The Truth About Bleach
The truth about bleach may surprise you! Read about its history and how it may just be the answer to protecting your loved ones from germs and keeping your home healthy.
Promoting A Healthier World
The disinfectant of choice, Clorox® Bleach has been protecting the lives of people all over the world for almost 100 years. Today, it is widely used in hospitals, nursing homes, childcare centres, restaurants and other establishments where hygiene really matters. It is also used to help prevent the spread of infections during public health crises, such as natural disasters and disease outbreaks. Made from salt and water, Clorox® Bleach is the product you can trust to make the home a healthier place for your loved ones and yourself.
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The Power in Clorox® Bleach
The Power of Clorox® Bleach stems from its active ingredient, called sodium hypochlorite. Hailed by scientists over centuries for its effectiveness and its simplicity, sodium hypochlorite was first discovered in the late 1700s by the French chemist, Berthollet. In the 1800s, research into electrical power made it possible to even produce sodium hypochlorite simply by running and electric current through salt water. The unsurpassed effectiveness of sodium hypochlorite as a disinfectant was proclaimed by Louis Pasteur, the French microbiologist who is best remembered for his breakthrough discoveries, including immunisation and the pasteurisation process.
In 1913, five investors shrewdly started a venture (which would go on to become The Clorox Company) to produce Clorox® Bleach with sodium hypochlorite. Their first customers were laundries, breweries, walnut processing sheds and municipal water companies. After years of scientific research and innovation, the company succeeded in producing bleach for household use.
Kills 99.9% of Germs1
Most other disinfectants need to be used undiluted in order to actually kill germs. Don’t just take our word for it; check their labels carefully and see for yourself.
Clorox® Bleach kills almost every known germ
that causes illness
Endorsed by health authorities.
The World Health Organization2 and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention3 recommend using bleach to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi, and thus help stop the spread of infection.
Acinetobacter baumannii (Severe Pneumonia, Urinary Tract Infection), Campylobacter jejuni (Food Poisoning), Clostridium difficile [C. diff]* (Severe Diarrhoea, Intestinal Diseases), Escherichia coli O157:H7/EHEC [extended beta-lactamase resistant] (Gastroenteritis), Klebsiella pneumoniae (Klebsiella Pneumonia), Legionella pneumophila (Legionellosis/Legionnaires’ Disease), Listeria monocytogenes (Listeriosis), Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA] (Skin & Bloodstream Infections), Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Tuberculosis), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Lung Infection, Pneumonia), Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis (Salmenollosis, Gastroenteritis), Shigella dysenteriae/Shigella shigae (Shigellosis, Severe Diarrhoea), Staphylococcus aureus [Staph] (Gastroenteritis), Streptococcus pyogenes [Group A Strep] (Pneumonia), Streptococcus pneumoniae (Pneumonia), Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis [VRE] (Gastroenteritis, Skin Infection)
Adenovirus 2 (Respiratory Disease), Avian Influenza (Bird Flu), Coxsackie Virus B3 (Hand Foot and Mouth Disease [HFMD]), Cytomegalovirus (Respiratory Disease), Hepatitis A/B/C (Hepatitis A/B/C), Human Coronavirus (Respiratory & Gastrointestinal Tract Infection), Human Herpesvirus Type II (Neonatal Herpes, Sores), Human Immunodeficiency Virus [HIV] (AIDS), Influenza A (Flu), Influenza A[H1N1] (H1N1 Influenza/Swine Flu), Influenza A2 (Flu), Norovirus [FCV] (Gastroenteritis), Parainfluenza 1 (Cold, Sore Throat, Pneumonia, Bronchitis), Poliovirus Type 1 (Polio), Respiratory Syncytial Virus (Respiratory Tract Infection), Rhinovirus (Colds), Rotavirus (Diarrhoeal Disease, Gastroenteritis), Rubella Virus (German Measles), Varicella-Zoster Virus [Human Herpesvirus III] (Chicken Pox, Shingles)
Aspergillus niger (Aspergillosis [Lung Disease]), Candida albicans (Candidiasis [Thrush, Fungal Infection]), Trichophyton mentagrophytes (Athlete’s Foot)
Source: Clorox® Regular Bleach, EPA Reg. No. 5813-50
1. Rutala, WA & Weber, DJ (1997), Uses of Inorganic Hypochlorite (Bleach) in Health-Care Facilities. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 10(4): 597-610.
2. World Health Organization (2007) Infection prevention and control of epidemic- and pandemic-prone acute respiratory diseases in health care. WHO Interim Guidelines, Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009) Preventing the Spread of Influenza (the Flu) in Child Care Settings: Guidance for Administrators, Care Providers, and Other Staff. Infection Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Don’t Just Clean. Clean & Disinfect.
CLEANING: Removes dirt and grime to make surfaces look clean. Remaining germs may be transferred to other surfaces.
DISINFECTING: Eliminates viruses, bacteria and fungi that can make you sick.
After cleaning, disinfect using Clorox® Bleach, it is ideal for disinfecting:
See our Home Hygiene Tips for more cleaning & disinfecting tips.
*For more details, see product label or visit www.clorox.com
Bathrooms & Toilets
Salt of The Earth
Clorox® Bleach quickly breaks down mainly into salt and water after use.
The Myths About Bleach
Top scientist, Dr Gregory van Buskirk, clears some of the confusion for your peace of mind.
DR GREGORY VAN BUSKIRK,Research Fellow
Is bleach dangerous?
Bleach is safe when used as directed. It is ideal for disinfecting toilets, bathrooms, kitchen surfaces, plastic toys and living rooms.
Is bleach acidic?
Bleach made from sodium hypochlorite, like Clorox® bleach, is not acidic and non-corrosive. It is safe when used as directed.
*Follow label instructions to avoid eye and skin irritation.
Is chlorine bleach the same as liquid bleach?
Some people use the term ‘chlorine bleach’ to refer to liquid bleach. Fact is, liquid bleach does not contain any free chlorine at all.
Isn’t bleach a leading source of poisoning deaths among household cleaners?
No. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), the percentage of serious incidents from household bleach is far lower than that involving other cleaners.
Can I use bleach on all surfaces?
Bleach can be used on hard, non-porous surfaces. However, bleach is not suitable for marble or finished wood.
Does bleach contaminate groundwater or harm the environment in other ways?
No, it does not. The active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, rapidly degrades primarily into salt and water. Household water is then directed to a septic tank or sewage treatment plant.
The Story of Bleach
On the battleground
Bleach was used as an antibacterial agent to save the lives of some wounded soldiers during World War I (before the days of penicillin) and World War II.
In the space programme
In 1969, the Apollo space capsule was disinfected with bleach upon its return to Earth.
Bleach is the trusted disinfectant in the battle against cross-contamination in hospitals.
During natural disasters
Bleach is used during natural disasters to disinfect water and to help control contamination.
The US School Food Safety Network recommends using bleach on food preparation areas to help reduce contamination that can make kids sick.
The Power in Clorox® Bleach
Kills 99.9% of Germs
Clean & Disinfect
Salt of The Earth
The Myths About Bleach