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Trauma Cleanup in Frazer, PA: Why Bleach Doesn’t Work

technicians in biohazard protection suits

We clean a lot of things in our lives with bleach, from our bathrooms to our pool water. Bleach is a powerful disinfectant for many surfaces, but there are some things it can’t do. In cases where a space has been exposed to a traumatic event, such as a violent crime, suicide, or unattended death, bleach isn’t something you can rely on to clean up the biohazards. For crime scene cleanup, bleach is, at best, ineffective, and at worst, dangerous. Traumatic events often involve biohazards like blood, human tissue, and other body fluids. Because these materials carry the risk of pathogens, it’s critical they are removed and disposed of properly in the aftermath. ServiceMaster Professional Cleaning and Restoration provides complete trauma cleanup in Frazer, PA, for a crime scene or other event involving biohazards, and we don’t use bleach!

Trauma Cleanup

Our trauma cleanup technicians can quickly and compassionately take care of any space exposed to the potential biohazards and other damages. They have the necessary skills, gear, and cleaning solutions to effectively sanitize and correctly handle toxic materials. There are multiple reasons why bleach is not an effective cleaning solution for these types of events, despite it being a disinfectant.

  1. Bleach doesn’t kill every germ: While a strong disinfectant, household bleach is not completely effective against all pathogens. There are some bacteria resistant to bleach, and the bleach cleaning solution used may come into contact with dirt before it reaches bacteria, making it ineffective.
  2. Bleach is highly reactive: In some cases, bleach can react with other materials at a scene and generate hazardous gas. For example, bleach and ammonia notoriously produce chloramine gas, aka mustard gas. If human corpses are present at a crime scene, there are several ammonia sources—such as urine and other fluids produced in the kidneys—that can interact with bleach. Mustard gas is extremely dangerous and could cause fatalities in an unventilated space. Bleach reactions to other surrounding materials can also produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that often impact building materials and human/pet health in negative ways.
  3. Bleach is corrosive to human tissue: Bleach is such an effective disinfectant for most bacteria because it denatures proteins as a corrosive material. When human tissue, such as skin, eyes, lungs, and throat, is exposed to bleach, it can become irritated and inflamed. Bleach can cause nosebleeds, chest pain, headaches, rashes, and even neurological disorders with long-term exposure.

When to Use Bleach

Bleach is a great cleaning solution for your home when used on water-tight, hard surfaces. Its invention was a great achievement for surgeons and doctors. It can be used to bleach fabrics much more quickly and safely than previous cleaning methods. It’s also a great substance in many ways; however, it is not an effective tool for cleaning up crime scenes and other traumatic events.


Our professional team has better tools and solutions for trauma cleanup in Frazer, PA, and the surrounding region. To learn more about our services, contact ServiceMaster Professional Cleaning and Restoration at (610) 524-8003 to reach our main office.