Does bleach kill 100% of germs? As many continue to disinfect their homes during the coronavirus pandemic, health officials say you may be using bleach all wrong. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the main ingredients in bleach, sodium hypochlorite, can kill the COVID-19 virus.
What can bleach not kill? Bleach is not effective for all pathogens
Because it is highly reactive, chlorine bleach will act on whatever it comes in contact with first, whether dirt or bacteria. If it encounters dirt first, it may be rendered ineffective as a germicide.
Does bleach clean or just disinfect? “Household bleach, or chlorine bleach, can be diluted with water to disinfect surfaces, but it is not a cleaner, so you will need to pre-clean a surface with soap and water to remove dirt and debris first and let it dry completely before disinfecting with the diluted bleach,” she says.
How long does it take for bleach to kill bacteria? If instructions are not available, leave the diluted bleach solution on the surface for at least 1 minute before removing or wiping. This is known as the “contact time” for disinfection. The surface should remain visibly wet during the contact time. Wash hands after cleaning or disinfecting.