Make Your Own Bleach Solution Using Household Items

The Disinfectant That Can Help Rid Your House of Dangerous Germs

Man Washing House Windows
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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 a 1:10 solution when making your own bleach solution. Make sure to follow these steps to make a safe bleach solution.

Ingredients and Tools You'll Need for Your Bleach Solution

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

  • A quart-sized or larger plastic spray bottle (or glass jar with a lid)
  • Measuring cup
  • Damp cloth
  • Household bleach (you can buy this at any supermarket)
  • Water 

How to Make Your Bleach Solution

After gathering your supplies, here are four easy steps for making your bleach disinfecting solution safely.

1. Go Outside or Find a Well Ventilated Room  

  • Full strength bleach emits toxic fumes and should never be used in small or enclosed spaces. Ideally, you should mix your solution outside. If that is not an option, you can use a large, well-ventilated room instead. Be sure to keep the windows open while handling the bleach. 

2. Measure Ingredients

  • To make a 1:10 solution, you'll need 1 part bleach for every 9 parts water. A good amount to start with is 1/4 cup bleach and 2 1/4 cup 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.
  • If you need to make a larger amount of disinfectant solution, increase the amounts of bleach and water accordingly, using the same proportions as above (1/2 cup bleach with 4 1/2 cups water, 3/4 cup bleach with 6 3/4 cup water, etc).

3. Mix the Solution 

  • Place the lid on the container and gently flip the container back and forth a few times to mix. After mixing, your solution is ready to use. Never add any other ingredients to your bleach solution. Adding other substances, like vinegar, to your bleach solution can create toxic fumes. 

4. Discard Unused Solution

  • 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. 
View Article Sources
  • 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.