Scented Bleach-Does It Work As A Disinfectant?

Never believe that a scented bleach or all-purpose cleaner is a disinfectant. Disinfectants are intended to help protect your family from germs found on hard surfaces while bleach possesses some excellent disinfecting properties due to its powerful chemical composition.

Does Scented Bleach Disinfect?

Not all bleaches are the same, and some do not disinfect especially the scented bleaches. Unscented bleach has better cleaning properties as compared to scented ones.

The disinfecting function is better performed by unscented bleach because of the presence of a more active cleaning agent, sodium hypochlorite.

Also, various grades of bleach have different concentrations of ingredients making it more or less thick. This indirectly changes the concentration of sodium hypochlorite in bleach affecting its disinfecting ability.

What Is A Scented Bleach?

Many companies are producing bleach with fragrance added. These scented bleaches have less composition of active cleaning agents.

In early care environments, do not use these products for disinfecting or sanitizing. Many of these scented products contain 1% – 5% Sodium Hypochlorite concentrations, as opposed to 8.25 percent Sodium Hypochlorite concentrations in other chorine bleaches, and they do not disinfect.

The chemicals in scented bleach products may cause breathing problems in children and adults. Be careful while using it and read the instructions to make sure whether it is suitable for your family or not.

How Can You Differentiate Between Bleach and Disinfectant?

Bleach and disinfectant are somewhat different terms, where bleach refers to the cleaning agent which can cause discoloration while a disinfectant may or may not cause discoloration.

Disinfectants are chemical substances that can be used to clean surfaces. Bleach is one kind of disinfectant. Depending on their chemical composition, these chemicals have a variety of applications.

Bleach is any chemical compound that we use in industrial and household applications to remove stains and clean surfaces. It is usually a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite. In common parlance, this is referred to as “liquid bleach.”

The majority of bleaching agents have a broad range of bactericidal properties. That is, these compounds have the ability to combat a variety of bacterial species that are harmful to us. As a result, bleaching agents are extremely useful for disinfecting and sterilizing surfaces.

The active substance sodium hypochlorite is effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including the influenza virus, but it is easily inactivated by organic material.

Diluted household bleach helps in disinfecting surfaces in healthcare facilities. It occurs in 10–60 minutes of contact time, is widely available at a low cost, and is recommended for surface disinfection.

Disinfectants are chemicals used to eliminate or inactivate microorganisms from inert surfaces. They do not, however, necessarily kill all microorganisms. That means that some bacterial spores may be resistant to disinfectants. 

What Are the Harmful Effects of Bleach?

Bleach is corrosive in nature and poses serious threats to human health and the environment. Passive exposure has higher chances of harming individuals, especially children.

Bleach irritates mucous membranes, the skin, and the airways; decomposes under heat and light; and reacts easily with other chemicals. Therefore, bleach should be used with caution; ventilation should be adequate and consistent with relevant occupational health and safety guidance.

As bleach enters the water supply and degrades, its component particles can combine with other elements already present in the water, potentially making it more hazardous (or sometimes less). In addition, there is a lot of hazardous runoff from the chemical manufacturing industry in general that ends up in groundwater. Once formed, these compounds can be harmful to local wildlife.

Inappropriate use of bleach, including variation from recommended dilutions (either stronger or weaker), may reduce its effectiveness for disinfection and can injure healthcare workers.

What Precautions Should be Followed for the Use of Bleach?

Bleach should be carefully used as it is an active cleaning agent and made up of toxic chemicals,. Any negligence can cause harm to children, adults, or any other family member.

Follow the precautionary steps given below:

  • Bleach has the potential to corrode metals and damage painted surfaces.
  • Touching the eyes should be avoided. If bleach gets into your eyes, immediately rinse them with water for at least 15 minutes and seek medical attention.
  • Using bleach in conjunction with other household detergents reduces its effectiveness and can result in dangerous chemical reactions.

When bleach is mixed with acidic detergents, such as those used for toilet cleaning, toxic gas is produced, which can cause death or injury. If necessary, use detergents first and thoroughly rinse with water before disinfecting with bleach.

  • When undiluted bleach is exposed to sunlight, it emits a toxic gas; therefore, keep bleach in a cool, shaded location that is out of reach of children.
  • With the passage of time, sodium hypochlorite decomposes. To ensure its efficacy, buy recently manufactured bleach and avoid overstocking.
  • If you are using diluted bleach, make a new batch every day. Label and date it, and discard any unused mixtures after 24 hours.
  • Organic materials deactivate bleach; prior to disinfection with bleach, clean surfaces to remove organic materials.
  • Keep diluted bleach covered and protected from sunlight, preferably in a dark container, and out of children’s reach.

Related questions

Is It True that the Smell of Bleach Kills Germs?

Because bleach and other disinfectant fumes are effective at disinfecting, they are harmful to your lungs. Their job is to kill microbes, but the way they do so usually kills (or irritates) parts of your respiratory tract. However, inhaling bleach fumes once a week will not kill you.

Is Scented Bleach Identical to Regular Bleach?

There is one important distinction between the scented and unscented versions that are not stated on the label. They contain less than half the amount of active ingredients found in regular bleach. However, the label on the scented version states that it should not be used for disinfection.


Not all bleaches are the same. The regular unscented bleach commonly used in our homes possesses remarkable cleaning and disinfecting properties owing to its significant composition of sodium hypochlorite. On the other hand, the scented bleaches impart less disinfecting properties.

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