How effective is bleach as a disinfectant?

Christmas of 2018 was awful.

Everyone in our house got sick with the stomach flu, and it was not pretty. 

This winter Mandy and I were determined not repeat that nightmare and so she cracked open a bottle of bleach.  This was a big deal - we never use bleach to clean our house - but it's the most effective way to kill germs.

Or so we thought.

Now that we're in the middle of the Coronavirus Pandemic, Mandy's been away with the kids and I was all set to clean our house from top to bottom... with bleach.

That is until this quote from a National Geographic article popped into my newsfeed:

Using bleach “is like using a bludgeon to swat a fly,”...

"...says Jane Greatorex, a virologist at Cambridge University. It can also corrode metal and lead to other respiratory health problems if inhaled too much over time.

“With bleach, if you put it on a surface with a lot of dirt, that [dirt] will eat up the bleach,” says Lisa Casanova, an environmental health scientist at Georgia State University. She and other experts instead recommend using milder soaps, like dish soap, to easily sanitize a surface indoors and outdoors."

Dish Soap is as good as bleach?

Who knew?  Clearly not me, and the embarrassing part is that we actually make Dish Soap
There's just something about Bleach that seems so powerful. Is it the harsh smell that gives it the appearance of strength or maybe it's years of marketing?  Either way, I've always had it in my head that bleach, lysol and other disinfectants are the best - or only - choice.

Maybe it's time we challenged our assumptions of what makes things clean?

Here's what that National Geographic article had to say:
"Soap works so effectively because its chemistry pries open the coronavirus’s exterior envelope and cause it to degrade. These soap molecules then trap tiny fragments of the virus, which are washed away in water." (Sarah Gibbons, National GeographicMARCH 18, 2020)
So there you have it, according to National Geographic, dish soap may be as good (and better smelling) an option as bleach.  And in some instances it may be more recommended.
Guess I'll have to stop procrastinating, crack open another pod of dish soap and start cleaning... or maybe not.
Want to check out our Dish Soap?  CLICK HERE.

← Older Post Newer Post →


  • Please don’t use bleach to clean your toilet! It goes directly into the water supply, which already has plenty of toxins. Please try a cleaner with hydrogen peroxide instead.

    Sara B on
  • My grandma used to say the best things to clean with was hot water a scrubbing brush and a bar of green soap!
    I used to teach students in a college and I always remember one of my messages for was that bleach was a stain remover not a cleaning agent!
    So I was pleased to see your message
    I use dish soap all the time
    Thank you from the UK under house isolation apart from one long walk with my dog Jake – so plenty time to clean!

    Emily Hewitson-Townley on
  • I use dish soap for washing and will try for cleaning but what about the toilet as that is still a grey area?
    Thank you.

    David Shore on
  • Thanks for the info on bleach vs soap and water. Very interesting and informative
    Stay well.

    Linda on
  • Thanks you, Steve!
    I used bleach last night and immediately regretted it, but I felt I had to.
    I have five more of your dish soap pods on hand, and will be replenishing as soon as I get low.
    I absolutely love it!

    Noelle Nichols on

Leave a comment