It is often simple answers that provide effective solutions to major problems. This is especially true in the case of disinfection as it has now been found that addition of white vinegar to common household bleach (diluted form) can effectively destroy bacterial spores.
Researchers from MicroChem Lab, Texas have found out this simple yet significant solution to bacterial contamination. Sodium hypochlorite or laundry bleach as it is commonly called is a common household product. It is a highly alkaline compound with a longer shelf life.
It is 10 or 25 fold diluted before it can be used over environmental surfaces. This dilution is done without considering the pH, which affects the disinfecting power of the solution, commented Norman Miner, a senior researchers involved in the study.
If the pH of the solution is about 8.5 or more, the bleach may not be active against microbes. However, if the pH is less than or equal to 6.8, it has been found to be 80 to 200 times more active. This acidity can be accomplished by the addition of a small amount of household vinegar.
The researchers compared the anti-microbial effectiveness of the disinfection solution against surfaces with dried, resistant bacterial spores, at varying levels of pH. The alkaline solution killed 2.5% of spores after 20 minutes of application while the acidic version was found to achieve a 100% success with respect to destruction of spore forms.
The researchers recommend dilution of household bleach in one gallon of water followed by addition of a cup of household white vinegar. The results of this study could have valuable implications in the disinfection of places where there are high chances of infections such as hospitals, health care centres, old age homes etc.