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Knowing how to dilute bleach according to different tasks is key to preserving surface materials whilst sanitising, disinfecting or cleaning the desired area. Diluting bleach may sound counterintuitive, but doing it safely and in the correct quantities can actually make your watered-down solution more effective – but what’s the best way to do it?
Before you start using bleach everywhere, it’s important to remember that the hypochlorous acid in bleach, along with its other chemical ingredients can burn your skin and give off dangerous fumes.
The first step in diluting bleach is to work out what you’re using it for, so identify the materials you will be applying it to and the method by which you will be administering the bleach and water mixture.
Bleach to water ratio for spray bottle
Never dilute bleach with anything other than water and always wear rubber gloves when handling bleach, as well as protective clothing to avoid unwanted bleach stains.
Mixing your own household disinfectant spray is easily done with a few supplies, including water and bleach – all you need is the following:
- A clean empty spray bottle
- Damp cloth
- Measuring jug
- Rubber gloves
- Household bleach
Mix five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water to fill a spray bottle.
How to dilute bleach for clothes
We’ve all been there when we tuck into some food and drink wearing a white t-shirt when the inevitable stain appears.
To spot-treat small problem areas on white or very light clothing, mix one teaspoon of bleach with two teaspoons of warm water.
Always patch test this solution first before ruining your garments further with a bleach stain – just find an inconspicuous area on your clothes and dab a little of the solution using a cotton bud or a small cloth.
Wait until dry to see if the solution is suitable for use on your clothes.
Bleach dilution quantities for mould
Use one cup of household bleach for every one gallon of water.
Wearing gloves, use a stiff brush like an old toothbrush to scrub mould and wipe away with a clean cloth.
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Rinse the surface with clean water and ventilate the room, leaving the affected surface to air dry.
Bleach dilution for bodily fluid spillages
Preparing a bleach solution for cleaning up bodily fluids like blood or vomit is easily done when following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended quantities.
You’ll need to mix one part bleach (standard five percent bleach) with nine parts water to create a 0.5 percent bleach concentration.
Bleach for other surfaces
The WHO recommends mixing a more diluted solution for other surface spills such as food, liquid or everyday dirt.
Use the above one to nine ratio to create a 0.5 percent bleach concentration and mix with four more parts water to create a safe 0.1 percent bleach solution suitable for most surfaces.
Chlorine bleach solution begins to lose its antiviral and disinfectant powers rapidly when exposed to heat and sunlight so always make a fresh solution when you’re ready to clean.
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