Is it Healthy to Smell Bleach in the Nose?

Smell Bleach in the Nose

Have you noticed in your daily life that cleaning is usually incomplete without the odor of bleach? Bleach is a disinfectant and brightener; we all use it in some capacity. We use bleach in the laundry to remove stains, as a whitener in grout lines, or with a mop to disinfect the floor.

Laundry services have come a long way in recent years, thanks to the emergence of online laundry marketplaces like These platforms enable customers to easily order laundry services online and get their clothes cleaned, ironed, and delivered back to them within hours.

Wherever we use it, the pungent smell of bleach is a must that proves enough cleaning has been done. But to smell bleach in the nose good or bad for your health? In this article, we are going to discuss bleach’s benefits versus its harms.

Are bleach fumes healthy or dangerous?

Household bleach is a product of caustic soda and water. As a result of this reaction, sodium hypochlorite is created, and chlorine gas escapes the solution. The final product has 6% sodium hypochlorite. Some manufacturers have produced a more concentrated form of sodium hypochlorite to act as an effective germicidal. According to the EPA, this strong hypochlorite solution can kill Clostridium difficile, a resistant germ prevalent in hospitals.

The human nose can detect as little as .002ppm chlorine; however,  higher concentrations of chlorine cause nasal irritation. It’s interesting to note that the smell of bleach is more noticeable when it breaks down the structural proteins of germs. Therefore, the less often bleach is used, the more likely pathogens will grow and their proteins will break down, producing a smell. While bleach is used more frequently, its odor is less noticeable.

When the cleaning process is complete, bleach breaks down into 95% or more salt and water. There is a common misperception that free-standing chlorine is harmful to the human body. This is not true. Like any other cleaning chemical, bleach fumes can be vented out by having a properly running ventilation system. Some individuals, develop adverse reactions to a strong bleach odor, even if its airborne concentration is within EPA-defined levels for irritation. In a commercial cleaning environment where thousands of people walk, there are greater chances of sensitive individuals getting exposed.

Bleach itself is not a harmful product, but it is not the only solution for every application. There is no need to disinfect every surface because there is a risk of overkilling germs with bleach when a general cleaner will suffice.

Recommendations for bleach application

Bleach is a robust whitener; if it is spilled on fabric or a surface directly, it can damage them. Therefore, recommendations for bleach application include:

  • Always apply bleach to a cloth, towel, or wiper for cleaning a surface; don’t directly apply it to the surface.
  • Bleach is used in laundry to remove stains.
  • It has a role in patient care settings as a strong disinfectant.
  • In swimming pool sanitation, bleach kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
  • In industries, for bleaching wood pulp.
  • Increasing the longevity of cut flowers by keeping them fresh.
  • For killing weeds
  • Removing mildew
  • Turning natural pigments into colorless ones.

Due to the increased chances of bleach misuse and improper training of bleach-applying staff, it is considered the least safe option.

How can we help you?

Our team of experts is here to make your life easier and keep your equipment running by helping you in the following ways:

  1. Selecting the right products to achieve optimal results.
  2. Obtain product information and instructional materials.
  3. Informing you of industrial policies and procedures.
  4. Keep your teams certified by conducting on-and off-site training sessions.

When you are working with us, we provide advice, direction, and strategic solutions for your cleaning needs. Get successful outcomes from smarter solutions. If you are not sure whether or not your cleaning job is sufficient when you smell bleach in your nose, go through our comprehensive guide to cleaning.

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