Bleach Alternatives

Are there less dangerous options?
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cleaning counter with bleach

Health Risks of Using Bleach

Bleach has been a go to household cleaner & disinfectant for generations.  It's usage stems form a well meaning attempt to create a safe, germ free living environment. After all, bleach is a powerful and effective way to sanitize counter tops, kill mold an mildew, whiten linens, and much more. Bleach, however, can irritate both the skin and eyes. It can also exasperate asthma conditions and even bring on the onset of asthma. When using bleach solution spay bottles, droplets in the air can be inhaled into the lungs. While prolonged exposure can cause problems for anyone, young children who's lungs are still developing are most at risk. this this particularly concerning because of how common it is for daycare centers to disinfect with bleach. 
bleach entering waterway

Environmental Impact of Using Bleach

While there is some debate over the extent of the damage, there is no disputing extensive usage of bleach poses a danger to our environment. Bleach used for household and commercial  purposes is finding its way into rivers, streams and lakes through public wastewater systems. Bleach is considered very unstable. When it enters waterways, it dissolves and is converted into chloride and hypochlorous acid. While, chloride is found naturally in fresh water lakes and streams, elevated levels have adverse effects on aquatic organisms. It also presents a threat to other wildlife and plant species when effected waters seep into the soil.  

Proper Usage of Bleach Can Reduce (Not Eliminate) Risks

Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, bleach usage for disinfectant purposes has increased dramatically. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in the first quarter of 2020, poison centers fielded a 20% increase in cleaner and disinfectant exposure calls. Many of these calls were directly related to misuse or over use of bleach products. If you must use bleach, take maximum preclusions to avoid injury or illness. Also, note that even when used properly, bleach can negatively impact your health if used for long periods of time. 

Bleach Use Precautions 

  • Carefully read and follow all instructions on labels. While this seems like a no brainer, dangers occur most when people do not take these preclusions seriously.
  • Wearing rubber gloves, eye protection and long sleaves are recommended when using bleach. It's corrosive nature can cause skin irritation and chemical burns to occur. Also, consider wearing a mask to avoid breathing in toxic vapors.
  • Never mix bleach with any other disinfectant. chemical interactions can release dangerous vapors into the air. This can result in severe respiratory issues and even death.
  • Proper ventilation is a must. Keeping doors or windows open is the most efficient way to keep air flowing. Of course, colder climates may hinder your ability to do so. If this is the case, using a fan will help circulate the air.  
  • Wash hands thoroughly after using bleach even if gloves are worn.  

Bleach Manufacturers go on the Defensive

Big bleach manufacturers like Clorox are vehemently disputing the extent of health and environmental risks. These claims puts the brunt of the blame on their products being misused. Yet, the mere fact that so much care needs to be taken to maintain safety  suggests a bigger problem exists. It bears repeating that while following recommended usage guidelines will reduce potential risks, it will not eliminate them completely. The value of keeping your home clean and sanitary can not be over stated. But, taking unnecessary chances with the health and well being of your family is not the solution. Safer, greener, more eco friendly options are available. We'll help you find them...

Finding Safer Alternatives to Bleach

Finding safe and effective bleach alternatives can be quite challenging. This is largely due to lack of product content regulation. Cleaners and disinfectants are not required by law to disclose all ingredient's on their labels. Many companies create additional confusion by using names that incorporate words like green or eco, falsely implying their products are environmentally friendly. Such misleading example's of greenwashing are all to common place. We've taken the guess work out by assembling a list of bleach alternative disinfectants that provide full disclosure of all their ingredients. Keep in mind, what is not in these products is equally as important as what is in them. Look for bleach alternative that do not use ingredients like chlorine, unnecessary fragrances or optical brighteners. All products shown below meet the highest standards for performance and safety.
shopping for bleach alternative
Affiliate Disclosure: may receive a small commission on sales of some of the featured products throughout this site. That said, we pride ourselves on honest content and product evaluations.

Shop Bleach Alternatives Surface Disinfectants 


EPA certified disinfectant
sanera bleach alternative
EPA Certified Disinfectant Hypochlorous Acid + 100% recycled bottle and boxes
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Sanitizer + Disinfectant
briotech sanitizer disinfectant
Kills 99.99% of Viruses & Bacteria, Bleach & Alcohol Free, Food Contact Safe
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No harsh chemicals
botanical decon 30
All Natural Botanical Decon 30 kills more than 99.99% of Germs and Bacteria.
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Shop Bleach Alternatives for Laundry 

Grab Green

Bleach Alternative Pods
grab green natural bleach alternative pods
No toxic chemicals like chlorine, optical brighteners, dyes, phosphates or fragrances
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Seventh Generation

seventh generation bleach substitute
Professional Non Chlorine Bleach, Free and Clear, Unscented, Color-Safe & Eco-Friendly
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Laundry Oxygen Bleach Plus
biokleen laundry oxygen bleach plus
Whitens & Brightens, Eco-Friendly, Plant-Based, No Artificial Fragrance or Preservatives
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