A reader asks: "I like to mix a little pine scent with household bleach in water for spray bottles and mopping. The bleach cleans everything and the pine scent leaves a clean smell. What is the correct ratio to mix with a spray bottle of water or a mop bucket?"

The short answer is none. Please DO NOT mix these two products at any ratio since you are violating some basic chemistry rules and run the risk of not only injuring yourself and/or damaging surfaces. Bleach and pine scent should never be mixed with or without water as a medium. Note following points to consider:

1. Water is the universal solvent and can be mixed with either of these products individually as per label directions.

2. Bleach is not a cleaner; rather a dangerous disinfectant that is caustic and can cause damage to many surfaces as well as damage lungs and sinuses as well as exposed skin such as hands and face. It can cause blindness if splashed in the eyes.

3. Pine scent is famous for being a cleaner and disinfectant; however it must be mixed 80/20 ratio in water to have disinfecting properties and has its own issues at that mixture. This ratio makes is a very expensive disinfectant. Although many people relate the smell to "clean" others suffer eye, nose and lung issues from breathing it in a confined space.

4. Another point to consider is that you indicated you were mixing a "little" pine scent and bleach in water. What exactly is a little and what is the capacity of the container? Spray bottles come in sizes from 18 ounce to 32 more or more so a splash or dollop of these products in different size containers can result in widely different strengths of the solution.

I highly recommend you consult with your distributor regarding a class in chemical knowledge, pH and other important factors. It would be a wise investment for yourself and your staff

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 CTCG50@comcast.net.