7 Times You Should Never Use Bleach (And What to Do Instead)

Parents are always looking for ways to make their homes cleaner and brighter. And for a long time, bleach was considered the go-to solution for all kinds of cleaning problems. 

But over time, we've learned that there are many times when you should never use bleach — and better alternatives exist. 

If you're looking for some safer, more effective ways to clean your home, read on!

Why Bleach Can Be Dangerous

Before we get into the specific situations where you should avoid using bleach, it's essential to understand why this standard cleaning product can be so dangerous.

Bleach is a powerful chemical that can cause severe skin and respiratory irritation. Inhaling bleach fumes can also lead to headaches, dizziness, and nausea.

Bleach is also corrosive, which means it can damage some surfaces in your home. Over time, repeated use of bleach can break down the fibers in carpeting, clothing, and other fabrics.

What's more, bleach is toxic to both people and pets. If ingested, bleach can cause serious health problems. That's why it's so important to always use bleach products according to the manufacturer's instructions and to keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Some other reasons to avoid bleach might include:

  • The negative environmental impact of bleach production and disposal
  • The fact that bleach is often mixed with other dangerous chemicals, like ammonia
  • The potential for mixing bleach with other cleaning products can create poisonous gases

Of course, there are still some situations where bleach might be the best option. But in most cases, there are safer, more effective alternatives that you can use instead.

7 Times You Should Never Use Bleach

Now that we've discussed some of the dangers of using bleach, let's look at 10 specific situations where you should avoid it.

1. When Cleaning Glassware

Like most people, you probably reach for bleach when it's time to clean your glassware. But bleach can leave behind a cloudy film that dulls the shine of your glasses and dishes.

A better option is to clean your glassware with hot water and white vinegar. Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a bowl, dip your glassware in the mixture, and then rinse it clean. You can add a few drops of dish soap to the mix for extra cleaning power.

2. When Cleaning Countertops

Countertops are another area where you might be tempted to use bleach. But, as we mentioned before, bleach is corrosive and can damage some types of countertops, like those made of marble or granite.

Instead of using bleach, clean your countertops with warm water and dish soap. Make a paste out of baking soda and water for tougher stains and scrub it onto the color with a sponge.

3. When Cleaning Tile or Grout

Like countertops, tile and grout can also be damaged by bleach. In fact, using bleach on tile or grout can actually cause it to discolor over time.

If you're looking to clean your tile or grout, it's best to use a cleaner specifically designed for that purpose. Several tile and grout cleaners on the market will do the job without damaging your surfaces.

Using ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and water, you can also make your own tile and grout cleaner. Simply mix these ingredients together and scrub away at the dirt and grime.

4. When Disinfecting Baby Toys or Surfaces

If you're a new parent, you're probably obsessed with keeping your baby's things clean. And bleach is often touted as the best way to disinfect surfaces and kill germs.

But bleach can be pretty harsh, especially for delicate baby skin. There are much gentler alternatives that will do the job just as well.

To disinfect baby toys and surfaces, mix one teaspoon of bleach in a cup of water. Then, soak the items in the solution for five minutes. Rinse them off with clean water and let them air dry.

You can also use white vinegar if you're worried about harmful chemicals. Just mix one part vinegar with two parts water and use it to wipe down surfaces.

Alternatively, you can use hydrogen peroxide. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water and use it to disinfect surfaces.

5. When Cleaning Pet Toys or Feeding Bowls

Like baby toys, you should be careful about using bleach around your pets. Bleach can be very harmful if ingested; even if your pet doesn't eat it, they can still suffer from skin irritation.

Instead of using bleach, you can clean your pet's toys and bowls with hot soapy water. If you're worried about bacteria, you can disinfect them with white vinegar (yes, it does work!) or hydrogen peroxide.

6. In the Laundry Room

You might think that using bleach in the laundry room is a no-brainer. After all, bleach is excellent for removing stains and killing bacteria.

But bleaching your clothes can damage the fabric and make them more likely to tear. It can also cause colors to run, so you definitely don't want to use it on your favorite shirt.

If you're looking for a safe way to disinfect your clothes, you can use either white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Add a cup of vinegar (or half a cup of hydrogen peroxide) to your washing machine and your regular laundry detergent.

Some people also like to add a few drops of essential oils to their laundry for a pleasant smell.

7. When Cleaning Marble or Stone Surfaces

Marble and stone surfaces are beautiful, but they can be pretty delicate. And using bleach on them can actually do more harm than good.

Instead of using bleach, clean marble and stone surfaces with hot soapy water or limescale remover. You can also use a lemon solution to clean these surfaces.

Just mix one part lemon juice with two parts water and use it to wipe down the surface. Rinse it off with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth.

Final Words

While bleach can be a great cleaning tool, there are definitely some times when you should avoid using it. Be cautious and always read the labels carefully before using bleach.

And if you're ever in doubt, plenty of other cleaning products can get the job done just as well.

At Custom Maids, we're proud to offer professional cleaning services that are safe for your home and family. Our maids are trained in the most effective and safest cleaning methods, so you can rest assured that your home will be in good hands.

Contact us today to schedule a free in-home estimate!

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A weekly house cleaning service is the perfect way to spend quality time with your loved ones without having to worry about getting everything done around the house.

You spend so much time providing — let us take care of the cleaning.We'll come in every week (or every other week) and refresh everything just the way you like it. After just the first couple of regular cleans, we'll learn things about you that you wouldn't even know to let us know about