Does smelling bleach make you sick?

United States
November 28, 2007 4:42pm CST
I've been helping my Landlord with some cleaning in a couple of apartments that are vacant. They're elderly and she had mentioned to me that the people living in the 2 apartments left them pretty dirty, mainly the bathrooms. So I told her I would go and clean the kitchens and the bathrooms in the apartments for her. I went over there today and got started, OMH! The bathrooms are unreal, but thats besides the point. lol She bought some cleaning products for mold and mildew to get rid of all the black mold and soap scum on the shower doors and the walls of the shower. It took me like 2 hours almost just to get the bathroom clean. Yeah! Pretty nasty! Well there is obviously bleach in the mold and mildew cleaner, I could smell it! I thought I had the place pretty venilated with cross windows open, the fan over the stove going and the fan in the bathroom going. WRONG! Im smelling bleach and tasting bleach and my head is killing me!! Is anyone else this sensitive to bleach or any products with bleach in them?? I've always been like this, so I was just wondering if anyone else is like this too. Can you take one whiff of bleach and it stays with you all day when ever you drink or eat anything? Do you have any remedies to rid your nose of the smell?? Any suggestions for what I could to to eliminate this problem when I go to do the second aparmtment tomorrow?? Bay Lay Gray xx
2 people like this
9 responses
@garnet80 (354)
• Australia
29 Nov 07
I hate the smell of bleach and refuse to use it. Yes it can make you very sick. I have tried the soap scum removal sprays and have found that vinegar does the same job. So I use that now and when I have to I use the mould remover sprays. I hate poisons and after using sprays always feel like it's still on my hands. Vinegar does have a strong smell but nothing like most bathroom cleaners. And I don't think it's bad for the environment.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Nov 07
Hi Garnet, I guess I should know this, but I don't let mildew and mold get on my shower doors and things like that. lol So I don't have to use such hars cleaners in my bathroom. This is really killing me though and Im dreading tomorrow! I would much rather smell vinegar, which I think stinks, than the bleach smell. lol Thank you for your suggestion! I'm willing to give anything a try besides that Tilex Mold and Mildew cleaner! Bay xx
1 person likes this
@ersmommy1 (12607)
• United States
29 Nov 07
I agree with garnet. I use vinegar too. It's also good for cleaning coffee pots. Another good cleaner is baking soda! Worse case scenario you may smell like a pickle for a bit! lol
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Nov 07
Hi Ersmommy, LOL I don't mind smelling like a pickle!! Bay xx
1 person likes this
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
2 Dec 07
Well, Bay, you know how I feel about this. I haven't had bleach or any other toxic cleaning products in my house in over a year. I know that bleach is bad for you - it tells you right on the bottle all the precautions and to use it in well ventilated areas. My sister can't use any of the cleaning products you'd find in the stores because her face swells up. Bathroom cleaners are usually the worst, and bathrooms are very poorly ventilated. Also, mold and mildew are toxic in themselves. There are companies that do nothing more than remove mold from places - it's a tedious and expensive process. Try to get as much fress air as possible - although you should be feeling better by now. If you need to do that again, try to use a less toxic product or make sure you take lots of "air breaks".
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Dec 07
LOL I thought about you and the products you told me about while I was enduring this madness! I'm finished now, so thankfully I don't have to return. It was just unreal in there. As I was cleaning the shower, I was thinking of those toxic mold people and figured they might have needed to come in and do this! This guy lived there for 6 years, and I'm most positive he never cleaned! It took me an hour or longer just on the shower and the shower doors alone. Then another hour on the sink and stool. I was really grossed out, and I WILL think twice before I offer to do this again! LOL Bay xx
1 person likes this
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
4 Dec 07
Too bad your landlady didn't have this stuff. You would have been able to breathe the whole time :) BE CAREFUL!!!
• United States
3 Dec 07
If this is something your planning on doing more. You need to check into the cleaning products with no bleach. I would not have cleaned this bathroom without the home door being opened as well. This is a horrible chemical to use. I try not to use bleach. This lingers on your hands all day long. Your smelling it and tasting it forever. There is a company my friend works for. It has products to use without bleach. I forgot the name of the company. http://www.thriftyfun.com may have some help for you. I use lemon juice and or vinegar,baking soda,orange peels,etc to clean my home. I use bleach only a few times a year it's just not healthy for us. I don't use it on my laundry.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Dec 07
Hi, No I don't plan on doing it again! The condition of these two apartments was just years of not cleaning. I couldn't see anything but bleach getting these surfaces clean. I still had to use it, but not to the extent that it was overwhelming to me. I had the windows open, the door just went into a hallway not outdoors or I would have done that too! lol Thank you! I don't use those hars products when I'm cleaning, I don't let it get to the state those places were in. I don't use chlorine bleach at all in my house or in my wash either. I just can't take the smell of it. I hate when I'm at the laundromat and someone else is using it, just them putting it in their wash machine will get to me. I can smell it long after I have come home and I didn't have my hands on it or was really near it. I just guess I'm really sensitive too it. I guess my title insuated that I was asking people, lol I know it will, I was just wondering how many people are like me and are really that sensitive too it. Thanks for the link though! Bay xx
1 person likes this
@megumiart (3783)
• United States
3 Dec 07
The smell of bleach and cleaning chemicals is very unpleasant, but it doesn'y make me sick to my stomach.
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• United States
3 Dec 07
You're very lucky megumiart! It really does my head in to smell it and makes me feel very sick. It doesn't have to be a lot of bleach either, a very small amount will do this too me. Bay xx
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48820)
• United Kingdom
2 Dec 07
Sweet Bleach is a very dangerous Chemical so please take care there also try and wear a Mask and also gloves when you use it It can kill please believe me I have been on the Chemical Course because of the Job I used to do and the Cleaning Companies in UK will not use bleach at all
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Dec 07
Thank you Gabs, yes I wore gloves, and I got a mask to wear. It did help! But I resorted to the baking soda and vinegar trick that a few suggested. Bleach is really good for killing germs, but it is so very dangerous. I hate it!! I use color safe bleach on my whites so I don't have to deal with the harsh smell of regular bleach. Just ruins my day! Funny thing is that I watch Kim and Aggie on "How Clean is Your House" all the time!! I didn't think of this til I was almost finished cleaning. LOL I should have consulted with those two, this place was just as filthy as the homes they clean up on the show! Bay xx
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Nov 07
No actually i like the smell of bleech.and when my house smells like bleech its easier for me to relax,because i know my house is clean....the one thing that makes me like you with bleach is fried chicken,the nasteist nastiest thing i ever smelled.
• United States
29 Nov 07
Your're pulling my chain Wifey!!! LOL Bay xx
1 person likes this
@laurika (4537)
• United States
29 Nov 07
It is nice of you to help you landlord cleaning that bathroom. It sounds like a mess and I guess you needed a lot of bleach. Yeah it makes me sick too. Not that i can smell it all day long, but it make me sick like I want throw up. Only a little bit can make me sick, so i am trying to not use it, but I knwo sometimes it is neccasary. But there are some natural thing like baking soda or vingar what migth help you to clean things too. I am sorry I am not gonna help you about tomorow. I have no idea how you could protect yourself. I guess only open more windows.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Nov 07
Hi Laurika, I like my landlord they are old and sweet and I wanted to help her out a bit. The one guy did them wrong and ran out owing them 3 months rent. They were so nice and lenient to him. They were going to have to hire someone to clean it, and I wasn't busy so why not! lol Yes, Pye mentioned baking soda. Should I mix the baking soda with the vinegar? Or just one or the other? You know I always watch those two UK ladies on How Clean is Your House on BBC America and my mind is just blank on some of the mixtures they would use. They were cleaning more dirty houses than what I'm faced with. lol Have you ever seen this show? Bay xx
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@wolfie34 (26895)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov 07
Sounds like you need to be armed with a gas mask and plenty of air fresheners! All sounds very toxic to me, I admire you for offering to help, ewww that sounds like a horrid disgusting job, I hope you are paid well to do it. I hate the smell of chlorine when I go swimming but it's mild compared to what you will have to sniff!
• United States
29 Nov 07
Hehe yes she is paying me rather well to do it Wolfie, but I did offer with no expectancy of payment. She is really nice and they are rather old. They would have had to hire someone anyway, and I wasn't doing anything. *big grin* I got deathly ill from an over exposure to chlorine once. I had had surgery on my back and my PT was in a pool. I loved it, but one day there was just too much chlorine in there and I was very ill. I tried to tell them, and they said no one else had complained about it. I sort of thought I just might be extra sensitive. Sounds like you and me both! Bay xx
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@TerryZ (22147)
• United States
28 Nov 07
OMG!Yes you can get sick from just smelling bleach. It can be very dangerous. Ask Gabs? I wouldnt go back there till its all aired out. Open the windows next time your in there. I hope you feel better. I dont know what your suppose to do for it thou. I hope someone hear can help you.
• United States
29 Nov 07
Hey Terry, I sure felt bad and had to take breaks going outdoors and getting some fresh air. The crazy part is, I'm not using bleach its Tilex Mold and Mildew cleaner. That's all! I didn't mix it with anything else. I'm sure not to mix any cleaners together. I'm feeling better now, my headache is gone. I knew from the first spray that this was going to make me feel like crap. I can still taste it in my drinks and stuff. Still smell it. I might not go back tomorrow and wait a day or two. lol I'm going to call her and see what kind of rush she is in, took her a week to bring me the stuff to do it. Can't be in that big of a hurry. lol Bay xx
1 person likes this