Chlorine bleach is one of the oldest cleaners. It is also one of the harshest. Chlorine bleach kills germs on contact, and isn’t much friendlier to your skin, if accidentally splashed.
Manufacturers include chlorine bleach in a wide variety of cleaning products as well as some laundry and dishwasher detergents.
Bleach is also renowned for its mold-killing ability, but it’s not the only way to kill mold and mildew. Hydrogen peroxide or vinegar also works to kill mold.
Because it is used so frequently, chlorine bleach is the most common cleaner that kids accidentally swallow. When mixed with ammonia, another common ingredient of cleaning products, and acidic cleaners, like toilet bowl cleaners, the mixture releases poisonous gases. Since it is hard to know what is in every product, it is best to not mix cleaning products at all.
What are the alternatives?
Use a hydrogen-peroxide-based bleach in your laundry instead of chlorine bleach. Hydrogen peroxide kills mold and mildew, sanitizes counters and cutting boards, and removes stains from counters.
For household cleaning, look for "chlorine-free" products to eliminate the risks.