Floors collect germs from sources such as the bottom of shoes, food spills and pets. To rid your floor surface of germs, soap and water isn't enough. You must follow up with an application of a bleach and water solution that can kill up to 100 percent of the bacteria and other germs lurking on the surface of your floors. However, it's important to combine the correct ratio of bleach and water for maximum effectiveness.
Cleaning the Floor
While bleach is powerful and works well for sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces, such as floors, you still need to clean the floor before applying bleach and water. Cleaning with warm water and detergent will remove any soil or debris that has accumulated on the surface. Afterward, the bleach and water mixture can effectively disinfect the surface.
Bleach to Water Ratio
The bleach to water ratio for cleaning floors, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is 1 cup to every 5 gallons of water, or 1/2 cup to every 2-1/2 gallons of water. Pour the bleach into a large bucket and add the desired amount of water afterward. Apply the bleach and water mixture to the floor with a cloth or mop.
Disinfecting the Floor
Once you have applied the bleach and water mixture to the floor with a mop or cloth, you do not have to rinse or take any further action. Instead, you should let the floor surface air-dry to thoroughly disinfect the area. Keep all children and pets away from the wet surface until it's completely dry. Use a ceiling fan or portable fan to aid in the drying process. The bleach will evaporate, leaving no harmful residue behind.
Open as many doors and windows as possible to ventilate the area where you are cleaning the floors. Bleach fumes can be overpowering. Store bleach in an area that is safe from children, such as a locked cabinet or a high shelf. If you transfer bleach to an unmarked container, clearly label it with the word "bleach" so everyone will know what it is.
Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.