If you're using bleach as a cleaning agent, you may be mistaken. Bleach is a marvelous disinfectant, but it's not the best product to use for cleaning. Disinfectants are used primarily to kill bacteria and algae. Disinfect does not equal clean, though. There are products on the market specifically manufactured to assist with cutting through grease, grime and tough stains. Cleaning is actually the act of removing dirt, mud, grime, and stains from items, be it floors, counter-tops, and clothing.

Bleach is a winner, hands down, when it comes to removing stains. Pour some bleach on top of Kool-Aid stains on the countertop and they disappear. Just how exactly does bleach do this? The chemical compounds called chromophores are the actual stain. When bleach is added to chromophores, the chemicals in the bleach (the oxygen) react with the chromophores and chemically break down the stain. Always spot check everything before applying any bleach to it. Bleach will also react with the colors in fabric. For example, jeans will lose their blue jean color and become white.

Ammonia is found in cleaning products such as window cleaner. For stainless steel, porcelain, and tiles, ammonia is a choice product. Because of ammonia's chemical makeup, it kills bacteria while it cuts through grease, dirt, and soap scum. Ammonia and bleach create a hazardous gas when mixed together. Safety precautions must be taken when using the two products to clean.

Natural cleaning products for the more "greener" approach to cleaning are becoming popular with consumers. Make-your-own-cleaning-product recipes with ingredients found around the house are also trendy. Baking soda acts as a scrubbing agent as it deodorizes. In a crunch, liquid soap will clean surfaces. Lemons bought from the produce section at your local grocery store aid in killing bacteria. On shelves at the store, "green" products are increasingly boasting their labels.

Borax, a powder substance, is regularly known to be purposeful in the laundry and is non-toxic to humans. What many people are not aware of is the fact that Borax disinfects, cleans, and can be used as a pesticide. As a pesticide, the powder gets on the wings and legs of creatures such as roaches. While they clean off their wings and legs using their mouths, they ingest the Borax, resulting in respiratory shutdown and eventually death. Inexpensive and easy to use, Borax is an all-around agent that every household should keep in stock.

Although bleach cleaner may be used for various applications of cleaning, there is probably another product that is made exclusively for the task. Check the labels for products that are used for household cleaning to ensure proper usage of the chemical. These other products are usually made with a scent to produce a "clean" smell in the house. Bleach produces an odor that speaks "clean" as well, but it is not necessary to use bleach as a chemical agent for everyday cleaning. There are plenty of cases when you can use natural lemon juice vs bleach cleaner for example.

To be continued...