Message Number: YG1536 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Long, Katharine
Date: 2001-03-21 11:21:00 UTC
Subject: Disinfecting 101

When purchasing bleaches for disinfecting, be SURE to carefully read the
bleach bottle. Many of them do NOT make a claim to disinfect. I have
learned to stick with regular old original formula Clorox to be safe. You
need to make sure the bottle says Disinfects on it. I don't have a bottle
of Clorox in front of me but it seems that is has 5% of the active
ingredient, which I can't remember the name of. Some of the bleaches on the
shelves have 4% or less.

The lack of claim for disinfecting properties may be solely because they
haven't done all of the necessary testing to make the claim. After all,
most people buy bleach to whiten, not to disinfect. For this reason, I
stick with original Clorox and I always look for the word Disinfects on the
label. Some of the fancy Clorox's don't even claim to disinfect.

I do wildlife rehab so am constantly needing to disinfect cages, food bowls,
etc. I mix a solution in a spray bottle of 1 part Clorox to 10 parts water
(1:10 solution). I use this solution on the ferrets' cages also. Always
scrub/clean the item first. Bleach will not eat through dried on food, etc.
After thoroughly cleaning, spray the bleach solution on the item, then put
it in the sun to dry. The bleach will evaporate. This is why people have
to constantly add chlorine to their pools. You don't even have to rinse the
item after it has sun-dried, but I can't stand it so I do rinse.

For food bowls, water bottles, etc., I do the same thing. Wash first, then
disinfect with the same spray solution. For laundry, I just dump a cup of
bleach in the water.

I also use this same procedure for my bird feeders, hummingbird feeders, and
birdbaths. They all also need to be disinfected on a regular basis to
prevent the spread of disease.