Vinegar and Bleach: Kill those nasty microbes!

Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology

Vinegar increases killing power of bleach

Adding white vinegar to diluted household bleach greatly increases the disinfecting power of the solution, making it strong enough to kill even bacterial spores. Researchers from MicroChem Lab, Inc. in Euless, Texas, report their findings today at the 2006 ASM Biodefense Research Meeting.

Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) in the form of laundry bleach is available in most households. The concentrate is about 5.25 to 6 percent NaOCl, and the pH value is about 12. Sodium hypochlorite is stable for many months at this high alkaline pH value.

“Laundry bleach is commonly diluted about 10 to 25-fold with tap water to about 2000 to 5000 parts per million of free available chlorine for use as an environmental surface disinfectant, without regard to the pH value of the diluted bleach. However, the pH value is very important for the antimicrobial effectiveness of bleach,” says Norman Miner, a researcher on the study.

(snip)

Miner recommends first diluting one cup of household bleach in one gallon of water and then adding one cup of white vinegar.

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Author: Jorah Lavin

I grew up in New England, moved to the Carolinas in ’98 to start working at what was then a large regional bank and is now a really big nationwide bank.

I work doing intranet content management and intranet site management for said bank. After work, I watch movies & eat.

I’ve been studying Aikido since 2014, and I ride an old Honda Shadow. Someday I want to go skydiving.