Bleach is one of those handy household cleaners that seems to work for everything.
However, if you use bleach often, you may notice that it can cause some physical symptoms and make you not feel well. So is this dangerous? How can I feel better after cleaning with bleach?
The best way to feel better after cleaning with bleach is to keep the area ventilated, wear protection, rinse the area, use an inhaler, and avoid using bleach too often.
If you take the correct precautions, you should be able to use bleach to keep your house sparkling while keeping your health in check simultaneously.
In this article, I am going to find out if bleach can make you sick, as well as give you five ways to feel better after cleaning with bleach.
Gomestic Fact: Have you ever wondered what the difference is between laundry bleach and cleaning bleach? Click here to find out the difference.
Ok, so we all know that ingesting bleach is very dangerous, but what about cleaning with it?
Unfortunately, it is possible to get sick from cleaning with bleach under the right circumstances, which is down to what it is made up of.
Bleach is a chemical mix made predominantly of sodium hypochlorite with smaller amounts of sodium persulfate, hydrogen peroxide, and calcium hypochlorite. This cocktail of chemicals is very effective at cleaning, but it is not so kind when it comes into contact with people.
The bleach can be dangerous when it makes contact with the skin and if the fumes are inhaled.
Bleach contact or inhalation symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pneumonia (in severe cases)
- Chest pain
- Watery eyes
- Eye, nose, and throat irritation
- Skin irritation
- Allergic reactions
Whenever you use bleach, I recommend keeping these symptoms in mind just in case you start to exhibit them as you clean.
So now that we know the risks of cleaning with bleach, what can you do to reduce these risks?
The tips that I’m going to go through are things you can do while cleaning and after if you have had contact or been exposed to the fumes for too long. Taking precautions at the beginning of cleaning can ensure that you feel fine through the whole process.
One important point I need to make before I begin is that bleach poisoning should not be messed with. If you experience any severe symptoms or burns or ingest the bleach, seek medical attention immediately.
With that said, here are the five ways to feel better after cleaning with bleach:
This is a tip that you should use while cleaning with bleach, as this can dilute the fumes while you’re cleaning. However, this is also my tip if you inhale the bleach by accident.
Inhaling bleach can happen easily when diluting the bleach, especially when using hot water. If this occurs, get to an open window or outside if you can to get some fresh air. This should make you feel better quickly and flush your sinuses of the bleach fumes.
At the very least, I recommend using gloves when you clean with bleach. However, you can also use a mask and eye goggles if you want to be extra careful.
Bleach fumes can also stick around in your clothing, so you can reduce the effects after cleaning by changing your clothes and popping them in the wash.
The first thing you should do if you get bleach directly on your skin is to rinse off the area thoroughly. Minimizing the contact time with your skin will reduce the possible damage the chemicals might have.
I suggest using hot soapy water as soon as possible.
If you use an inhaler, you may need to have one on hand when you clean with bleach.
The fumes from bleach can cause breathing issues, which are even more prevalent in people with pre-existing lung conditions.
Combining your inhaler with fresh air should clear your airways and make you feel better in no time.
At the end of the day, reducing how often you use bleach will limit how much it can affect your health. It is a vital cleaning product in many areas, such as the bathroom, but if you can use different products for some jobs, this will help.
On the occasions when you do use bleach, keep away from the bucket when you dilute it to minimize the amount of fumes you inhale.
Gomestic Tip: If a person or pet in your family ingests bleach, it can take effect in minutes, even if diluted. They should be rushed to a medical professional as quickly as possible.
How long does a bleach reaction last?
If you have a reaction from cleaning with bleach, the symptoms should disappear after a few hours; however, if the symptoms continue, then I strongly advise you to see a doctor.
However, if you have experienced a bleach burn, it can take up to 2 weeks to fully heal. To speed up the healing time, be very careful not to pop the blisters, as this can lead to infection.
Why does cleaning with bleach give me a headache?
Most cleaning supplies feature something called VOCs, volatile organic compounds. When these gases are released, they can cause irritation and migraine headaches if they are inhaled.
To avoid this, follow our tips above to keep yourself feeling good and safe.
Bleach can be a risky cleaning product to use, but there are a few easy to stay safe while using it.
To sum it up, the six ways that I recommend for feeling better after cleaning with bleach are to keep the area ventilated, wear protection, rinse the area, use an inhaler, and avoid using bleach too often.
I hope these tips help you stay safe and feel healthy even when you are up to your elbows in cleaning.