How to Make Disinfectant from Pool Chlorine

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If you’re struggling to find enough disinfectant, you’re not alone. With the entire country taking extra care to clean their homes and vehicles, bleach can be a struggle to find. So what do you do to stay safe when you don’t have bleach? Don’t fret. We’ve got a recipe for disinfectant effective against the COVID-19 virus that you can make at home.

Bleach 101

First, let’s start with some basics. Bleach’s active chemical, sodium hypochlorite, is a greenish-yellow salt that is solid in its natural state. However, you have to make the salt stable and dilute it to a safe concentration. This is why sodium hypochlorite is mixed with water at different strengths depending on its intended use. Most household bleach has a concentration of 3-8% sodium hypochlorite and 0.01–0.05% sodium hydroxide that keeps the bleach from breaking down. 

So how does bleach work as a disinfectant? In order to kill viruses, the chemical breaks down the protein structures within viruses. While it is effective, scientists are still investingating its exact mechanisms. When bleach comes in contact with bacteria, it breaks down the cell membrane. This is the structure that protects the organ-like structures within the bacteria that keep it alive. It takes a shorter amount of time to kill bacteria than viruses, with full disinfection from viruses taking up to 15 minutes. Bleach also kills parasites in a similar way to bacteria, damaging their cells so they can no longer perform their jobs, killing the parasites.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

What to use when you can’t find bleach

Given the need to disinfect our homes and cars more than ever, going without disinfectants is not a current option. There are other disinfectants like isopropyl alcohol, but even that is in short supply. So what do you use when you can’t find bleach?

Another form of sodium hypochlorite, in a slightly higher concentration, is the chemical used to shock pools. Instead of the strength used to make laundry bleach, pool chlorine usually has a 10% to 12.5% concentration. That means that if diluted properly, pool chlorine can be used just as safely as household bleach. 

Just like household bleach is used to disinfect our homes, pool chlorine kills bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can survive within water. Another bonus of using this in public and private swimming pools is that it remains within the water, lasting more than the necessary time to effectively kill viruses and parasites. 

How to use pool chlorine as bleach

Now that we know pool chlorine and household bleach have the same active ingredient, all you have to do is know the proper ratio to dilute it into a safe concentration. Thankfully, this doesn’t require a degree in chemistry or anything other than water, pool chlorine, and a spray bottle. 

In order to use pool chlorine as bleach, you can use the following ratios:

  • 2.5 tablespoons (1/6 cup) pool chlorine per gallon of water
  • 2 teaspoons of pool chlorine per quart of water.

You can then use the liquid in a spray bottle for quick disinfection, or grab a bucket and a sponge for greater coverage. Please make sure not to mix bleach with any other chemicals, especially ammonia, as this can create harmful gasses that are dangerous to both humans and pets.

Keeping you and your family safe is as important as ever. If you need resources for your family to avoid catching and spreading the virus, the World Health Organization has information on proper hand washing and disinfecting practices here. You can find local resources to keep your family fed at Feeding America’s website and help paying for medical bills from these programs at USA.gov.

5 Ways to Stay Active while Social Distancing

Keep yourself fit with these fun ideas

With social distancing keeping us mostly inside, keeping both healthy and entertained can be challenging. The CDC recommends staying active and getting plenty of rest, but we know this can be difficult given the limitations.

With growing evidence that vitamin D deficiency from staying inside may worsen existing health problems, it’s more important than ever to safely get some sun whenever possible. Here are five ways you can stay healthy and active while social distancing.

1. Jump Rope

Jumping rope isn’t just for kids!

Do you remember grade school afternoons spent jumping rope outside? As it turns out, this is one excellent way to get some cardio into your routine while practicing social distancing. For an extra boost, try it outside in the sunlight if you can.

Evidence shows that cardio workouts can increase your immune system’s defenses and boost anti-inflammatory processes. It can also prevent or delay some age-related degenerative processes of the immune system. 

In order to properly size your jump rope, fold the rope in half and hold the ends in your hands so they’re even. Stand on the center of the rope and pull the ends up. They should reach to your armpits. This helps ensure that the rope will not be either too short to safely jump over or have too much slack while jumping. 

2. Take an online exercise class

For those who prefer a little more direction, right now is an especially good time to take an online exercise class. The best motivation to stay fit and healthy is to find an activity that you enjoy. Right now, there are nearly endless options, both free and paid, to stay fit with an online class.

If you prefer something that’s slow and easier on your joints, you may find that a yoga class suits your style. There are several varieties to choose from, including Hatha yoga which focuses on gentle exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles, and hot yoga for those who prefer a more intense workout.

Other options for online exercise classes include pilates, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and Zumba. If you already have equipment, you can join cycling classes or watch instructional videos on safe weight training. Here are some examples of online fitness classes that can help you get started getting in shape.

3. Learn a new dance

There’s never a bad time to learn to dance!

Always wanted to blow people away with your dancing skills? Now is the time to get them! Dancing can help relieve stress and serves as an excellent cardio workout. In addition, there are enough styles of dance that everyone can find a type they enjoy.

Some common styles include ballet, which builds strength and flexibility while incorporating mostly classical music; ballroom dancing, which can be danced with a partner and includes the foxtrot, waltz, tango, and rumba; and hip-hop, which involves faster movements and serves as an excellent cardio workout. 

To get started dancing, you can find music and lessons online both paid and for free. Make sure you have plenty of space and clothes you can move in, as well as plenty of water to stay hydrated while moving. If you’re living with children, a significant other, or family, you can include them in your lessons to have fun and bond a bit as well.

4. Play with pets or children

Bring out your inner kid!

Children and pets are great sources of fun while staying at home. If you’re living with your kids or pets, get them involved to stay active together. You can play classic games, like hide-and-go-seek or tag with your kids, or try new ideas like creating a scavenger hunt or building a fort out of things around the house. 

As for pets, this is the perfect time to teach them new tricks (yes, this includes cats!) By training step by step, you can teach your dog advanced tricks like retrieving items from the fridge or even how to dance. Don’t be afraid to show your kids how to teach them new things as well! It’s a great way to do something together as a family.

5. Stay cool with water games

Make a splash with some new pool games!

If you have a pool or even a backyard space, embrace your inner child and have fun outside! You can swim laps for cardio, play games like sharks and minnows, volleyball, or dive to get items from the bottom of the pool. If you don’t have a pool, a small inflatable one can help you cool down or add some variety to your kids’ routine. 

For something different, break out the water balloons and water guns and have fun while staying at a safe distance. You can even play hot potato with water balloons or water gun tag. For fun in the pool, consider installing a small basketball hoop or finding some pool toys to add something new. For any questions about how to install new accessories or to ask about how you can add a pool to your yard, reach out to the pros at B&B Pool and Spa!

5 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Pool Builder

1.  Is there a landscape architect on your staff?

Finding a company with a Landscape Architect (LA) on staff will save you time, money and aggravation.  A licensed LA is trained and experienced in providing a design that integrates the entire backyard to match both your lifestyle and imagination.  Your investment deserves professionals who have the expertise to handle the particulars of design as well as to implement and actualize your project. Finding a pool builder with an LA on staff means you’re hiring a true design-build firm.   

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Pool Inspection, Are You Thinking of Buying a Home with a Pool?

If you’re thinking about buying a house with a pool, there are some important things you need to know — before closing the deal. A swimming pool is one of the most valuable assets in a home and it can be the place your family and friends share some of the best times of their lives.

Or it can be a headache that just won’t go away.

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Inexperienced Pool Builders Can Cost You Tens of Thousands of Dollars

More and more landscape companies are vying to build your pool. The more prudent choice is to select an experienced pool builder with a Landscape Architect on staff. To prevent costly problems, we suggest you download our important guide on what it will mean to you to hire an eminently qualified, professional pool builder with a Landscape Architect on staff to design and build your dream oasis.

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How Your Health Benefits From A Hydrotherapy Spa Part I

NOTE: People with health problems should consult with their physicians prior to beginning any type of spa treatments.

As the population in America ages, we continue to search for the fountain of youth. Staving off the aging process is more than simply taking medications. There are proactive steps you can take to keep and even recover your health—without drugs.

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Exciting Pool Renovations

You’re one of the lucky ones who own a pool. You bought your home and the pool was already in place. It’s been a few years, and this spring as you walk into the backyard, the patio shows signs of aging. In the pool you see the once bright liner has faded. When you venture behind the cabana the heater, pumps, and filters aren’t ready for the swimming season.

Plus, that little sapling near the pool—it’s no longer “little.” Its roots are spreading right into the shallow end of your pool.

So now what do you do?

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