How to Make Your Own Disinfectant Bleach Solution

Household chlorine bleach is a powerful disinfectant that is inexpensive, easy to obtain, and strong enough to kill dangerous germs. Keeping a clean home is important for any family, but is especially important for people with autoimmune conditions or other health problems like cystic fibrosis.

Before you start using bleach everywhere, it's important to know that bleach is caustic and can emit potentially lethal fumes. That's why it's important to dilute your bleach and ensure that it's not used at full-strength and not mix it with other solutions and chemicals.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using different amounts of bleach and water depending on what is being cleaned. Be sure to follow these steps exactly to make a safe and effective bleach solution that meets your needs.

How to make bleach at home
Verywell / Verywell Health

List of Ingredients

Making a bleach solution to disinfect your home can be easy. You'll just need a few supplies to get started:

  • A quart-sized plastic spray bottle or a glass jar with lid
  • A measuring cup
  • Damp cloth
  • Household rubber gloves
  • Household bleach (found at any supermarket)
  • Water 

After gathering your supplies, putting together the ingredients safely requires a little insight and preparation.

How to Make a Bleach Solution

The first rule when making a bleach solution is to either go outside or find a well-ventilated room, ideally with open windows and a cross-draft. Full-strength bleach emits toxic fumes and should never be used in small or enclosed spaces.

It is best to wear clothes and shoes you don't mind bleaching in case of a spill. You should also pin back your hair and wear the rubber gloves for added safety.

Next, comes the measuring and mixing of ingredients:

  • To clean hard surfaces such as plates and counter tops, mix 1 cup (240 milliliters) of bleach with 5 gallons (18.9 liters) of water. 
  • To make a 1:10 solution to disinfect healthcare facilities that may have been tainted by contagions, you'll need 1 part bleach for every 9 parts water. 
  • Carefully pour the bleach into the spray bottle or jar first, then add the water. Mixing the solution in this order will prevent the bleach from splashing up on you. If you do get any bleach on your skin, wipe it off immediately with a damp cloth.

Once the ingredients are mixed, place the lid tightly on the container and gently mix by shaking it. After mixing, your solution is ready to use. You can wash the surface with soap and hot, clean water before using the bleach. After applying the beach let the surface you are cleaning air dry.

Whatever you do, never add any other ingredient to the bleach solution.

3 Products Never to Mix With Bleach

  • Ammonia mixed with bleach converts the chlorine in bleach to chloramine gas. Breathing in the fumes can cause coughing, shortness of breath, and pneumonia.
  • Acidic compounds such as vinegar or window cleaner create chlorine gas when mixed with bleach. Excessive exposure can cause chest pain, vomiting, and even death.
  • Alcohol converts to chloroform when mixed with bleach. Breathing in chloroform can cause fatigue, dizziness, and fainting.

Chlorine bleach solution begins to lose its disinfectant power quickly when exposed to heat, sunlight, and evaporation. To ensure the strength of your solution, mix a fresh batch each day and discard whatever is leftover. Keep out of the reach of children.

Alternatively, one can buy a mild cleaning solutions containing small amount of bleach in the store. That way, you can avoid any spillage or possible injury.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Benzoni T, Hatcher JD. Bleach Toxicity. In: StatPearls [Internet]. 2019. 

  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Cleaning and sanitizing with bleach after an emergency. Health and Safety Concerns for All Disasters. 2017.

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infection Control: Chemical disinfectants. Updated September 18, 2016.

Additional Reading
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cleaning and Sanitizing With Bleach After an Emergency. ​
  • E. Rhinehart, M. Friedman, and M. McGoldrick. Infection Control in Home Care and Hospice. 2006. Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Jones and Bartlett Publishers.