all this companies cleaners as well as earn money to boot as a stay at home mom! I LOVE what I do helping families live a healthier life! You have a choice on how you raise your children, and how you keep your home! Do what is right!

  77. Did you know there are more than 80,000 new “cleaners” on the market, and most of them have not been tested. In fact, if the CDC (Central for Disease Control) doesn’t dispute them within 90 days they are approved by default!? How scarey is that? I have all kinds of eco-friendly cleaners! No bleach, don’t worry! :) My laundry detergent sells for $20.99 and with a high efficiency washing machine you get 480 loads, only needing 1/2 teaspoon of it. With the older type of machines, you’ll get 240 loads, needing 1 full teaspoon but it still a wonderful deal! That is just one of the great number of WONDERFUL products I have to offer!

    If you are interested in more information, please feel free to contact me about any of my products at tyreeseanthony@yahoo.com. My website is http://www.norwex.biz/pws/meghanmiller/tabs/home.aspx. I have some before and after pictures posted on my facebook page as well. That link is: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Meghan-Miller-Norwex-Independent-Sales-Consultant/599332466762089?ref=tn_tnmn.

    It’s great to see families getting away from all of these harsh chemicals, including Clorox! It might be an initial cost, but thinking long term… the benefits cannot be greater!! <3 to all!! Keep ridding the environment of these NASTY cleaners!!

    • I completely forgot to mention that Norwex’s laundry detergent has no fillers, no allergens, no phosphorus, and is gluten free also. It is guaranteed to get your whites whiter and your brights brighter!! :)

  78. K McMahon says:

    I do agree that perhaps using bleach is a little over board for cleaning bottles, toys and whatever else related to children, but there is nothing wrong with the info the the company is presenting (based on what I have read in the posts). If you drink tap water you are drinking bleach. If you eat out, the food prep devices and prep surfaces (cutting boards) that the food is prepped on is using the same concentrations that Clorox is suggesting in the commercial. Not to mention bleach decomposes. The chemistry is sound. However, again using bleach at home on baby bottles? Do we really need that sterile of an environment, or use such a powerful substance. a little soap and water should do the trick.

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