Bleach Misconceptions

Clorox products are developed for maximum performance and consumer safety

Precaution should always be taken when using any household cleaning product. In the event that bleach gets on the skin, in the eyes, is inhaled or ingested, exposure may have minor, temporary effects, but harm is unlikely if promptly followed by first aid treatment as noted on the product packaging:

  • If bleach gets in your eye, you should hold your eye open and rinse with water for 15-20 minutes. You should remove contact lenses after the first 5 minutes. You should continue rinsing your eye and call a physician.
  • If bleach gets on your skin, you should wash your skin with water for 15-20 minutes. If irritation develops, call a physician.
  • If you inhale bleach vapors, move to an area with fresh air. If breathing is affected, call a physician.  
  • If you ingest bleach, do not induce vomiting. Drink a glassful of water. If irritation develops, call a physician. Do not give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.

According to the 2007 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System, the number of incidents reported to the centers about bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is indeed higher than for other cleaners (bleach is in more households than any other cleaner), but the percentage of serious incidents is much lower than many other household cleaning products. In fact, the serious incident profile for bleach places it on a level between shampoo and dishwasher liquid.