Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-24-2003, 07:57 AM
Charlie Tan Charlie Tan is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Scania
Posts: 4,902
Urine+bleach = bad idea?

I know I might sound slightly paranoid, and when I think about it, it shouldn't be a big deal, but I still got to ask. I have a nine week old puppy. The odd accident happens at home and I don't want him to go back and pee or poo in the same place. An effective way to get rid of smell is to use bleach. So in the bucket of hot water, I pour maybe an oz. of bleach and then use the mop on the spot where he peed. It also keeps him away from the mop, since it was starting to be his favorite to chase it around the room, when I was cleaning up.

However, urine contains some, if only very little, ammonia. And mixing bleach and ammonia is a bad idea. Of course, when doing laundry, there will be traces of urine in underwear and we're onviously not doing left and right here around the washers.

But am I slowly poisoning my little baby by leaving some bleach, and surely som urine on the floor?
Old 09-24-2003, 08:01 AM
Dogface Dogface is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,466
The reaction doesn't produce that much chlorine gas. Don't let your kid lick the floor.
Old 09-24-2003, 09:31 AM
quothz quothz is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 226
You, and your puppy, ought to be fine. Don't try this with cats. Also don't use bleach if the urine smells strongly of ammoinia - take your pup to the vet in that case.
Old 09-24-2003, 11:42 AM
Velma Velma is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,815
Use white vinegar and water instead of bleach. Vinegar will get rid of the smell as well as bleach and won't hurt puppy.
Old 09-24-2003, 11:47 AM
DeVena DeVena is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Montgomery AL
Posts: 4,383
Ditto on the vinegar - It really gets rid of "urine" smells. My mom uses it to clean up my dad's bathroom (long story) and the vinegar really does the trick.
Old 09-24-2003, 01:30 PM
Charlie Tan Charlie Tan is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Scania
Posts: 4,902
Vinegar it is. I've switched and it works like a charm. Thanks, all.
Old 09-24-2003, 04:25 PM
mmmiiikkkeee mmmiiikkkeee is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 1,515
I hate to add on to such a nicely "finnished" thread, but I had the same question on a slightly larger scale, though my version sounded too bad for me to start a thread for it.

Ahem, I have a friend who (for reasons unimportant) ended up scurrying into a small rural hotel laundry room while desperately searching for someplace to relieve himself out of sight of passers by. No sink meant an empty container had to suffice, and the only one there was 1/2 full of bleach. Upon "topping the conatiner up" a bit he noticed a whitish fizzy foam building up and the bottle getting a little warm. He then put the cap on and beat a hasty retreat and on the way out saw the bottle start to bulge... true story.

So was the reaction here the deadly bleach/ammonia-to-chlorine-gas one or something else? Would it have been dangerous (moreso than just the risk of splashing bleach) to stick around for the possible bottle rupturing?
Old 09-24-2003, 05:12 PM
DeVena DeVena is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Montgomery AL
Posts: 4,383
Well, depending on the amount of urine and the amount of bleach... But the warmth and gas build up was a chemical reaction. Stale urine has more ammonia than fresh - and if the urine was diluted... Was there enough to cause problems? dunno.

But it was a stupid thing to do. DUDE! Never put your Mr Happy in a bottle of bleach!!! Try explaining the chemical burns to the emergency room doc as he's laughing his butt off. Not a pretty picture!
Old 09-24-2003, 06:49 PM
antechinus antechinus is offline
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,265
This is pretty much beside the point, but I just want to set a bit of the chemistry straight:

- It is not just ammonia that is reacting, it is a range of amines in urine.

- It is chloramines (pool smell) that are formed through the reaction with bleach, not chlorine gas.

- In straight bleach (high pH, high [HOCl]) the chloramines would be oxidised to nitrogen gas and HCl.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:10 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017