Which Viruses and Bacteria to Kill?

Probably not something you are using toilet bowl cleaner on then, eh?


Yes :smack:. One is a strong acid and one is a strong base. Mixing will:

  1. Cause an exothermic reaction (some heat; a fire is possible, though I doubt given the relatively dilute concentrations)

  2. Create salt water. OK, this isn’t that bad.

  3. Create ammonia gas, which will also create salt water (from the lacrimal glands) along with irritation of the various mucosal membranes.

Well no, but I assume if they’re on the ceiling and walls that some of the mold spores are also on the counters and toilet. They don’t grow there to visible colonies because I clean those surfaces more often than I clean my ceiling and walls (which I really should clean more often), but I’d like to keep them at bay, given the respiratory backgrounds of half my housemates.

Not taking a diehard stance here, mind. I agree that either cleaner is perfectly adequate assuming a normal home with normal healthy people in it. But if I were standing there trying to decide which one to buy, the marketing department that lists “mold” would get *my *purchase.

I found a decent-looking Disinfection 101 handbook (PDF here), the last two pages have nice charts summarizing the effectiveness of each type of disinfectant. Basically, bleach Kills Everything Dead, except cryptosporidium and prions. Crypto is a fairly common GI pathogen, but even if a few survive the disinfection, they can only infect you if you ingest them. So don’t prepare food on your toilet when someone in the house has a case of the runs. Prion diseases (Mad Cow disease, Kuru) are extremely rare, and not something you would find in the toilet.

Acids kill lots of things, but there are some types of bacteria, spores, and viruses that resist acid. The resistant stuff includes the bacteria that cause tuberculosis and leprosy, and the whole gamut of non-enveloped viruses. Practically speaking, though, you’ll be OK with that level of disinfection. I think it would only be inadequate if you let lots of people with exotic diseases use your bathroom, AND make a habit of licking the toilet bowl. Even if there are pathogens that survive the acid cleaner, you’re OK if you wash your hands.



The problem though is not that there is mold in the environment - there always is - but that your bathroom needs better ventilation or you have some sort of leak. You have that mold growth because those spots are staying too moist too long.

Excess household molds may trigger some allergic reactions but a few spores on surfaces that get wiped down in any way with any regularity do not represent any sort of health risk.

Hahahahaha…the problem is the WALL of mold behind our shower unit. It’s one of those “push into the opening” plastic jobbies, and it doesn’t sit flush to the sheetrock anymore. There’s no way to clean back there, and the landlord is…well…deficient about repair and upgrades.

Yes, I know we have mold as a sign of bigger problems. Best I can do, as a renter who’s not willing to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in fixing the actual problem when, as you say, it’s not an actual health risk, is to wipe it away where I can see it with a bleach containing solution as often as I can muster up the energy to do so. Oh, and I painted the walls orange-ish. :smiley:

I don’t know why I bother posting sometimes, but as I already said (post #16), it will create chlorine gas, not ammonia. Chlorine is a good deal nastier. It has been used a a chemical weapon, and I have read about people actually dying from inhalation of chlorine produced by mixing hydrochloric acid toilet cleaner with bleach, although I doubt if that is likely from the amounts you might use for a single toilet. It could still cause lung damage, though.

Hyporchlorite bleach is not a strong base, it is a salt, and the reaction in question is not a straightforward acid-base reaction

There is no way you could possibly get ammonia from this reaction. Ammonia contains nitrogen, and neither hypochlorite bleach nor hydrochloric acid contain any nitrogen.

Furthermore, just because it is an exothermic reaction, it does not follow that it is likely to cause a fire. Probably the only consequence of this is that the water in your toilet is going to get a little warmer. None of the reagents or reaction products involved her are flammable, so unless you flush your toilet with gasoline, there is no risk of fire (even if if enough heat were to be released, which I am virtually sure it will not be).

To sum up: there is no ammonia involved; the exothermic nature of the reaction is not a problem; the chlorine generated by the reaction, however, could be quite dangerous.

You’ve never been around me after “Mexican Tamale Night” have you?

No. I gave my ticket to some poor Irish guy who wanted to experience it just once. Sadly, I understand there were no survivors.