Recently Clorox has aired some commercials that asked the question of what is it that does the cleaning in other cleaners. For the most part, if you have actual soap that tends to do a good job at cleaning, but if you buy a spray bottle full of stuff you won’t know what it is that does the cleaning. Cleaning products seemed to have escaped from having to put what is in them, so you don’t really know what it is you are spraying all over your home.
Chlorine Bleach has been tested fairly extensively and has been shown to do a good job at disinfecting. But then things get tricky. You have to pick the right bleach. Many store brands won’t actually disinfect. The same goes for many of the scented bleaches and different types like splash free. When in doubt go with a bottle that actually says “disinfect” on the bottle, normally in the front. If you start looking you’ll find that many say things like clean, whiten, soften, and the like. One example would be Clorox HE Performance Bleach. If you look at the bottle it says right on the front disinfects. This is the bottle to reach for when it gets bad. Also, the bleach in the bottle is concentrated, it will actually work better if you dilute it about 1 part bleach to 4 parts water.
Some people will say that vinegar will do just as well and you won’t have to deal with bleach. While I use vinegar as a cleaner, it hasn’t been tested as much as bleach. Some tests point to it performing at the same level, some show that it doesn’t perform as well. You will want to go with what makes sense for your family, but at the end of the day, there isn’t enough data to show definitely that vinegar does the same job bleach does.
While there is a whole world of other cleaning products, when it comes down to it you will have to decide what you feel comfortable using. One word of caution though, don’t mix products together. It is bad enough that we don’t always have a good idea what is in a bottle of cleaning spray, but we at least know that that bottle is mostly safe when used by itself. If you start mixing stuff you could end up with a bad reaction of chemicals.