Bleach: Common User Misconceptions
Consumers look at bleach as a great cleaner and disinfectant. Unfortunately, customers are often misinformed about its potential. Professionally we can educate our customers on better and safer cleaning and disinfecting habits.
“Bleach Kills Germs”
As customers, we think bleach is good at killing germs. The problem is however, in order for it to kill germs on your surface, you need to pre-clean. This is because bleach is inactivated by organic soil which is common on most surfaces. If you do not pre-clean you are likely not killing germs which makes cleaning with bleach a two-step process. A better solution is to use an EPA registered ‘quaternary ammonium chloride’ or “quat” as a disinfectant. Quats require no pre-cleaning because they are not inactivated by organic soil making them a time saving one step process.
Another reason customers use bleach is they believe it is inexpensive. In reality, it only appears to be cheap. When purchased in a retail store it runs for about $2 per gallon, diluted to a RTU cost of 18 cents per gallon. A diluted quat that is RTU costs about 20-30 cents per gallon, which is comparable, plus it saves you time as a one step-process.
Customers think bleach is an effective cleaner. However, it does not remove soils as effectively as a typical cleaner. It also has a more negative impact on the environment and is more toxic to people. As a culture, we do not need to use disinfectants as often as we do. Disinfectants kill bacteria including the ones that are beneficial to us and therefore should only be used on HIGH TOUCH surfaces.
Bleach is actually a toxic chemical. It is also reactive and can wreck your surfaces as well as your fabrics. Its fumes are essentially chlorine gas. If bleach is mixed with the wrong chemicals such as an ammonia or an acidic cleaner it can release a fatal toxic gas. Use a quat based disinfectant as a safe alternative for your hard surfaces. Quat compounds do not emit fumes and are non-reactive with other cleaning chemicals increasing safety.
Multi-Clean Quat Based Disinfectants
256 Century Q – Hospital Grade, concentrated neutral disinfectant cleaner
64 Millennium Q – Broad spectrum, concentrated disinfectant cleaner. Great for bathrooms!
Microcide TB – Ready to use, tuberculocidal disinfectant cleaner
Fresh 100 – Ready to use non-acid bowl cleaner