Staying Safe: Bleach and Gloves

COVID-19 Protection Strategy: BLEACH and GLOVES

from Dr. Robin Bissell

COVID-19 transmission was once thought to be primarily caused by infected persons with symptoms and airborne transmission. We now realize that a significant form of transmission of COVID-19 occurs by this path:

An infected person who may have no symptoms is shedding the virus and they touch their face

They touch a surface (like a doorknob or a credit card machine). The virus survives 3 days.

A non-infected person touches the same surface and later they touch their face

The virus enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth

The newly infected person may develop no symptoms, mild symptoms or severe symptoms. In all cases, they will be shedding COVID-19 virus for days before symptoms occur, and for weeks after the infection has symptomatically improved. This explains why this is a Stealth Virus that is spreading so fast.

The GOOD News is that you can PROTECT YOURSELF!! Using inexpensive and easy to find supplies, you can stop this sneaky, stealthy, BAD BUG. Not everyone, especially those still working outside the house, will be able to do ALL these things. Please share work arounds or variations you are creating. However, people who are staying home can successfully exercise all these recommendations. Whatever you decide, remember this:


EVERYTHING you touch THAT HAS BEEN TOUCHED BY A HUMAN in the past 3 days can infect you.

Gloves are a good way to remind you to keep you from TOUCHING YOUR FACE and they are easy to rub down with bleach solution, an amazing product that kills viruses.

**ANY break in the chain listed below, can be mended on the spot if you use common sense.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Laundry bleach (unscented). If it’s sold out at the store, ask a neighbor. 6 cups makes 4 gallons of 10% solution.

Dish gloves (preferably one pair for each person). If you have them, exam gloves will work too

2 Empty spray bottles well rinsed and free from any ammonia product

Paper towels, heavy duty (they must keep their shape when wet)

Bucket or a tall soup pot with a lid

Dispensing container like an Igloo drink container with a spigot

Take these steps:

  1. Pour 1 part bleach to 9 parts water (to make a 10% bleach solution) into your 4 containers (the 2 spray bottles, the bucket and the Igloo).
  2. Place the Igloo on a kitchen surface that is easy to access and away from rugs. Place it so that it will drain into a sink. This makes it easy to access and use the bleach solution.
  3. Label clearly “10% BLEACH” on each container. (could add “Do not Drink” “Don’t get into eyes” etc)
  4. Put the bleach bucket and one of the spray bottles at or near the door to your house
  5. Hang gloves near the bucket
  6. Place one spray bottle in the kitchen area and use for periodically cleaning counters and items from outside the house that need disinfecting.
    1. Tear individual sheets off a roll of paper towels
    2. Fold paper towel sheets so they are easy to separate, accordion folds are best.
    3. Alternatively, you may want to use more sustainable wipe materials, because paper towels may be running low and they also tend to fall apart. You can reuse cleaning wipes that have been handwashed. Small absorbent cloth pieces can be cut into 6” x 6” pieces from bath towels, kitchen towels or cloth diapers. They can be washed in your washing machine with your whites. Dry on high heat.
    4. The chlorine off-gases from the solution, causing the wipes to become ineffective after 2 days, so wait to do the next step for same day or next day use.
    5. Place the dry wipes in a bowl or pan. Pour the 10% bleach solution over them. Take a small handful of the wipes and gently squeeze out excess solution over the pan. They should be very moist but not dripping.
    6. Place these wet wipes into a plastic sandwich bag. Seal it well and label it “10% Bleach Wipes”. If you store filled bags within a larger waterproof bag that is tightly closed to air, it may prolong the chlorine effectiveness and prevent leaks.
    7. Warning: The chlorine solution will bleach your clothes. It can be irritating if used many times on your bare hands. Children should not use it. Avoid getting it in your eyes. When traveling with the wipes, you may want to place the chlorine wipe bag within a quart bag to catch any dripping or leaking. Chlorine is quite toxic if it is mixed with other cleaning products. See below for more information.


    1. Everything OUTSIDE your house should be considered contaminated
    2. Therefore, everything you bring into your house could be contaminated
    3. 10% chlorine bleach solution should remain wet for at least 2 minutes to kill the virus
  2. YOU SHOULD WEAR GLOVES when you leave the house and while driving. You will notice how much easier it will be to avoid touching your face! So put on the gloves hanging outside your door before you enter your car.
  3. Keep your chlorine wipes ready. When you leave your car, keep one in your gloved hand, the rest in your purse or bag for immediate access.
  4. Every doorknob, gas pump handle, countertop, etc should be considered contaminated.
  5. Money is contaminated. Use a credit card instead and if you must use money, put it into a baggie. It should be safe to touch in 3 days.
  6. After you touch a surface, use your chlorine wipe to wipe your gloves. You can also wipe the surface to protect the next person who may not be otherwise protected.
  7. Every item you touch, like groceries, money and mail can be contaminated, therefore it will be important to decontaminate these before touching them with your bare hands. Keep your gloves on while you shop. Periodically wipe your gloves with a Clorox wipe, but especially after touching high use surfaces.
  8. If you must use your phone while outside your house, have a chlorine wipe handy. Place the wipe on the back of the phone while you hold it with your contaminated gloved hand. Try to not remove your gloves, but if you must, use these steps:
    1. Remove your gloves and place them on the counter (not in your purse)
    2. When you are done with the phone, wipe it with the chlorine wipe, wipe your HANDS with a chlorine wipe (or disinfecting gel if available). Put the gloves on again.
  9. Keep your gloves on while you are on in the car, even driving. It will remind you to keep your hands off your face and will REMIND you that every place outside your house is potentially contaminated. The car is considered contaminated until touched surfaces are wiped, like the steering wheel and door handles.
  10. When you get home, wipe your gloves with 10% chlorine wipes. Wipe the steering wheel, keys and car door handles. Leave you gloves on.
    1. Prepare an outside spraying area for the groceries and other items you are bringing home.
    2. Take your groceries and any other items out of their bags. Place them in the spraying area. Spray them with the 10% bleach solution. Let them dry for about 20 minutes before bringing them into your house. This includes canned food, frozen food and packaged food. Produce with skin can be sprayed this way as well as packaged fresh produce; the virus only lasts a few days, so produce within a package with no holes should be okay. When chlorine evaporates it turns into salt so it is minimally toxic
    3. Thin-skinned loose produce or produce in packages with holes (like grapes and berries) may need to be avoided during the epidemic because the chlorine spray may not evaporate. If you decide to use them, rinse them very well before eating.
    4. Items that you don’t need immediately or that you can’t effectively spray, can be placed in a quarantine area outside the house for 3 days.
    5. Shopping bags should be separated into dirty and clean. Use the “dirty bags” for shopping and transporting groceries. Use “clean” bags for bringing groceries and other sprayed items into the house when they are dry. Any item can become “clean” after a 3-day quarantine period.
  11. Do not bring your contaminated gloves in the house. After you are done spraying the groceries, use a 10% chlorine wipe on the doorknob and surrounding surfaces on the door to enter the house. If you’re using cloth or commercial wipes, drop them in the bucket, wring them out and put them in a bag to be laundered later. THEN, when you’ve done all these other tasks, you should dip your GLOVED hands in the bucket with 10% bleach. Take off your gloves and hang them to dry.
  12. Once you are in the house, wash your hands and face.
  13. Minimize the frequency of leaving your house. It is better to go less frequently and get multiple errands done at one time.
  14. STAY VERY ALERT WHEN YOU ARE OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE. Consider every surface touched by other people as contaminated.

BLEACH and GLOVES: It is not convenient but it is EFFECTIVE. It requires intelligence and perseverance. Do it for your health. Do it for your loved ones, neighbors, friends, country and the world. We need to stop this BAD BUG in its tracks!! Take this on with discipline and courage. If we are prepared, we will prevail.

NOTES: Do not mix bleach with other products:

Bleach + Vinegar = Toxic Chlorine Gas.

Ammonia + Bleach = Toxic Chloramine Vapors.

Rubbing Alcohol + Bleach = Chloroform.

Hydrogen Peroxide + Vinegar = Parecetic Acid.


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