In prior articles I have referred to using bleach or bleach type products to deal with either stains or mold/mildew issues.  I always hesitate to mention this product since it can be easily misused, which is dangerous.  

Note the following points when considering the use of bleach or bleach containing products:

1. Bleach is NOT a cleaner and is not effective in dealing with soil loads.  Only when the bleach product has been carefully mixed with a detergent can it “clean”.  In most cases, the surface (a floor or table) should be cleaned with a detergency to remove soils first before the bleach is applied.

2. Bleach is a very effective disinfectant that is oftentimes unnecessary for surfaces that only need to be clean.  The application of bleach to a dirty surface can compound the problems since it can bleach out the color of the soil which makes the surface look cleaner than it actually is.

3. Bleach can damage floor finish since is has the ability to soften or remove most floor finishes.  Application of bleach to a common area floor is counterproductive and can be very costly in the long run.  Remember that labor is the primary cost of most custodial operations and with bleach, the floor has to be cleaned first, the apply bleach, then remove the product since it is a corrosive and can leave some rather strong odors.

4. Bleach will damage clothing and carpet fibers while dulling other fabrics.  There are alternative products that have “optical brighteners” that can be used instead.

5. Bleach will never be considered “green” and you should consult with your vendor for safer, yet effective products.

Please take a moment to research how and when to use bleach type products.  If you have medical facility, consult with the customer to identify when you may be mandated to use bleach safely.

Your comments and questions are always welcome. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or