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bleach solution as disinfectant.

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by JV3, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. JV3


    Mar 17, 2010
    an e-mail i wrote to family and friends just now...copy and pasted here in case you also know some sheeple and i'll save you the typing :) let me know if there's incorrect info or i missed anything so i can resend them an e-mail.

    How to disinfect stuff against COVID-19 and other nasty stuff?

    I'm surprised a lot of people don't know that you can use diluted bleach to disinfect stuff. A friend recently mentioned he's using diluted vinegar :eek: There's no scientific evidence that works against COVID-19! I'm sorry for the harsh words I'm about to say but some of you are damn clueless! Unless you work in the medical field or at least can provide a direct link from the CDC, EPA or some other scientific website (here in the US: CDC = Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. EPA = Environmental Protection Agency) then please don't give advice you heard from a friend's cousin's grandma what she used back in the day...It's dangerous and can downright get someone killed!

    It's been keeping me up at night so I have to e-mail this...70% (or higher) isopropyl alcohol is ideal since it stinks a lot less and dries fast but that stuff is hard to find nowadays and it's expensive if you need to use massive amounts of it. We started disinfecting amazon boxes and groceries (canned or boxed goods) and leaving them outside for a few hours to dry before opening them/bringing inside the house...Needless to say, that requires a lot of expensive alcohol.

    In comes bleach (Clorox is one brand name for it but it's basically around 6% sodium hypochlorite)...It's way cheaper and you can find it easier than alcohol. Here's a cheat sheet I wrote for family and friends...Basically, mix bleach and plain water and spray that onto stuff and leave it for a few hours to dry. It will stink so best to leave the items outside to dry...Unless you already stashed gallons of it it's too late now so save the alcohol for your hands and other higher priority items.


    Some conversions:
    1 gallon = 128 oz.
    1/2 gallon = 64 oz.
    1/4 gallon = 32 oz.
    1 quart = 32 oz, 4 cups or about 1 liter.
    8 tablespoons = 4 oz.
    1 tablespoon = 1/2 oz.

    To make a bleach solution to spray on stuff (leave it for a few hours to air dry):
    128 oz (1 gallon water) = add 1/2 cup (4 oz) bleach to it.
    64 oz water = add 1/4 cup (2 oz) bleach to it.
    32 oz water = add 1 oz (2 tablespoons) bleach to it.

    Here are other disinfectants you can use: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

    If you're not sure, look at the label in the back for an EPA registration # and paste that in the search box in the website above and see if it shows up.

    If you don't have a water filter or can't boil it you can also use bleach to disinfect water for drinking. 1 gallon clear water = add 8 drops of bleach to it, mix it well and wait minimum 30 minutes before drinking it. If water is cloudy or stuff floating in it, filter it through a bandana or t-shirt, then add 16 drops of bleach to it, mix it well and wait minimum 30 minutes before drinking it.

    You can also sterilize a water container (if for some reason you ran out of dishwashing soap or it's plastic so you can't boil water in it) by adding 1 teaspoon (64 drops) bleach to 1 quart (32 oz, 4 cups or about 1 liter) water and shake it vigorously and leave it in there. If there's a cap for it make sure to turn it upside down and open the cap to let some of the solution out so the mouth/threads get disinfected too. Wait minimum 30 minutes and pour out the solution. Let it air dry or rinse with clean water and now you can use it.

    All of the above info I read directly from the CDC and EPA websites (see links below)...As for disinfecting water for drinking - it's common knowledge among the hiker/camping crowd...Now I can sleep :)

    WValtakis, bore and Psy223 like this.
  2. bore


    May 20, 2015
    Good post. Wife likes to cook (lucky me) kitchen counters and sink gets bleached every day probably a couple of times. Ill pass this on to her and a couple friends.

    Edit Dang she's already doing it w bleach and soapy water
    CoryMc and JV3 like this.
  3. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I think a lot of people use way way too much bleach for disinfecting things. Using the 10% approach is way to strong and you need gloves to safely use it.

    What's the difference between outdoor and indoor bleach?
  4. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    Soapy bleach! :thumbsup:
  5. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    Primarily the strength. I use liquid pool bleach in a 2500gallon water tank.
  6. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    Quaternary ammonium is fantastic to use and most people are unaware that it exists so it's still easy to obtain. From the guidance I've received in the food safety circles SARS-CoV-2 is fairly weak against most cleaning agents, disinfectants, and sanitizers so it's pretty easy to disinfect if you start with a clean surface.

    The following link was a webinar I attended for food safety professionals (it requires you to register to view the webinar). Around 31:45 is when the doctor comes in to discuss the disease from a food safety and food industry perspective, from a medical doctor's expertise.

    However, for the purposes of this discussion, the EPA has a list of disinfectants deemed effective at controlling SARS-CoV-2, Vinegar/acetic acid is not on that last. Note that there are 370 entries (multiple pages in the table). This is the same list link that JV3 shared (2nd link).
  7. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    Just don’t let bleach splash in your eyes as it can cause permanent damage.
  8. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    Or mix with an Acid household cleaner and gas yourself to death. If it bubbles, leave the door open when you leave. :eek:

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