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joystrength 05-29-2005 08:38 PM

Why not bleach?
OK, I have NOT googled this, just curious. What's the aversion to bleach? Obviously it's not safe to expose small children to it, but isn't it great for household cleaning? Heavy duty germ-killing, etc/

Punkie 05-30-2005 10:32 AM

Re: Why not bleach?
I'm sure you'll get a more in-depth response from someone else, but I don't use bleach because there are other options that work equally well and are non-toxic.
I've had some scary experiences with bleach. If I can get things just as clean and disinfected without the worry of having something dangerous around the house, then I will definitely go that route :)

Mamaka 05-30-2005 07:18 PM

Re: Why not bleach?
All right, here's the chemist in me coming out :O :rolleyes Bleach contains chlorine which is a fairly caustic element when it's in liquid or gas form. It's fumes can irritate the lungs and respiratory tract. It's corrosive so can damage/irritate the skin, eyes & other membranes. Also, when used in washing machines, the chlorine can be released into the air, basically as an air pollutant. And if mixed w/ammonia becomes a dangerous gas (this is very very very BAD).

Here's an interesting website that talks about the dangers of common household cleaning products including bleach:

Soliloquy 05-31-2005 09:15 AM

Re: Why not bleach?
A very good question!!!

Bleach is in quite a few things -- most dishwasher detergents, for example. The heat and steam from the dishwasher release bleach fumes into the air!

Bleach is very hard on all living things. Over-exposure has been linked to birth defects, infertility, cancer.

As for disinfecting, unless you're performing surgery in your bathroom ;), you don't need to disinfect it, just clean it. It's a common misconception that you'll be healthier if you disinfect your home. In reality, you could be making yourself more susceptible to illness. The harsh chemicals needed to disinfect are hard on your immune system and kill the helpful bacteria that your body needs to stay healthy.

Twenty years ago, doctors prescribed antibiotics (drugs that kill bacteria) like crazy--you had a sniffle or a sore throat, you could call your doctor and get an Rx for for antibiotics. Now, they're realizing the damage that was done by using them indiscriminantly. Today, we prescribe antibiotics for ourselves--by using "sanitizing" hand gels, antibiotic hand soaps, antibiotic air "fresheners," and disinfectant house cleaners. I have absolutely no doubt that in time, it will come to light how much damage is being done by santizing our hands and our homes. God made the microbiotic world to work in harmony with our bodies. True, there are bacteria and viruses that can do terrible damage to us, but by keeping ourselves healthy, our immune system is sufficient to ward them off the vast majority of the time. There have been several studies recently that showed that homes where everyone used antibacterial soap had the same amount of colds and flu as homes that just used regular soap. In fact, when my DD was born, our family doctor told us to absolutely not use antibacterial soap. She needed the exposure to everyday "germs" to get her immune system going. We were already a "regular" soap household, anyway, and I should add that she didn't get sick, despite all the family and friends that held her as a newborn.

So, in our house, we don't use bleach. We buy bleach-free dishwasher detergent and we wash our hands with regular soap.

I hope that helps answer your question!

Boys and Angels 05-31-2005 09:17 PM

Blushing here . . .
I use bleach almost exclusively instead of a collection of other things. It is just so effective on Florida mold and mildew in the bathrooms, that my life is infinitely easier becasue of it! Sorry. Seems like in my attempt to be frugal and de-clutter I'm erring in a different respect.

Boys and Angels 05-31-2005 09:21 PM

Reading a post above . . .
I noticed the MALELEUCA tub/tile cleaner. I will ahve to look into it, but to tell the truth I really prefer having one bottle of bleach to a LOT of bottles of job-specific products. Let's see what happens.

Irene 05-31-2005 09:26 PM

Re: Why not bleach?
Tea trea oil works great on mold and mildew also.... I had a hard time giving up my "easy " cleaners too, but I found that so many natural products worked just as well and I didnt have the worries ;)

Irene 05-31-2005 09:27 PM

Re: Why not bleach?
oh, and as far as being frugal, I spend WAY less than I ever did on bleach and all the other products that are out there ;)

joystrength 05-31-2005 09:56 PM

Re: Why not bleach?
Would anyone care to pass on some links to more "natural" products ... that might replace bleach? :grin


Mamaka 06-01-2005 09:44 AM

Re: Why not bleach?
Well from a few things I've read, borax will remove mold and vinegar takes care of mildew. Might need a more powerful vinegar than the regular kitchen kind - like pickling vinegar (can be found in most grocery stores). Grapefruit seed extract and tea tree oil (found in melaleuca products, but also can be easily mixed yourself) are also recommended replacements to bleach (just add a few drops of either to 16 oz of water in a spray bottle).

Here are a few links:

*note: did not read all the contents of these webpages, just looked at the beach alternative info

Lyn 10-03-2005 02:29 PM

Re: Why not bleach?
I think bleach should be illegal! :hissyfit

We use white vinegar to kill mildew (we get a lot of it around here). It works extremely well and leaves no scent once it is completely dry. :tu

For those who are squeamish about bacteria, an excellent hard surface cleaner is a combo of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Use a spray bottle for each. Spray on one and then the other on top, let sit for a few seconds. This is more effective than lysol spray and is not harmful. It has been recommended as a vegetable wash -- I use it whenever I buy non organic produce. The only tricky part is that the peroxide needs to stay in the opaque bottle. I found that the sprayer from my old bottle of orange cleaner fit perfectly on the peroxide bottle. The white vinegar I buy at Costco and pour into a purchased spray bottle.

Cheap and safe! That's what I like. :mrgreen

milkmommy 10-03-2005 02:33 PM

Re: Why not bleach?
I use a diluted bleach solution in the bathroom shower area only we get mold easily and vinager wasn't doing the trick so I went to bleach.. :shrug Were pretty much a baking soda and vinager family else where.


joystrength 10-03-2005 10:52 PM

Re: Why not bleach?

Originally Posted by Lyn
The only tricky part is that the peroxide needs to stay in the opaque bottle.

why is this? :shrug

milkmommy 10-03-2005 11:06 PM

Re: Why not bleach?

Originally Posted by joystrength

Originally Posted by Lyn
The only tricky part is that the peroxide needs to stay in the opaque bottle.

why is this? :shrug

because light can accelerate the chemical reactions that form peroxides causing explosions... not good ;) :eek

Mama Bird 10-04-2005 01:47 PM

Re: Why not bleach?
Bleach is not allowed in my house. I have asthma, and bleach always causes breathing problems for me. Even being around chlorinated pools causes my asthma to flare.

Bleach is also a huge culprit in my children's diaper problems. They were not allergic to disposable diapers, but to the bleach in the diapers. They were perfectly fine with unbleached diapers from Wild Oats, but those are so expensive. The did well with cloth diapers. Once, though, I decided to bleach DS's diapers after a nasty bout of diarrhea, and he ended up raw. I washed them several times to remove the bleach and he was fine again.

We use Method brand cleaners for everything. Wood for the wooden floors, and I love the lavendar smell. It really smells like lavendar! LOL. I buy it at Target, and find the stuff lasts forever. I am not sure what is in the dishwashing tabs, but the cucumber/lemon smell is sooo...summery.

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