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Penguin

Is Splash-Less bleach worthless?

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I don't normally use bleach due to asthma so I made the apparent mistake of buying Splash-Less bleach instead of regular bleach. Now I found out that Splash-Less bleach does not disinfect and of course buying bleach is now impossible. Sigh. What in the world is this splash-less bleach good for?

My DH uses bleach to clean the shower, so we have a little bit of regular beach but it is old and probably equally worthless for disinfecting.

We do have some vaild disinfectants: a bit of isopropyl alcohol, and some Lysol products, but probably not enough to comfortably last until the shortage ends. I thought I was in good shape because I bought bleach and it can take a lot of dilution but nope. 

ETA: I edited the title and post to change splashless to Splash-Less. Because it isn't splashless, it just splashes less. What a crap product!

Edited by Penguin

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Is that a dry bleach? Would that be the same thing as something like Oxyclean?

AFAIK, only chlorine bleach disinfects, and most of the time, chlorine bleach only comes as a liquid.

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I don't know much about splashless, but surprisingly, I've been able to find bleach in a 3 pack at Costco and see it there most times I'm there. They're one of the few places I've seen limiting it to 1 per customer. And I've looked almost everywhere with every place being sold out because I didn't want to buy 3 gallons if I didn't have to.

Edited by IfIOnly
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I’ve never heard of it until reading your link. I think that’s negligent marketing.

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It still works, but the concentration is different.  Here's a reddit thread on the topic.  As long as you are using it to sanitize your home and aren't dumping it into your well you'll be fine.

 

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14 hours ago, Acorn said:

I’ve never heard of it until reading your link. I think that’s negligent marketing.

Yes, I agree. The bottle looks just like a regular bottle of liquid bleach. Having both asthma and eczema I just thought, hey, Splash-Less sounds like a good idea! The fine print does say not for disinfecting, but I had no idea that I had to read the fine print of a bottle of Clorox. I got duped.

@Katy I read the reddit thread and that was helpful. It does not say what the concentration of sodium hypoclorite is on my farcical bleach, I'll try to figure out the proper dilution tomorrow. It has been a long day. 

 

Edited by Penguin
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“Recently published analysis of 22 studies found that human coronaviruses – such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, or endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV) – can persist on inanimate surfaces such as metal, glass, or plastic for up to 9 days (COVID-19 was found in a study to persist on metal for up to 2-3 days), but can be efficiently inactivated by surface disinfection procedures with 62%-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite within 1 minute. “

Hospitalist.org 

 

I think possibly it means 3 or 5 % Hydrogen peroxide?  Not 0.5 % ?  Which makes me wonder if 0.1% sodium hypochlorite is accurate.  

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I use splashless for laundry. 

We have standard bleach for cleaning.

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49 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

WOW.  I had no idea.  I buy splashless all the time.   I just used some a second a go.  Crap. 

Disappointing, isn’t it?! 

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I had been buying it for laundry and then read that it’s not good for my washing machine. 
I found it odd some of the local hospitals had unscented splashless  bleach as a requested donation item. 

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8 hours ago, Plum said:

I had been buying it for laundry and then read that it’s not good for my washing machine. 
I found it odd some of the local hospitals had unscented splashless  bleach as a requested donation item. 

 

If 0.1% is accurate it may have enough hypochlorite for Coronavirus and maybe using it direct out of bottle  the thicker formula to help it stay where put longer would be helpful.  It is possible that it can disinfect for a coronavirus much more easily than some other microbes.  Seems like more knowledge is needed. 

Maybe the 0.5% for hydrogen peroxide is even also correct and That H2O2 is effective substantially diluted in water not just straight as it comes from most bottles. 

 

Oh good idea: ETA to tag @Dicentra !

thoughts? 

Edited by Pen
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OK, explain to me slowly:

We have to dilute regular bleach with a lot of water, at least 1:10,  or more, to use it for sanitizing

Quote

"Bleach (usually 5.25% or 6.00%–6.15% sodium hypochlorite depending upon manufacturer) is usually diluted in water at 1:10 or 1:100. Approximate dilutions are 1-1/2 cups of bleach in a gallon of water for a 1:10 dilution (~6,000 ppm) or 1/4 cup of bleach in a gallon of water for a 1:100 dilution (~600 ppm)"

So why wouldn't the splashless, less concentrated version, work when we dilute it with less water?  According to what I have read, it contains between 1 and 5% sodium hypochlorite. So, wouldn't diluting it only 1:2 to 1:20 create the same concentration?

@Dicentra, you're a chemist. What am I missing here? 
 

Edited by regentrude
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@regentrude My thoughts exactly. 

I have spent the last two hours researching bleach. My current conclusion is I consider splashless far from ideal but not worthless for disinfecting surfaces like doorknobs.

The tricky part was figuring out how much sodium hypochlorite is actually in splashless. This is a trade secret but I was able to locate the safety data sheet states 1-5 percent. 
 

I have also found reliable sources for using 0.5 percent for disinfection.

My current conclusion is that I consider it worthless for purifying drinking water or using on food because splashless has additives that could cause harm in those applications.
 

I have a lot of links to share from reliable sources but it will take a bit to get them uploaded.

Edited by Penguin
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Hmmm.  I have 3-4 bottles of splashless bleach in the house.  Boo.  I won't be buying more.  I have always just used it right out of the bottle not mixing it with water.

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@Dicentra I would love your input 🙂 

Links:

How to Make Strong (0.5 percent) chlorine solution from liquid bleach. Source: CDC

Note that the CDC recommends making the solution daily.

Sanitizer Dilution Calculator Source: Indigo Instruments

Very helpful!

Sample calculation: Starting with 1% and desiring 600 ppm. Desired volume of 500 ml (about 2 cups). The calculator tells me to use 30 ml of the undiluted bleach. Starting with 5% the calculator calls for 6 ml. The remainder of the volume should be water, of course.

Note: for disinfection, I find various recommendations for optimal ppm. The Washington State Department of Health recommends 600-800 ppm for a child's environment and cautions against the higher ppm recommendations.

Safety Data Sheet Clorox Splash-Less Bleach

Note: the safety data sheet indicates a 1 to 5 percent concentration of sodium hypochlorite (page 2 item 3) The exact amount is a trade secret. But this is good news, right? If it was below 0.5 we couldn't get to 0.5 but a 1 percent can be diluted downward.

Disintection with Bleach Tech Talk. Source: 3M  This is an interesting article about the degradation of bleach over time.

More interesting reading. Includes cautions against bleach with additives (and splash-less bleach definitely has additives) with regard to food processing operations. Source: Oklahoma State University 

Miscellaneous notes:

Sanitizing and Disinfecting are not the same things. Sanitation requires less ppm than disinfection. 

 

 

 

Edited by Penguin
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More thoughts that are perhaps wrong:

Using the solution law of C1V1 =C2V2:

To get from 1 percent to 0.5 percent sodium hypochlorate all I have to do is dilute the sodium hypochlorate by half.

Why does the calculator dilute further? Because using a ppm level (which I believe is ppm of free chlorine not sodium hypochlorate) of 600-800 ppm must be below 0.5%. 

Which again raises the question of the right amount for disinfecting. Maybe 600-800 ppm is too conservative unless you have small children?

ETA: Using 1%, I had to require 5000 ppm to get to a 50% dilution rate. Using 5%, I had to desire 25000 ppm.

@Pen I think you had a good point that the the thicker viscosity of the Splash-Less might help the disinfectant stay in place longer. A silver lining?

Edited by Penguin

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

Hmmm.  I have 3-4 bottles of splashless bleach in the house.  Boo.  I won't be buying more.  I have always just used it right out of the bottle not mixing it with water.

Does it stink as much as regular bleach?

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3 minutes ago, Penguin said:

Does it stink as much as regular bleach?

 

Interesting question.  I am not really sure.  

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25 minutes ago, Penguin said:

Does it stink as much as regular bleach?

 

I don’t do at all well with chlorine bleach from a chemical sensitivity POV.

If you don’t have a problem like that though, I think going ahead and using it in situations where soap and water cleaning,  or other methods like washing in a hot laundry load etc can’t  be used would probably help a lot.

 I have the sense from what I have read that the relative ease of damaging the fatty virus capsule makes coronaviruses usually pretty susceptible to many cleaning products. 

UV from sun too I think should help where that can be used.  

 

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2 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

I don’t do at all well with chlorine bleach from a chemical sensitivity POV.

 

Same. I avoid bleach which is why I was not a smart bleach consumer. I can tolerate the smell of Lysol and if I had a do-over I would have bought more Lysol products.

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Just now, Penguin said:

Same. I avoid bleach which is why I was not a smart bleach consumer. I can tolerate the smell of Lysol and if I had a do-over I would have bought more Lysol products.

 

Can you tolerate hydrogen peroxide? I find it much more tolerable than chlorine bleaches. 

 

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1 hour ago, Pen said:

 

Can you tolerate hydrogen peroxide? I find it much more tolerable than chlorine bleaches. 

 

I think so. I have not used it in a long time, so I am not sure. I am good with rubbing alcohol, too.

It is hard to know how much to disinfect right now. I don't want to run out and then have nothing later when we might indeed have sickness in the house.

Edited by Penguin

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I don’t know for your stores, but mine still had some non chlorine bleach (hydrogen peroxide) on shelf last I am aware of. 

They also had some fragrance free benzalkonium chloride, which is supposed to be less effective than hydrogen peroxide, alcohol , bleach, but I am not sure whether “less effective “ means no use at all or whether it means some benefit.  

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9 minutes ago, Penguin said:

I think so. I have not used it in a long time, so I am not sure. I am good with rubbing alcohol, too.

It is hard to know how much to disinfect right now. I don't want to run out and then have nothing later when we might indeed have sickness in the house.

We are disinfecting commonly used surfaces from time to time but not daily unless we contaminate them with groceries or something. We have one person who is the point person for leaving the house, and if he's been working or at the store, we will then disinfect doorknobs and such, but if we are all at home for several days in a row without new things coming in, we stay on top of cleaning but don't go nuts. We use a two-step process of cleaning with one rag (generally has some mild cleaner), and then a second person comes along with a different rag and uses a disinfectant (usually rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle--it's easier to actually wet the whole surface vs. having it stay on the rag and just evaporate from there). We disinfect after groceries come in. (Depending on what's going on, we do use some paper towels instead of rags, but that's an exception for the pandemic.)

Most disinfectants work best if the surface is cleaned and then you disinfect as second step.

We're mostly just cleaning. If someone shows symptoms, we'll separate that person into their own space and be more rigid.

YMMV, but we have a healthcare worker in the house, so by the time he might have it, we'll all have it unless we just stop associating with him indefinitely. Sigh. I feel like how he handles his work clothes is far more important than the general germ sharing we do daily since we're otherwise not exposing ourselves to others. He is able to shower at work, dress in clean clothes, and segregate his work clothes--soon he'll be able to wear hospital issue scrub tops (maybe bottoms) and leave them at work.

 

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2 hours ago, Pen said:

 

Can you tolerate hydrogen peroxide? I find it much more tolerable than chlorine bleaches. 

 

 

44 minutes ago, Penguin said:

I think so. I have not used it in a long time, so I am not sure. I am good with rubbing alcohol, too.

It is hard to know how much to disinfect right now. I don't want to run out and then have nothing later when we might indeed have sickness in the house.

It doesn't have much of an odor at all, and it breaks down to just water and oxygen. So although it can be drying to skin, it isn't like bleach with all the fumes, etc. 

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8 hours ago, Pen said:

 

If 0.1% is accurate it may have enough hypochlorite for Coronavirus and maybe using it direct out of bottle  the thicker formula to help it stay where put longer would be helpful.  It is possible that it can disinfect for a coronavirus much more easily than some other microbes.  Seems like more knowledge is needed. 

Maybe the 0.5% for hydrogen peroxide is even also correct and That H2O2 is effective substantially diluted in water not just straight as it comes from most bottles. 

 

Oh good idea: ETA to tag @Dicentra !

thoughts? 

 

6 hours ago, regentrude said:

OK, explain to me slowly:

We have to dilute regular bleach with a lot of water, at least 1:10,  or more, to use it for sanitizing

So why wouldn't the splashless, less concentrated version, work when we dilute it with less water?  According to what I have read, it contains between 1 and 5% sodium hypochlorite. So, wouldn't diluting it only 1:2 to 1:20 create the same concentration?

@Dicentra, you're a chemist. What am I missing here? 
 

 

6 hours ago, Penguin said:

@regentrude My thoughts exactly. 

I have spent the last two hours researching bleach. My current conclusion is I consider splashless far from ideal but not worthless for disinfecting surfaces like doorknobs.

The tricky part was figuring out how much sodium hypochlorite is actually in splashless. This is a trade secret but I was able to locate the safety data sheet states 1-5 percent. 
 

I have also found reliable sources for using 0.5 percent for disinfection.

My current conclusion is that I consider it worthless for purifying drinking water or using on food because splashless has additives that could cause harm in those applications.
 

I have a lot of links to share from reliable sources but it will take a bit to get them uploaded.

 

5 hours ago, Penguin said:

@Dicentra I would love your input 🙂 

Links:

How to Make Strong (0.5 percent) chlorine solution from liquid bleach. Source: CDC

Note that the CDC recommends making the solution daily.

Sanitizer Dilution Calculator Source: Indigo Instruments

Very helpful!

Sample calculation: Starting with 1% and desiring 600 ppm. Desired volume of 500 ml (about 2 cups). The calculator tells me to use 30 ml of the undiluted bleach. Starting with 5% the calculator calls for 6 ml. The remainder of the volume should be water, of course.

Note: for disinfection, I find various recommendations for optimal ppm. The Washington State Department of Health recommends 600-800 ppm for a child's environment and cautions against the higher ppm recommendations.

Safety Data Sheet Clorox Splash-Less Bleach

Note: the safety data sheet indicates a 1 to 5 percent concentration of sodium hypochlorite (page 2 item 3) The exact amount is a trade secret. But this is good news, right? If it was below 0.5 we couldn't get to 0.5 but a 1 percent can be diluted downward.

Disintection with Bleach Tech Talk. Source: 3M  This is an interesting article about the degradation of bleach over time.

More interesting reading. Includes cautions against bleach with additives (and splash-less bleach definitely has additives) with regard to food processing operations. Source: Oklahoma State University 

Miscellaneous notes:

Sanitizing and Disinfecting are not the same things. Sanitation requires less ppm than disinfection. 

 

 

 

I'm hoping I'm quoting and addressing all the questions - if I missed someone or missed a question, please don't hesitate to point that out!

There are two basic kinds of bleach you can buy - chlorine and non-chlorine bleach.  Chlorine bleach will say that it contains sodium hypochlorite.  Non-chlorine bleach is a type of "oxygen" bleach that usually contains hydrogen peroxide (or sodium peroxide, etc.).  If you're looking to sanitize, you'll want chlorine bleach.  While hydrogen peroxide does have an effect on the coating of the coronavirus, it probably isn't in a high enough concentration in non-chlorine bleaches.

What you're looking to do is sanitize.  Sanitizing is getting the pathogen count on surfaces down to a safe level.  Disinfecting is getting rid of virtually all of them.  Sterilizing is getting rid of EVERYTHING.

You can buy bleaches containing different percentages of sodium hypochlorite.  @regentrude , @Pen , and @Penguin - you are right in thinking that a bleach that one has bought that has a lower percentage of sodium hypochlorite isn't useless - you just need to dilute it with less water to get the correct final concentration.  The website with the calculation app that @Penguin posted looks good:

https://www.indigoinstruments.com/sanitizer-dilution-calculator.php

This one might be a bit simpler:

https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/health-topics/environmental-occupational-health/water-quality/chlorine-dilution-calculator

You want to be aiming for 1000ppm of chlorine for disinfecting surfaces.  A 0.1% bleach solution from the bottle, however, can't get you a final solution of 1000ppm - it's too weak to begin with.  The calculators above let you input the percentage on the bottle, the 1000pm desired strength, and how much of the solution you want in the end.  If you're concerned about the higher concentration around children, wipe with the 1000ppm solution, let dry naturally, and then wipe again with clean water before letting a child touch the object or surface.  If the bottle doesn't give a percentage, you can usually do a little googling with the name of your product to find the percentage online.

PLEASE DON'T MIX ANYTHING ELSE WITH YOUR BLEACH SOLUTION.  NO VINEGAR.  NO ESSENTIAL OILS.  NO PEROXIDE.

NOTHING!!!!!!

Wear gloves and, preferably, some kind of eye protection.  Note: this isn't protecting you from the virus - it's protecting you from making your skin really irritated from the bleach or getting bleach solution in your eyes. 🙂 

Ideally, you'll want to make a fresh bleach solution every day.  It does break down when exposed to air and breaks down much faster when exposed to light.

If you want to purify your drinking water, boiling it is a far better solution than adding bleach.

As to the thicker consistency of the splashless bleach helping it to maintain contact longer, I'm not sure - interesting experiment to run, though. 🙂  If the splashless bleach is 0.1% sodium hypochlorite, though, it's not strong enough to use.

Remember - none of you are looking to radically disinfect, only sanitize.  You simply can't reach every nook and cranny on every surface and you really don't need to.  I know I probably sound like a broken record but the BEST thing ANYONE can do to protect themselves is to:

1. Wash your hands.  With soap.  20 seconds.  Between fingers, finger tips, palms, back of hands.  Shut off the taps with your elbow or a piece of paper towel.

2. Wash your hands A LOT.  Wash your hands before prepping a meal.  Wash your hands AGAIN right before you eat.  Wash your hands before you rub your eyes.  Wash your hands before you scratch your nose.  Wash them AFTER rubbing your eyes or scratching your nose.  Wash them IMMEDIATELY upon coming back to your house.  Put groceries away.  Wash them again.  Keep lotion on them in between washings so they don't start to dry out and crack.

3. Don't touch your face - preferably, not at all.  If you have to scratch or rub, wash your hands first and again after.

4.  If people don't live in your house, you shouldn't be having ANY contact with them except for when you get your groceries or for essential doctor appointments.

I know - it feels like bleaching everything in sight will be helpful.  But, honestly - unless you are currently caring for someone in your home who has COVID-19 (in which case there are a TON of protocols you need to be following and you need to talk to experts to make sure you're doing everything right), your best bet for staying healthy and coronavirus-free are the 4 things I listed above.

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There is a splashless bleach ?? she says in ignorance ! 🤫

All mine smell though. Someday soon in the future you may have class action suits against people who used too much bleach during this time like the meme. But I would rather be the cray over sanitizer who sanitizes amazon boxes, grocery and the mail than one who did not. We'll see about the bleach fumes later. 

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I don't use much bleach, and when I do it's usually for laundry when one of us is ill. I was almost out a couple weeks ago, so I bought a small jug of the splashless kind since that was the only non-scented kind left. I figured there was a difference since it didn't say "disinfectant" on the bottle like normal bleach does. I'm not looking to disinfect or kill off every little germ, so it's fine for my purposes. I used it today to do a deeper cleaning in my bathroom, which I try to do quarterly. I prefer to do my regular cleaning with other products that don't irritate my respiratory system. I have all the windows open and there's a nice breeze blowing through, and the bleach fumes are still pretty strong.

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