All posts tagged Bleach


By ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

What is bleach?

According to Dr. Laundry on the Clorox website, “The active ingredient in household bleach is sodium hypochlorite, which is derived from salt.”

In fact, Clorox is headquartered in Oakland, California because they started making bleach there by running electricity through salt water from San Francisco Bay. So household bleach begins and ends as salt and water.

For example, during the laundering process, about 95 to 98 percent of household bleach quickly breaks down into oxidized salt.
Did you know that bleach can also be used to disinfect water of harmful organic contaminants, and do you know how much to use?

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: What Is Bleach – And How Much To Use For Disinfection?


Bleach - Water Ratio

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

If your water source is uncertain, you should treat it first before drinking it.

One way to treat water for drinking is to add a small amount of regular bleach (chlorine). Here’s how much bleach to add, and a way to remember the quantity:


When obtaining water to be purified for drinking, avoid (if possible) water which is cloudy. Perhaps there is another nearby access to the same body of water which may be clear.

If scooping water from a pond, etc., try not to disturb the bottom so as not to disturb and pick up dirt or other debris into your water container.

If the water appears cloudy, if possible filter it before treatment. Use a conventional water filter, or any cloth or such filtering material to catch the floating particles as you pour from one water vessel to another. If you cannot pre-filter a cloudy water source, let it settle in a container for a time, and then gently pour off or scoop the water near the top which will be clearer. This is important because the floating ‘dirt’ particles within the water are tougher (takes longer) to penetrate while purifying with chlorine (bleach).

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Bleach – Water Ratio For Drinking Water


By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

How much regular bleach to use for Ebola virus disinfection?

How much bleach to add with water for a bleach-water solution to disinfect the Ebola virus?

Here’s your answer:

Surprisingly, the CDC website did not offer a direct answer to this question (that I could find). Their ‘interim guidance‘ regarding Ebola virus disinfection is less than direct.

Here’s what I mean by that:

Enveloped viruses such as Ebola are susceptible to a broad range of hospital disinfectants used to disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces. In contrast, non-enveloped viruses are more resistant to disinfectants. As a precaution, selection of a disinfectant product with a higher potency than what is normally required for an enveloped virus is being recommended at this time. EPA-registered hospital disinfectants with label claims against non-enveloped viruses (e.g., norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, poliovirus) are broadly antiviral and capable of inactivating both enveloped and non-enveloped viruses.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog:Ebola Virus Disinfection With Bleach



The Prepper Journal

Many of us who are new to prepping become wrapped up in the things we don’t have. We scour the internet looking for prepper checklists and there are millions out there. We look for ideas on the best handguns to purchase or the best firearms to have. We look at bug out vehicles and survival bunkers and hidden retreats in the woods. It can be overwhelming.

I know a lot of preppers including me in the beginning focused on the things we felt we needed to get at the beginning. The sheer volume of ‘things’ that make up all these lists can seem insurmountable and you might even be wondering where to start.

How about starting in your own home first?

There are a lot of great household survival supplies that you as a prepper already have. I am not saying that you don’t need to look at other options for survival, but don’t overlook the obvious either. A true prepper isn’t defined necessarily by what they have, but more how they are prepared to deal with crisis and looking at the items you have on hand is one way to adjust your perception.


  1. Bleach – Bleach is great for a couple of things. First you can use it to disinfect surfaces because bleach will kill almost anything. Bleach could be used to sanitize your home should there be some infectious disease outbreak and it can also be used to disinfect water which could come in handy if for some reason the tap stops working and you have to get your water from alternate sources. For instance, if you have a lake or rain barrels for water collection you will want to disinfect that water before you drink it. Boiling is a better alternative, but bleach is great in a pinch. Bleach does have a shelf life though that I discuss in another post.
  2. Towels – Do you have old towels lying in a closet somewhere? We have a ton hidden in a box that we use for all types of odd jobs. When the car needs washing we break out the old towels. When the survival dog is wet from the rain, out come the towels. These old towels and rags have a use in a survival situation too. They can be stitched together to make blankets, they can be shoved in cracks to keep drafts out; they can be ripped up to make diapers or bandages or fire starter. You can wrap them around hot pot handles to save your hands too.
  3. Dental Floss – Dental floss makes great fishing line or emergency rope although you would need a lot of it to make rope and that is assuming you don’t have that wimpy wax tape they are selling now. Floss can be used to suture a wound, as your noose in a small game snare or as fishing line. I like to use it to keep my teeth clean and I have some stocked for that purpose and I’ll use the inner cords from my paracord for the other uses.
  4. Feminine hygiene products – What? Well you might be thinking these are necessary for one thing but think outside of the box. These products are great for stopping blood so in an emergency situation, they can save someone from bleeding to death. Tampons can be used to plug bullet wounds and maxi-pads make great pressure bandages. What about those make up remover pads? They make great tinder for starting fires. You can actually soak them in paraffin wax and they will make starting fires a breeze so they are a good addition to your bug out bag. Check out this video for instructions.
  5. Duct Tape – If you don’t have at least one roll of duct tape in your home right now, I am pretty sure you are violating a natural law of some type. Duct tape is incredibly useful from making repairs on clothing or survival gear, patching holes, protecting your feet from blisters and generally being awesome. All duct tape isn’t made equal though and I recommend something like Gorilla tape which is much stronger than traditional duct tape. For a bug out bag tip I don’t carry a whole roll. I take a plastic card like a hotel key or old credit card and wrap about 20 feet of duct tape around the card. This way I have plenty of duct tape if I need it but do not have all the weight or space a whole roll takes up. You can even use it to make a sling!
  6. Garden hose has more uses even if it has a hole.Garden HoseGarden hose can be used to do what it normally does and that is transport water from one location to another. You can also use this as a siphon to get gas out of vehicles or storage tanks. You can also cut the hose and use it to protect your hands when you are dealing with wire. Just cut some of the hose off, slice it down one side and slide the wire in. You can use the garden hose to set up a makeshift shower with a bucket of water hung in a tree and gravity. Let a large bucket of water sit in the sun for a few hours until it gets warm. Set the hose in the bucket and get the water flowing much as you would in siphoning gas and you have a way to hose off with warm water.
  7. Tools and LumberHand tools will most likely be needed as I don’t want to use my gas to recharge electric tools. A hammer, some nails and heavy duty plywood can be used to seal openings and make your home more secure from intruders. Nailing windows shut can slow access and repairs to all manner of items is easier with tools. You can also use box cutters and even lawn mower blades as defensive weapons.
  8. Cooking Oil – So what do you do with oil when you are all out of fish sticks and French fries? Make an oil lantern with it. That’s right, oil burns so if you have a power blackout and you are fresh out of candles, you can use oil and a glass jar or small empty can to create a source of light in your home. Make sure you are careful though because any open flame can cause you more problems than it solves. This video from the Shepherd School demonstrates how to make a survival oil lamp.
  9. Kitchen Knives – Every kitchen in America must have that block of knives sitting on the counter that we got as a housewarming gift. Just because you don’t have an expensive EDC knife on you doesn’t mean you have to forgo the advantages that knives offer. A good kitchen knife will cut just as well as most of the tactical knife blades out there and in a pinch would be better than nothing. If you want to carry a knife you can make a sheath for it out of plastic or cardboard and duct tape. Wrap a long piece of paracord around the handle to make the grip better and you have your caveman survival knife.
  10. Survival Oil LampTea Bags – Tea Bags are not only good for a beverage (as long as you have sugar or honey IMHO) but they are also a great homeopathic addition to your medical kit. Tea leaves contain tannins which are a natural anti-inflammatory. Some people will use wet tea bags to reduce bags under their eyes and you can use this for lots of other uses like bee stings, hemorrhoids, boils (not in that order obviously).
  11. Toilet Paper – If there is one prepper item that I have seen people obsess over more than anything it is toilet paper. What will you do when the roll is all gone? I am thinking there are far bigger problems in the world if you can’t buy toilet paper anymore, but let’s say you have an abundance of the fluffy white stuff and are looking for other uses. You can twist toilet paper into a wick for a toilet paper wick heater, or your oil lamp or use it to start fires, apply medicine or write notes on it.
  12. Canned Food – Once you are done with the contents of your canned food you can use them as containers. You can build that oil lamp I mentioned above. You can also use them to cook with over a fire and when they are all done, you can string empty cans together to make a hobo alarm system. Don’t worry if the disaster left you a ton of cans but no way to open them, because you can easily open a can without a can opener.
  13. Potato Chips – Believe it or not you can use potato chips to start a fire. That is because they have so much fat and oil in them. I will add that this would be a really silly way to start a fire because you are using food to make a fire when that should be unnecessary in all but the most extreme circumstances. Maybe you are trapped in a Lay’s warehouse or something and need a fire to keep warm. I added this just for kicks but you should know how to start a fire using tinder and not food. It is possible though.
  14. Fire Extinguisher – Not only can this be used to put out fires, you can also use this as a defensive weapon. Granted, I don’t ever want to be that close to the bad guy; I’d prefer to be shooting distance away, but in a pinch you can use a fire extinguisher to blind someone. Spray them hard in the face and while they are blinded, crack them over the head with the fire extinguisher.
  15. Garbage Bags – I don’t know how many uses garbage bags have but they are really just plastic sheeting that has been folded and welded together. We look at these as our go-to option for taking out the trash but they can also double as rain gear. Just cut a hole for the head and one for each arm and you are all set. You can use them as a water barrier if you have to sleep on the ground. You can also use them to keep the rain off your head by cutting them down the sides to make the bag footprint larger. These can also be used to black out your windows if something happens and you don’t want your neighbors looking inside at your oil lamp. Garbage bags and duct tape go a long way.

What items do you have in your house that could have other uses?

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: Household Survival – 15 Lifesaving Items You Probably Already Have

Keeping your house spotless, shining and most of all, clean, with kids around can be a challenge. Somehow, a small handprint appears before you are even finished cleaning the windows. Even with gallant efforts to keep your abode sparkling, know that there can be dangers lurking if you are using products and chemicals that are harmful to your children.

Know which chemicals to avoid when cleaning areas in your home that little hands and mouths tread frequently.

1. Triclosan

The past 10 years or so have seen an explosion in the prevalence of household anti-microbial products, previously used only in clinical and industrial settings, according to Joe Walsh, founder of Green Clean Maine in Portland. As the most common consumer anti-bacterial agent, triclosan containing benzalkonium cloride may be leading to strains of bacteria that are resistant both to disinfectants and prescription antibiotics.

“Before you reach for the bottle of anti-bacterial hand soap or kitchen counter cleaner, consider plain old soap and water as an alternative,” says Walsh. “It’s often cheaper and is all you need to get the job done.”

2. Benzalkonium Chloride

Also found in many anti-bacterial products, benzalkonium chloride offers many of the same risks as triclosan. Although antibacterial products promote clean health, a growing chorus of researchers and medical professionals are raising concerns about the health effects of the widespread use of anti-microbial agents in the home, says Walsh.

“The idea is that highly disinfected household environments prevent children from developing strong immune systems early in life,” says Walsh. “Without the challenge of bacteria exposure, the immune system gets lazy and underdeveloped.”

3. Alkylphenol Ethoxylates

Chemicals that end in “-phenolethoxylate” are commonly used in surfactants, such as those found in all-purpose cleaners. “They are estrogen mimickers, which makes them particularly harmful to women and especially children,” says Walsh. “They do not break down in the environment, but persist and bioacumulate, meaning they build up in human tissue over time.”

The most reliable way to find out if your household cleaning products have this family of chemicals is to look the product up in the U.S. Department Health and Human Services’ National Household Products Database.

4. Chlorine Bleach

Danger is lurking when a child is exposed to chlorine bleach. Keeping bleach around increases the risk of a child ingesting it, spilling it or touching a surface that has been cleaned with bleach. In addition to being highly toxic on its own, chlorine bleach also forms carcinogenic compounds, including chloroform, when it mixes with organic materials in the general environment, says Walsh.

Luckily, there are great alternatives to bleach that can whiten without the dangerous side-effects. Walsh suggests non-chlorine bleach, such as hydrogen peroxide, or oxygen bleaches and sodium percaronate. “The use of the detergent booster, washing soda, will also help to keep clothes bright and white without bleach,” says Walsh.

5. Ammonia

Although ammonia may make your glass surfaces shine, the harmful chemical is not advised as kid-friendly. “Ammonia can be toxic to the skin, eyes and lungs and like bleach, it’s far too easy to mix it with other things unknowingly,” says Walsh. Many household cleaners contain ammonia, but as a rule, it is in the traditional glass bottle cleaners, as well as metal and oven cleaners.

6. VOCs

This type of chemical includes ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, butyl cellusolve and anything under the heading of petroleum distillates. According to Walsh, the acute effects of exposure are eye, skin and mucus membrane irritation. The long-term risks include nervous system damage and liver, blood, lung and kidney damage.

“Daily VOC exposure in children has been directly linked to asthma, and in mothers has been directly linked to diarrhea, earaches and even depression,” says Walsh. To avoid VOCs, look for products that contain a warning label that the product is “combustible” or “flammable.” Many products with VOCs also offer precautionary statements that the product can cause respiratory irritation or recommend using in a well-ventilated area.

7. Perchlorethylene

While trying to keep your carpets clean, avoid products with perchlorethylene, a common agent in carpet and upholstery shampoos. This carcinogen against animals is claimed to be harmful for the liver, kidneys and nervous system, according to Kris Koenig, CEO of Natura Clean, a residential and commercial cleaning company in Middleton, Wisconsin.

According to Koenig, the effects of exposure to perchlorethylene can include dizziness, fatigue, headaches and irritation to skin, eyes, nose and throat.

8. Nitrobenzene

Your children are frequent loungers on the couch, chairs and furniture within the home. Ensure they are not at risk while watching their favorite TV show by avoiding use of nitrobenzene, a common chemical found in furniture and floor polishes. “Small amounts can cause minor skin irritation,” says Koenig, “but regular exposure to high concentrations can reduce the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.”

9. Formaldehyde

Mold and mildew poses risk for your family as it is, but disinfectants with formaldehyde are just as harmful, says Koenig. Formaldehyde is used as a disinfectant in mold and mildew removers and some dishwashing liquid. Check your labels to ensure that you are not posing more risk when cleaning.

Exposure to high doses of this chemical can affect the mucous membranes, with some people developing sensitivity and triggers to asthma attacks, says Koenig.

10. Phosphates

Even though you may think you are providing a sanitary and clean environment for your children when tossing dirty laundry into the washer, there may be harmful chemicals that will pose a risk for the family’s health. Phosphates, commonly found in laundry and dishwashing detergents, are also fertilizers, which means that they can cause rapid algae growth after washed away into rivers and lakes, says Koenig. Ensure you are keeping your household healthy and the environment safe by straying from products with these chemicals.


If you’re concerned that all of your household cleaning products pose risks to your children, there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives to keep your home sparkling clean. According to Leslie Reichert, cleaning expert and author of “The Joy of Green Cleaning,” you should only use items you could eat when cleaning around children.

“You can do a fabulous job cleaning with things like white vinegar, baking soda, salt and lemon juice,” she says. “If you feel like you have to disinfect things, you can use hydrogen peroxide (which is safe enough to use as a mouth wash) or conquer stains on sinks and counters with toothpaste. We really don’t need to use any toxic chemicals around our children.”  –

Washing Clothes_Final


It can be easy to take for granted the various small things that electricity does for us each day, including getting our clothes clean. While an emergency situation might not dictate a perfectly pressed, spotless wardrobe, washing clothing and bed lines is essential for basic hygiene and the durability of the cloth. But without power, your usual method of putting clothes in a washer won’t be available to you. Therefore, you’re going to need to learn how to wash clothes like great grandma did!

What you’ll need to start

To wash any kind of clothing, from mildly used all the way to “caked in mud, filth, and heaven-knows-what-else”, here’s a solid list of tools and ingredients you’ll need.

  • Some manner of washing tubs. Double washtubs with valves to let the water drain out the bottom are the ideal, but are much more expensive than a pair of 5 gallon buckets. You’ll want at least two tubs as you need one to wash with soap and another to rinse the soap out. A bathtub or sink can also work, depending on their size, but I’d sooner go with a few cheap buckets since they can be moved.
  • Lots of good clean water! It doesn’t need to be of drinkable quality, but it does need to be sufficiently clean to wash with. If you use a clean river or other source with sticks and particles in it, you can still use that water for washing provided you filter it with a sheet to catch larger pieces.
  • Soap. You won’t be using as much of it as you do in a washing machine, even for the same size loads, but some manner of clothes washing soap is needed for deep stains. I would recommend going with a cheaper variety that doesn’t use much scent: you’ll be drying it outdoors anyway so some chemical “wind scented” detergent isn’t going to be needed. Fortunately, most soaps tend to store for a long period of time so they’re easy to put into your prepping stockpile.
  • Bleach. Great for whites, and also a good cleanser for clothing or bedding contaminated by sickness.
  • A stout pole for agitating clothes as they soak. You get to simulate all the tossing and turning that a washer does for you, and a stick or pole lets you leverage your strength.
  • A washboard made for laundry use. One made for making music or decoration will break rapidly under the stress, so get one that is specifically designed to stand up to the rigors of washing. Although there are many great, cheap antique metal washboards, I strongly recommend using one with glass panels instead. The glass is less abrasive on clothing, generally easier to use, and has no chance of rusting. Furthermore, it’s normally not that much more expensive either.
  • A means of heating water. Technically optional, but a definite help for both comfort and ease of removing stains. Strongly recommended especially for loads dealing with contaminants like poo or blood.

A glass washboard is generally superior to a metal one.

How to get those clothes clean

  1. Regardless of how dirty your clothes are, put them in a tub of mildly warm water to soak. If you have any white clothing or any color of cloth diapers and family cloths that are contaminated, add a few drops of bleach in a separate tub of hot water. Regardless, there is no need to add soap at this point.
  2. Depending on how soiled and stained they are, you should just let the clothing soak for awhile to loosen up dirt. Truly mucky clothing may need up to a days soaking, while mildly sweaty stuff might only need an hour or two. Loosening the stains this way greatly reduces abrasion damage and makes it easier on your arms since you won’t have to scrub as hard.A clean plunger can be particularly useful when agitating your clothing.
  3. Agitate the clothing with your pole. Swirl it around, rub it against the sides of the tub, and generally move it around vigorously. If you have a good deal of caked on mud, you might want to empty and refill the tub several times to get the muck to a manageable level.
  4. All mildly soiled clothing is pretty much done at this point: just wring it out thoroughly and hang it out to dry.
  5. For the really nasty stuff and stubborn stains, pull out the washboard and the soap and fill a clean tub with lukewarm water. Position the washboard so that the “legs” are at the bottom of the tub, and that they are leaning away from you.
  6. Lather up the washboard with the soap. You only need a very few drops, if that, to accomplish the job. Do not just fill to the lines used for a washing machine and dump it all in! If using liquid soap rather than old-fashioned bar soap or flakes, you may find it convenient to put a little in the tub as well to get the lather started there too.
  7. Begin scrubbing individual items of clothing against the board. Obviously be fairly gentle if the stains are loose, but anything stubborn may need some serious elbow grease. Scrub the clothing against the washboard as if you were trying to clean the panels of a particularly stubborn stain. Long strokes, short strokes, up and down or down and up all vary depending on the item of clothing in question and are mainly a matter of personal preference. If the lather ever goes away while scrubbing, you can either apply more soap to the board or dunk it in the lather at the bottom of the tub as needed.
  8. Once an item is completely clean, throw it in a tub of clean, non-soapy water. Temperature matters little here except for your own comfort, so if you want to just dump some cold water in this is the best spot for it.
  9.  Once your whole load is in the non-soapy tub, agitate the clothes again to get all the soap out. Large or bulky loads may need multiple dumpings and refillings with fresh water to get every nook andAlthough you can wring clothes by hand, a wringer makes the job much easier.cranny cleaned out thoroughly.
  10. Wring each piece of clothing to get all the water and any last soap residues out. Wringing out your clothes helps them dry better and reduces their weight on your line. If you decide to purchase an old fashioned wringer, this job is extremely quick and easy.
  11. Hang to dry, preferably in a dry place with a good breeze. Not only does the breeze help dry the clothing, but it will make them smell absolutely wonderful.
  12. You’ve completed a load of laundry!

And now you know why we switched to washers…

After your first heavy load of blankets and sheets, your arms will be burning and you’ll have spent several hours to do what your washer did in one. In former times many people had only a few changes of clothing and bedding, even when they became affordable enough to have multiple sets. Why? Because washing a week’s worth of different clothing was rather tiresome work. Your habits regarding clothing will probably change in a hurry after starting to use one of these!

However, there are several advantages to this system even setting aside the obvious prepping aspect:

  • You will use less water, electricity, and soap if you wash this way today. This can save you a goodly deal of money even if you elect to keep a washer around for major loads.
  • Your clothes will be cleaner. It is well known that a washer simply can’t get each item of clothing as well as your own hands can, and you’ll be able to personally scrub each and every stain out of your clothing.
  • Whoever is in charge of the washing will be able to lift a small car. Ok, so maybe it won’t be that extreme, but it certainly does a world of good for your arm muscles.
  • It will give you time for peace and contemplation. Stress is a killer today and it will definitely be so during a crisis. The ability to sit, work with your hands and perform a valuable task is a great help for your mind and is a way to clear your head. It also gives you a chance to think of ideas and ponder difficult problems besetting your retreat without too much stress clouding your judgement.

Washing clothes by hand is definitely not a time saver, and it requires a lot of effort. But it has advantages for you today, and will be the best way to stay clean in almost any survival situation. – Prepared For That

“This article was first published at”

For those in the wake of the current hurricane concerns on the east coast, pay attention to these references (all taken from the Disaster Information You Should Know page):