Those who know me know that I am not a huge fan of bleach. In fact, my decision to start making my own toxic-free DIY cleaning and beauty products started a few years ago after I had a terrible experience of toxic reactions following cleaning with bleach. Anyway, I recognised that, unfortunately, we are in an unusual situation and, if you decide to use this substance, it is better to know how to do it correctly.
Have a look at the following article from EcoBioControl, where you can find all the information useful to know how to clean surfaces using bleach.
"In recent days we have focused on the self-production of hand sanitising gel. However, the need to disinfect cannot and should not be limited to the hands; the environment in which we live must also be kept under control.
Many people ask how and what to do to sanitise the environment in which we live or work. Here are some simple guidelines for tackling and solving the problem.
The first consideration to make is to understand why it is necessary to disinfect the surfaces of the living environment. A well-known magazine, New England Journal Of Medicine, has recently published a study with an unequivocal title: Air, Surface Environmental, and Personal Protective Equipment Contamination by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) From a Symptomatic Patient. For those who wish, the article is available here.
From studies like this one and collecting the opinions of the experts, the Istituto Superiore di Sanità has issued very precise guidelines. These official indications have been absolutely respected and followed concerning the alcoholic gel.
For hard surfaces, the ISS defines some fundamental aspects. Quaternary ammonium salts based products are not recommended because these products, the various "forms" need time, at least 30 minutes, to act. Microorganisms can get used to these molecules, that is, precisely as with antibiotics used for humans, resistant strains can be selected.
The ISS recommends only one disinfection system and this system is based on sodium hypochlorite (bleach). This substance is very polluting and creates very stable chlororganic compounds that are practically non-biodegradable. However, we are in a situation of grave danger, and we cannot give up a substance that is easily available, cheap, incredibly effective, and that has an action mechanism to which germs, bacteria and viruses CANNOT BE USED. Therefore sodium hypochlorite formulations should be used.
It is necessary to distinguish between large surfaces (floors, stairs, entrances, balconies and window sills, etc.) and small surfaces (door handles, handrails, toys, PC mouse, mobile phones and computers…) need a sanitizer and a system of application, with different characteristics.
The large surfaces can be left to dry without rinsing while the small ones must at least be dried with paper or rinsed. Just think of a children's toy, children who often put toys in their mouths.
The formulation for Large Surfaces: an ordinary bleach at the supermarket is absolutely fine, do not take the first price or the most expensive, stay on an average product. At this point, take a bucket, absolutely plastic, not metal, and put about 3 litres of tap water in it. To this water add a kitchen glass, filled with bleach (the final solution will be about 0.1% of active chlorine). It is a good idea to add two tablespoons of floor detergent in order to increase the penetration of the sanitising solution, even in the most hidden interstices. Avoid contact with any metal, metals and iron, in particular, do not like sodium hypochlorite which, in the presence of iron ions, decomposes quickly.
Do not rinse because the longer the disinfectant solution remains active, on the hard surface, the better! This preparation is unstable, and therefore must be prepared from time to time as needed.
The formulation for Small Surfaces and Objects: the same bleach is perfectly fine, but the dilution is lower. A glass of bleach should be poured in half a litre of tap water (the final solution will contain about 0.5% active chlorine). Also, in this case, a teaspoon of dish detergent helps the distribution of the product.
This formulation, more concentrated than the previous one, must be used using absolutely gloves and goggles. The windows must be open.
For objects indeed resistant to hypochlorite, such as a plastic object, I suggest to spray the liquid directly on the object, let it act for at least a minute and dry / rinse. For electrical objects, such as elevator push buttons, personal computers, cell phones, lletc., instead, it is preferable to wet the disposable paper and go with that on the surfaces. This will prevent short circuits.
This solution remains active for two / three days.
Hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid are also excellent disinfectants but very dangerous in their handling. I do not want to contribute in any way to any domestic accidents, so I will not talk about it. I hope you will understand it."