A Primer on Bleach: How and Why it Works

October 22, 2015

Report Summary

This report addresses the process by which sodium hypochlorite, the active ingredient in commercial bleach products, destroys disease-causing pathogens. It explains the science of how and why bleach is an effective disinfection agent, and presents information to address common misconceptions about bleach. It has been updated since its original release in 2014.

Editor's Take

As Rutala and Weber (1997) explain, "Hypochlorite has many of the properties of an ideal disinfectant, including a broad antimicrobial activity, rapid bactericidal action, reasonable persistence in treated potable water, ease of use, solubility in water, relative stability, relative nontoxicity at use concentrations, no poisonous residuals, no color, no staining, and low cost."

Takeaways for Your Business

  • Discover how sodium hypochlorite destroys pathogens
  • Review the proper concentration of bleach to be used in the healthcare setting
  • Learn how to address staff misconceptions about bleach odor and other concerns