Is It Safe to Put Bleach in Your Bath Water?

Medically Reviewed on 8/3/2021
Bleach in bath water
If properly diluted with water, bleach baths are effective at preventing skin infections and providing relief for certain skin conditions.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, bleach baths help reduce the number of bacteria on the skin, which helps prevent skin infections, but you need to do them correctly. Additionally, adding a small amount of diluted bleach in water may provide some relief for those with skin conditions, such as eczema. It can also help with psoriasis, impetigo, boils and other skin infections.

The study suggests the following steps regarding bleach baths:

  • Apparatus
    • An eight-ounce anchored measuring cup
    • Regular household bleach with a strength that does not exceed six percent (do not use bleach with added fragrances)
    • A bathtub filled with warm water
  • Measurements and instructions based on a full tub of water
    • While the tub is filling with water, add half a cup of bleach to the water.
    • Soak in the tub for 5 to 10 minutes, though avoid immersing your face and head.
    • Once out of the tub, pat dry.
    • Apply topical meds (prescribed by the doctor) and heavy moisturizer to your skin.

However, before considering this option, consult with your doctor and get your skin health checked. Common advantages and disadvantages may include:

  • Pros
    • Bleach baths are cost-effective compared with other, more expensive treatment methods used for the skin.
    • They can be done at home at your convenience.
  • Cons
    • If bleach baths are used every day, they could cause the skin to dry out. 
      • These baths should only be used one to two times a week.
    • If your skin is cracked or broken, adding bleach could potentially cause pain.

Is a bleach bath safe for your hair?

You should remember that bleach is an aggressive substance. Applying it directly to your hair often can be risky, especially if it’s thin and fragile. Although it seems okay to use a bleach bath to lighten your hair dye or color, frequent bleach baths may damage your hair structure and cause increased hair fall and dry scalp.

Is it safe to use a bleach cleaning solution?

Household chlorine bleach is a mixture of water and salt in the form of sodium hypochlorite. According to studies, bleach does not harm the environment or contaminate groundwater. It begins and ends as saltwater in a fully sustainable cycle.

  • Using a bleach cleaner will not damage any equipment or hard, nonporous surfaces, including stainless steel, plastics, glazed ceramics, glass, porcelain and other materials.
  • It can be used to safely clean and disinfect countertops, floors, toilets, sinks, trash cans, keyboards, phones, light switches and desks.
  • The most important thing to remember when cleaning with bleach is that a little goes a long way. Bleach should almost always be diluted in plenty of water.
  • According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), using a one-third cup of bleach to one gallon of water ratio creates an effective bleach disinfectant.

Bleach does not play nice with other cleaners, so avoid mixing it with other ingredients, such as:

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Medically Reviewed on 8/3/2021
References
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Bleach Bath Recipe for Skin Conditions. https://www.aaaai.org/tools-for-the-public/conditions-library/allergies/bleach-bath-recipe-for-skin-conditions

DermNet New Zealand. Bleach Baths in Patients With Skin Infections. https://dermnetnz.org/topics/bleach-baths-in-patients-with-skin-infections/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Make Water Safe. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/pdf/emergency/09_202278-b_make_water_safe_flyer_508.pdf