Bleach kills germs such as viruses and bacteria. Hypochlorous acid, the active ingredient in household bleach, works to kill germs by attacking the proteins in viruses and bacteria.
Bleach has been known to kill germs for over 200 years, but scientists have only recently discovered how according to Reuters. When bleach attacks the proteins in germs, it causes them to unfold and then clump together permanently. It is similar to how proteins in an egg react when the egg is boiled. This renders the germs powerless. Bleach can kill germs on laundry, counter tops, toilets, sinks, bath tubs and other surfaces. Care should be taken when using bleach on colored fabrics because it can take the color out and cause holes in the fabric. Bleach should be diluted to one part bleach for every 30 parts water in a spray bottle for surface cleaning or in a washing machine.