Making disinfectant may seem easy, but one must take proper precautions to avoid any harmful effects of bleach

Fremont, CA: COVID-19 pandemic has ratified the importance of sanitizing and maintaining hygiene at home and workplace. Keeping the environment virus-free and hygienic has become standard practice. While many companies and brands are introducing their own disinfectants, it is also possible to make disinfectants from household liquid bleach.

The Majority of the household bleaches contain 5 percent to 7 percent of a highly reactive chemical substance called sodium hypochlorite, at which concentration the chemical can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. Hence, it is important to take extra precautions to dilute the bleach for surface disinfection purposes.

It may seem unreasonable to add a large amount of water to a small quantity of bleach. But, scientific evidence has revealed that bleach is more effective when diluted. The suggested ratio is 20ml of bleach to 1 liter of water. Measuring cups and containers should be made of plastic, for it will react with metal. One must dilute the bleach in a well-ventilated area, wearing gloves and a mask or goggles. Accidental exposure to even the diluted bleach can cause cough and irritation to the eyes.

However, one should use only water for dilution, that too, of normal temperature. Bleach is reactive to heat, so hot water or water from a hot tap will not help the dilution process. Also, mixing any other detergents or ingredients can, such as vinegar or floor cleaner, can trigger the release of toxic gases from chemical reactions. It is better to have at least one minute of contact time between the solution and the surface while cleaning with the solution. Cleaning with a saturated cloth that can allow the surface to be wet for at least one minute will ensure good contact. Diluted solution can be used on inert and hard surfaces; it should not be used on metal, painted surfaces, or leather goods. One needs to do the cleaning in a properly ventilated environment.

The diluted bleach is best to use within 24 hours after making the solution. Making disinfectant may seem easy, but one must take proper precautions to avoid any harmful effects of bleach.