Three Reasons Hog Farmers May Want To Stop Using Chlorine Bleach

Young Repairman With Spanner Looking Inside The Washing Machine

Chlorine bleach just isn’t worth it compared to the alternatives.

Chlorine is a handy little chemical for all kinds of different things. It cleans our drinking water, it sterilizes our public swimming pools, and for many hog farmers, it aggressively cleans coveralls hundreds of times a day. The problem is that chlorine is really not the most ideal method for cleaning clothes. For all its strength as a disinfectant there are several scenarios that either make it less effective as a detergent or more dangerous. So here are a few reasons you need to start looking for an alternative to chlorine bleach.

Soil Neutralizes Chlorine

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Chlorine isn’t actually that good at disinfecting organic debris. When the clothes have layers of dirt and grime embedded in them, they actually neutralize most of the chlorine they come in contact with. So you’re having to use a lot more detergent to completely disinfect your clothes when you’re using a chlorine-based detergent. That’s why it takes so long for chlorine based bleaches to remove the smell from coveralls. It might work fine for your everyday town clothes, but any parent can tell you that clothes caked in dirt need a much harder punch from the washing machine.

Many Compounds Make Chlorine Bleach Dangerous

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While soil can neutralize chlorine, there are other organic compounds that take it the opposite direction. They react with chlorine to create what’s known as disinfectant byproducts: trihalomethane. This includes group of carcinogenic compounds (meaning cancer-causing), many of them with long names we wouldn’t know how to pronounce. But the most common is trichloromethane, otherwise known as chloroform. The EPA has had a close eye on these reactions for a while, and placed fairly strict regulations about using disinfectants like chlorine in drinking water. So when you pump your washing machines full of chlorine, then get run off into your lagoons and drinking water (especially if that lagoon ever floods) you open your farm wide open to the danger of being filled with harmful chemicals.

Chlorine Isn’t Actually Cheaper than Most Alternatives

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One of the reasons chlorine has become such a popular disinfectant is because it seems relatively cheap compared to other other detergent options. That might still be true for disinfecting drinking water, but the ratio of price point to efficacy goes down when you start using it with laundry. Not only does chlorine require higher temperatures to activate than other cleaning chemicals, but it takes more of it to fully disinfect clothing. What we have here is an example of working harder instead of smarter. If you take an alternative bleach, like products that use hydrogen peroxide and/or enzyme technology which is much more stable with organic compounds, you’ll end up cleaning clothes faster and more effectively, cutting down on labor and power costs while leaving you with cleaner, better smelling clothes.

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