Author Topic: Using bleach as a disinfectant  (Read 1455 times)

Offline Spiff

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Using bleach as a disinfectant
« on: December 19, 2009, 01:26:38 PM »
Pretty simple topic but bleach is the best germ killer around (just keep it off your clothes!). And it's cheap. I have 10 gallons of it stored.

Recipe for Bleach Disinfecting Solution (For use in bathrooms, diapering areas, etc.)

1/4 cup bleach
1 gallon of cool water


1 tablespoon bleach
1 quart cool water

Add the household bleach (5.25% sodium hydrochloride) to the water.

Recipe for Weaker Bleach Disinfecting Solution
(For use on toys, eating utensils, etc.)

1 tablespoon bleach
1 gallon cool water

BTW, I got this info from

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.  ~William Pitt

Offline ajc281509

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Re: Using bleach as a disinfectant
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2010, 10:29:50 PM »
This is a bit of a necro post but I wanted to raise the topic/ awareness of the shelf life of bleach.

We can all agree bleach is a great thing to have around especially in our preps as Spiff had mentioned.

This is an article I found addressing the effectiveness of bleach over time.

Bleach is one of those household chemicals I own, but rarely use. The last time I bought chlorine bleach was the last time I moved, which was two years ago. The bleach lost most of its effectiveness long ago. Bleach loses its activity over time. It doesn't matter whether or not the bleach container has been opened or not. Temperature is the primary factor affecting how long bleach remains active.

According to Clorox™, the amount of hypochlorite that is added to their bleach depends on the season in which it is manufactured, because temperature affects the decomposition rate of sodium hypochlorite. So, more hypochlorite is added to bleach made in the summer than in cooler months. Clorox aims to maintain a 6% hypochlorite concentration for at least six months after the manufacturing date, assuming the bleach is stored around 70°F. It takes about 4-8 weeks from the time chlorine bleach is made to when it gets to a store so that you can buy it to take home. This leaves you 3-5 months where the bleach is at the effectiveness level stated on its label.

Does this mean bleach is useless after 3-5 months? No, because you probably don't need 6% hypochlorite for laundry and home disinfection. The 6% hypochlorite level is an EPA disinfection standard. If you store your bleach where it can get warmer than 70°F... like 90°F... the bleach is still effective for around three months.

So, when you buy a bottle of bleach, it has a shelf life. The bleach will be highly effective for around 6 months and fine for home use for around 9 months. If you're like me and have had the same bottle for a couple of years, it's probably time to go shopping.