Is cleaning with bleach dangerous? Michelle Ogundehin slams Mrs Hinch over toxic products
Mrs Hinch promotes All The Best (& Worst) podcast
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Mrs Hinch is arguably the UK’s biggest clean-fluencer, regularly recommending her cleaning tips, hacks and best products to a whopping four million followers. However, the methods of the star – real name Sophie Hinchliffe – were recently questioned by Interior Design Masters’ Michelle Ogundehin for her regular use of ‘toxic’ cleaners.
Michelle, who is best known for her 13-year-long stint as the Editor in Chief of ELLE Decoration UK, recently posted on her Instagram story that she had purchased Sophie’s book, ‘Hinch Yourself Happy’, but was far from happy with the content.
The interiors expert called the sell-out book “an easy read”, but asked “I wonder if @mrshinchhome realises how toxic the products she advocates are?”
She continued: “There is a reason such products are legally obligated to carry warning signs!”
Alerting her own 115k followers to the dangers of toxic products such as bleach, Michelle included extracts of her own book to counter Mrs Hinch’s product recommendations.
Screenshots of articles reporting deaths related to toxic cleaning products such as bleach, chlorine and more were also shared by Michelle, which has understandably raised a few eyebrows about the safety of regularly using bleach as a household cleaner.
So which products are actually safe to clean your home with on the regular, and is bleach as dangerous as it’s made out to be when used correctly?
Is cleaning with bleach dangerous?
The safety of bleach is regularly debated. Everywhere you turn there are different sources defending both sides of the argument.
Also known as sodium hypochlorite, bleach has remained one of the most consistently used cleaning products to date because it has the ability to kill tougher than average pathogens.
Despite being used since the early 1900s, some recent concerns have grown about the misconception that common bleach actually contains free-standing chlorine.
In reality, sodium hypochlorite is manufactured from salt and water, making it a water solution which contains no elemental or free-standing chlorine.
Another major cause for concern with using bleach is its respiratory effects.
Many believe the second you can smell bleach while working with the chemical, you have put yourself in danger of experiencing respiratory issues such as asthma or bronchitis.
The smell should not be an indicator of danger when working with bleach in the correct manner as described in the instruction label.
The human nose can actually detect chlorine at incredibly low fume levels, but health risk and irritation requires much higher exposure to fumes.
A great way to lower your risk of these fumes is by using proper ventilation when cleaning with the product – fans, open doors and windows, and ventilation systems are key to safety.
In order for bleach to be a safe product to use in facility cleaning, the instructions must always be followed accurately, as every time someone uses a bleach solution that is inaccurately mixed they are at risk.
If, for example, not enough bleach is used than is instructed on the label, the user then risks not actually killing pathogens and germs which cause illness.
However, if too much bleach is used, they are putting themselves in danger by exposing themselves to a great number of toxic fumes, which could have a terrible impact on their health.
A few other ways to protect yourself while using bleach are to wear eye protection, rubber gloves to avoid skin exposure, clothing that covers your skin from potential exposure to the chemical, and to wash your hands immediately after use.
Bleach is a chemical that needs to be handled with caution and in a manner that does not put the user at risk, but as long as it is handled properly bleach is not guaranteed to cause health issues or danger.
Of course, bleach has many great uses but it does not need to be used in every aspect of cleaning.
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