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Bleach Facts

Bleach Facts

Clorox® Bleach provides consumers with the most cost-effective cleaning and disinfecting product on the market that is also safe and doesn’t damage the environment.

How is bleach made?

To make bleach, Clorox uses liquid chlorine gas to make the sodium hypochlorite active, NaOCl. The chlorine gas comes from the electrolysis of salt water. The chlorine gas gets bubbled through a solution of water and caustic to make the dilute household liquid bleach solution (5% sodium hypochlorite active). The reaction is carried out in a closed, sealed container so there is no free chlorine in the product afterward.

How does bleach work?

When you purchase a bottle of Clorox® Bleach you are buying a solution of at least 5% sodium hypochlorite with a little sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate to help buffer the solution and help maintain product performance for up to a year.

Sodium hypochlorite is a very reactive chemical. It reacts quickly, and effectively breaks down stains and soils into smaller parts that allow them to be more easily removed from surfaces and fibers. It also kills bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew so that MRSA, HIV, H1N1 and other potentially dangerous organisms can be of less concern.

Clorox® Bleach is also used to treat drinking water. It can prevent the spread of cholera and other debilitating diseases when used as directed. Whenever there is a natural disaster, one of the first requests from the front line is for cases of Clorox® Bleach.

Is bleach safe?

After use in household cleaning or laundry, sodium hypochlorite breaks down into 95–98% salt and water. The remaining 2–5% is easily removed by either sewage treatment or a septic tank where it degrades like starting soil. No liquid bleach enters the environment because it reacts with organic loads in pipes.