You clean your home to make it a safer, more enjoyable place to be. But what if the very products you use to clean your home are actually making it more dangerous and more uncomfortable for your family? For decades, customers have mistakenly equated chlorine bleach with words like “clean” and “safe”. But the reality is frighteningly far from it. That bottle of chlorine bleach in your laundry room, those cleaning products that proudly tout “with chlorine bleach” on their labels—they contain something far more sinister than a simple germ killer.
Coming Clean: The Deception of Chlorine Bleach
The killer in your cupboard.
Did you know that chlorine was one of the first ingredients used to create chemical weapons in World War I? During the Second Battle of Ypres, on April 22, 1915, the Germans released chlorine gas on their enemies—marking the first full-scale deployment of deadly chemical weapons in WWI.1 The lethal chemical is still used in warfare today, with insurgents of the Iraq war making bombs out of giant tanks of chlorine.2
Unfortunately, this lethal gas can also be created by accident when you unwittingly mix chlorine-based cleaning products with other common cleaning agents. And it isn’t always mixing two cleaners, together, sometimes it’s simply residue from a past cleaner that reacts with the chlorine-based product. In 2011, 152 workers were hospitalized due to exposure from chlorine gas after someone poured chlorine bleach into a container previously used with another cleaning solution.3
The dangers of chlorine bleach don’t stop there.
This chemical is caustic and deadly even before it is mixed with other products. Of all injuries to young children cause by cleaning products, exposure to chlorine bleach is the most common. The most common types of injury from chlorine bleach are poisoning (68%), chemical burns (15.9%) and skin/eye irritation (10.4%).4 According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, chlorine bleach is responsible for more than 38,000 reported poisonings per year.5 As many people die from chlorine bleach poisoning as from rattlesnake and spider bites combined.6
Recent medical studies have also revealed another disturbing trend. Chlorine bleach specifically aggravates the membranes in the lower respiratory system, causing shortness of breath and wheezing.
Studies show that a person with asthma who cleans in their home with chlorine bleach once a day will have a 5% increase in asthma attacks in a year. A person who cleans in their home with chlorine bleach twice a day more than quadruples this figure—they’ll experience 28% more asthma attacks.
So the next time you decide to clean with chlorine bleach, it might be good to add a ventilator in addition to the goggles rubber gloves and protective clothing most chlorine-based products recommend you use.
The cleaner that doesn’t actually clean.
If the dangers of chlorine bleach weren’t discouraging enough, here’s another sad truth many consumers don’t realize—chlorine bleach is not a cleaner.
It doesn’t get rid of grime, dirt or stains. What it can do is make color invisible to the naked eye, making us think it’s getting rid of stains.
Chlorine bleach is a highly reactive substance. It changes everything it comes into contact with, destroying it on a molecular level.
We see colors based on light absorption and reflection. When we see a red apple, it’s because the red color wavelength is reflected to us. When chlorine bleach comes into contact with stains, it destroys the molecules’ ability to reflect light. Chlorine bleach doesn’t get rid of dirt—it only turns it white. We may not be able to see the dirt and grime, but the truth is, the stain is still there.
To get your home truly clean you don’t need chlorine bleach. You need products that can safely remove hard water deposits, grime, and other stains and buildup. That’s something chlorine bleach just can’t do, and is just one of the many reasons why all Melaleuca EcoSense® products are chlorine bleach-free.
- Household Cleaning Product-Related Injuries,Pediatrics, September 2010
- 2008 Annual Report of the American Association of PoisonControl Centers
- As reported to Poison Control Centers over the last 10 years
Gladys Thompson says
I love your product. The “brite” washing liquid is like no other
Wonder how I can clean mold in shower
Merry Kammerer says
Try Sol-u-mel and Tub and Tile. If that doesn’t seem to do what you want, then use regular Hydrogen Peroxide. One other option…Cut a lemon in half, dip it in Baking Soda and scrub the area with it.
Hope this helps.
Bonnie Swift says
Sol-U-Mel Botanical takes the place of bleach. It kills Mold, H1N1 Virus, E-Coli.
Can be used alone (diluted of course) or add a small amount to any of the other
cleaning products even to a load of wash. When a cold, flu or for that matter
any contagious disease has invaded your home spray door knobs, faucets,
sinks or anything the ill person has touched with Sol-U-Mel Botanical.
phyllis griffin says
Very good article and scary too.
My son has asthma so I haven’t been using bleach in my home for a long time. Even a black mold website I checked out says that bleach will work to get rid of mold on hard surfaces, but it’s toxic and should be used with extreme caution. They recommend using a borax solution or hydrogen peroxide as safe and effective alternatives. I figure that if even mold experts don’t think it’s a good idea, it shouldn’t be in my home. I’m so glad that Melaleuca has such an effective chlorine-free dish washing detergent because there aren’t many out there. Even a lot of so-called “green” detergents still contain chlorine.
Todd Weber says
What Melaluca product do you recommend for hard water spots on windows?
Merry Kammerer says
Tub and tile or Melamagic
Lisa Schafer says
Try the Diamond Brite. It works wonders on hard water marks on glass in the dishwasher.
Sandra M says
Tub & Tile is the best for hard water stains. Once I left a glass in the sink half full of water and then went on vacation. When I returned home it looked so awful with the water evaporated and all this white crud dried on. I was thinking of throwing it away, when I got the idea to pour some pre-mixed Tub & Tile in the glass and let it sit overnight. The next day it came off so easily I couldn’t believe it. Hardly had to scrub.
Bonnie Swift says
Spray the shower, doors, shower curtain, faucets with “No Work” and let it dry.
To Todd, i use Tub & Tile for all those surfaces, mold, grime, on plastic, glass, pvc, indoor, tile, outdoor furniture, and kids toys, it works
You have to be careful using chlorine around the toilet because if it mixes with urine on the floor it can create deadly chlorine gas because of the ammonia in the urine.
I’ve actually had that happen.
P.S.. thank God I found Melaleuca products I really do love them. I can get my house clean and not have to worry about activating my allergies and feeling ill.
Tub & tile has worked for me to get rid of mold spots
Loretta Elias says
I’m ever so grateful to my friend, Evelyn, for introducing me to these products! It’s the best move that I ever made. My youngest son and I are no longer on inhalers and he hasn’t had to have a breathing treatment since we shut our house out of the toxic products and replaced them with Melaleuca products. Which is my favorite? ALL of them!
Kathi Bahler says
My favorite mold remover is Diamond Brite Dishwasher Gel mixed with Solumel and apply with a toothbrush to the grout. It penetrates and cleans deep. If that doesn’t work, then replace your grout and change to Melaleuca’s cleaning products to prevent the mold from forming in the first place!
Trevor Angel says
Household names are only ‘household names’ because of the TV commercials jingles and catchphrases – it doesn’t mean their safe – it just means we all sing along while we’re poisoning everyone in the house!
When you switch to Melaleuca products you’ll notice the difference – you notice how great your home smells – and others notice too!
My family absolutely loves the Ecosense product line. My youngest child has asthma and was having to leave the house while I cleaned because of the toxic chemical cloud that was produced. She can now not only stay in the house while I’m cleaning, but actively participate in the “house beautification”. Deciding to be a business builder was the best choice we could have made!
Ralph Steven says
I have no regret switching stores to Melaleuca and experiencing some of these great everyday use non-toxic safe cleaning products, in particular the Mela-Gel which had done amazing results on any small cuts, abrasion, mosquito bites or itchiness. All the 350+ eco-friendly Melaleuca products are great. Love Melaleuca. .
Ralph & Gwenda says
Thanks to Melaleuca we cannot live without our safer cleaning products.
Billie Houston says
The value pack for home cleaning was a game changer! I have been a great advocate of better products that combine nature and science, but cleaning has never been so user friendly and fun! Non toxic is the best way to go, for life, My carpet stain of 15 years stumped the professionals, but came right out with Melamagic and Sol-u-Mel used full strength as a spot cleaner. It did not reappear days later. The products are affordable because of the products strength and water dilution ratio.
We could all use a game changer if shopping at a box store is our go to!
Thank you Melaleuca !!