Americans tend to spend a huge amount of money on specialized cleaning products. Sometimes the money we spend does make our cleaning regimes easier, but one product we take for granted is highly underestimated - Clorox Bleach. We all use it in our laundry to keep our whites their whitest, but it has many more uses than just nice laundry.
Drinking water sanitation is best done by boiling for several minutes, but in times that boiling is not an option, bleach can do the job. Eight drops of Clorox Bleach per one gallon of water will sanitize and make that water drinkable after a 30 minute disinfectant time. One half teaspoon will sanitize five gallons of water. If the water is cloudy, it is safe to double the recommended dose. Be sure to only use the regular Clorox Bleach and not any of the scented varieties. For emergency (and camping) water storage, the water should be stored after already being sanitized. You can always sanitize again before use if you would feel better (remember it is safe to double the recommended dose). Make sure that if you are storing the sanitized water to first sanitize the storage container by using the sanitizing solution below.
A great disinfecting solution is ľ cup bleach to one gallon of cool water. If you donít need that much then use 1 tablespoon of bleach to one quart of cool water. For areaís that just get more germ exposure (diaper areas, chicken coops, etc.) then stiffen up the bleach to Ĺ cup per one quart of water. A good soaking solution (for toys, eating utensils, food preparation tools and so forth) use 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 gallon of cool water, soak for two minutes and if time permits allow to air dry. Always wash items before sanitizing.
After the bleach is done with its work, it breaks down to a tad more than salt and water, making it environmentally safe and sound. I have always used Clorox Bleach because itís an old and proven name. Itís the most tested bleach ever and has a history with the big time chicken hatcheries - they use it to disinfect everything chicken related. And if it can clean up after a chicken, it can disinfect just about anything!
Lastly, thereís always the obvious use for bleach - laundry. Bleach will effectively clean body soil from fabrics - Regular Clorox Bleach for whites and Clorox 2 for colors. Not even a stain remover will get rid of body soil as well as bleach.
Another important thing to remember is the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing. Cleaning is the removal of dirt, grease, debris and many of the germs by scrubbing with soap or detergent and water, then rinsing. Disinfecting is the killing of disease causing germs on surfaces, either with a germicide (such as Clorox bleach) or a physical agent such as high temperature. Sanitizing is the reducing of the number of disease causing germs to what is considered a "safe level" by using a method of disinfecting. Bleach is economical, but does loose its strength and effectiveness as it is exposed to air. Therefore, one should make up a new bleach solution each day you need it.
Easy, cheap and cost efficient in so many ways!
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