A dirty surface is no doubt a breeding site for germs, bacteria, viruses and other organisms that could cause an infection. And, with the pandemic still active, it is paramount your surfaces are not just clean but disinfected. One way to disinfect your surface is by cleaning with bleach or Original Pine-sol. Both have been tested and approved to kill Coronavirus on surfaces. So, can you mix both solutions? What effect do mixing bleach and pine-sol have? These questions and more will be answered in this article.
Can You Mix Bleach And Pine-Sol?
An outright answer is No, you should not. As a general rule, you should avoid mixing bleach with other solvents, cleaning agents or chemicals aside from water. Clorox, the company that produces Pine-sol stated on their safety data sheet that, “We do not recommend mixing any Pine-Sol product with other cleaning products or chemicals. Mixing cleaners can result in the release of hazardous gases”. Hence, you should not mix the two solutions.
Pine-sol is a potent disinfectant and so is bleach. You can choose either solution to disinfect. If you seek to have a whitening effect as you disinfect, using bleach will be your best bet. If on the other hand you just want a fragranced, grime-free, disinfected surface you are going to with pine-sol. Also, when using either of the cleaning products, you should give room for fresh air in the space. Open nearby windows and doors especially when used in closed spaces, for example, your bathroom.
However, though you should not mix both solutions, it is okay to use them individually in the same space. For example, you may decide to use pine-sol on your bathroom floor to remove its grease and other related stains. And, you can also use bleach to clean the bathtubs and sinks in the same bathroom. When you do it this way it is safe. This is because the active ingredients in both solutions are not mixing to cause the release of toxic gas.
Effect of Mixing Bleach and Pine-Sol
So what happens when you have both bleach and pine-sol mixed together? You see, when you combine both solutions in certain amounts you cause the release of poisonous chlorine gas. The glycolic acid in Pine-sol releases chlorine gas when it reacts with bleach. The effect of inhaling this toxic chlorine fume into your lungs can be anything from mild discomfort to death. You can also lose consciousness, choke or have a respiratory arrest. Hence, it is advised you use them separately.
Furthermore, the ethoxylated alcohol in the Pine-sol can react with the sodium hypochlorite in the bleach to form chloroform. Chloroform in high concentration can have devastating death-causing effects. However, in low doses, it can damage the liver, depression of the CNS and respiratory and circulatory system irregularities.
Other symptoms you may experience when you inhale the released harmful fume formed by mixing Pine-sol and bleach includes; Chest pain, breathlessness, burning sensation in the eyes, coughing, vomiting and so on. Also, if you accidentally mix both products and start experiencing any of the symptoms, here is what you should do. Find a ventilated space to sit and call for medical help immediately.
Avoid mixing these products with bleach
a. Bleach and Ammonia:
When a product containing chlorine bleach is combined with a product containing ammonia, chloramine gas is released. This gas is considered toxic to both man and animal. Though death resulting from mixing bleach and ammonia is not common, it still happens.
Chloramine gas when inhaled in certain amounts can cause teary eyes, chest pain, respiratory difficulties and in a fatal case, death. If accidentally you get exposed to this toxic gas, you should move to a ventilated space and seek medical help immediately.
b. Bleach and Vinegar:
The idea of mixing bleach and vinegar may seem cool when you think you’re making a super disinfectant. But, the reality is by mixing both you will only create a poisonous gas. Specifically, chlorine gas. When you combine both solutions even in minute doses, you put yourself at risk for chlorine gas inhalation.
Inhaling chlorine can cause mild choke from its pungent smell to severe symptoms like fluid in the lungs. The severity of symptoms experienced is proportional to the degree of exposure to the gas. Hence, when accidentally exposed you should find a place to breathe in the fresh air and call for medical help.
c. Bleach and Rubbing Alcohol:
Mixing bleach and alcohol causes the release of chloroform gas. This gas when inhaled produces a sedative effect that causes loss of consciousness or syncope. When inhaled at lethal doses, it can damage your vital organs and the bone marrow.
Sometimes may result in the development of cancerous cells or sudden cardiac arrest. If accidentally you mix these two, you can dispose of them by diluting them with excess water and pouring it into the drain. But first, ensure the released gas no longer has a strong smell in the room before going in.
What Can You Safely Mix With Bleach?
Just Water. As it is, bleach is highly reactive when mixed with almost anything including other household cleaning items. Hence, it is best you don’t mix with any substance aside from Water. Mixing bleach with other substances often releases toxic fumes that can have a devastating effect on man.
However, you can safely mix bleach with laundry detergent if the bleach has been diluted with water. That is 125mls of bleach to 4litres of water.
How To Disinfect Surfaces Using Pine-Sol
Original Pine-sol has recently been approved by the EPA to kill Coronavirus on a hard non-porous surface. Keeping your surfaces clean and disinfected helps reduce the spread of the virus. Here is how to safely disinfect your doorknobs, bathtubs, cabinets and other surfaces using pine-sol.
Step 1: Gather your tools. To disinfect using Pine-sol multi-purpose cleaner you will need rubber gloves, a clean sponge or cloth, a bowl of clean water and Original Pine-sol.
Step 2: Don your gloves, pick up your sponge or a clean cloth and pour undiluted original Pine-sol onto it. Pour enough to make it wet. Before this, ensure your surface is clean with no grease, grime or dirt lying on it. If there is, you should pre-clean before disinfecting.
Step 3: Wet the surface you intend to disinfect with the Pine-sol dampened sponge or cloth. Allow it to sit for ten minutes. Also, ensure the surface is hard and nonporous.
Step 4: Rinse the surface with fresh and clean water
How To Disinfect Surfaces Using Bleach
Bleach has been used as a household item for over 90years. It is popularly used as a whitening product for cloths but it is also a potent disinfectant. However, for bleach to be effective, it has to be within its shelf life, not over diluted, and not denatured. You should also only use it to disinfect hard non-porous surfaces. Below are the steps to disinfecting with bleach;
Step 1: Prepare for disinfection. Gather all your required items and protect yourself. You will need rubber gloves, wipe cloths, cold water, a spray bottle, a goggle and a facemask. When your items are in place, don your gloves and wear your mask and goggles. The goggles are to prevent splashes from entering your eyes.
Step 2: Dilute bleach concentrate with cold water into the spray bottle. You should do this following the manufacturers’ recommendations. Usually, it is half a cup of bleach to one gallon of water. Or one teaspoon of bleach to one cup of water. Just ensure to follow the dilution guidelines on the bleach container.
Step 3: Clean and rinse your surface before disinfecting with bleach. Bleach is not a cleaning agent. Hence, will not clean your surface. And, having a dirty surface may deter how effective disinfecting with bleach will be. After cleaning, ensure to rinse properly as bleach reacts to cleaning agents.
Step 4: Spray diluted bleach across the surface. You can also apply bleach on the surface with a wipe cloth. Avoid using reusable clothes for this as they will get damaged.
Step 5: Leave it in to dwell for Five to Ten minutes as recommended by the manufacturer. This is to give it enough time to kill the microorganisms on the surface.
Step 6: After the dwell time, rinse off bleach with cold water and allow to air dry. Ensure you rinse thoroughly.
Bleach and Pine-sol are active disinfectants. While Pine-sol adds up as a cleaning agent, bleach whitens. You should not mix both. As it will cause the release of chlorine gas which is harmful to you when inhaled.