Colors Mixing in Water

A reader writes: “My boss says it is okay for the janitors to use bleach and other cleaners full-strength since she claims diluting is just trying to save money. Is that correct?”

It is true that most people tend to water down products too much in an effort to save a few pennies, which usually results in unsatisfactory outcomes. Others simply use the “chug-a-lug” method where they waste product by using too much or the wrong amount. But, neither of these processes are effective since most cleaning products need to be mixed with a correct amount of water to be effective and safe.

When your workers pour bleach or other cleaning products full-strength on the floor to “clean” it, they are running the risk of damaging the surface. Many of these products can be very harsh and even dangerous if used incorrectly. They also can be creating a slip-and-fall hazard if the product is not removed (using water and a clean mop) promptly. I have other articles that warn about the misuse of bleach which is corrosive and can give off vapors that can hurt eyes, lungs and sinuses even when diluted.

Your boss needs to understand that he/she is putting your workers, visitors to the building and yes, the janitors at risk of injury that is unnecessary. Undiluted products is not considered best practices and have no benefits.

Please recommend to your boss that he/she instruct workers to read and follow the label directions, unless there is a compelling reason not to. An example is that if the directions state “use 1 part chemical to 4 parts water,” then that is the correct ratio and is coming from the manufacturer. Although there may be some variations due to water hardness and other factors, the average user should simply mix as per label directions.

Please get your boss to understand that following label directions may save money and may also reduce the possibility of damaging surfaces, creating unsafe floors and possibly avoiding injuries.

Your comments and questions are important. 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