What Chemicals Make Up Chlorine Bleach?

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Chlorine bleach is used to disinfect and deodorize various things. Children's play toys can be disinfected, kitchen counters and bathrooms can be cleaned with it, and it's used often to whiten and clean clothing. There are two main ingredients that make up chlorine bleach: water and either sodium hypochlorite or calcium hypochlorite.

Sodium Hypochlorite

  • Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) is a mix of sodium, oxygen and chlorine. Hypochlorite can very dangerous and needs to be diluted before being used. Hypochlorite is an oxidizing product, which makes it's very useful in disinfecting materials. When the sodium hypochlorite is diluted with water the result is chlorine bleach.

Calcium Hypochlorite

  • Calcium hypochlorite is another ingredient used in bleach. However, calcium hypochlorite is mostly used to disinfect water. This chemical can be purchased to be used in your laundry as a bleach. The calcium hypochlorite is mixed with chloride and slaked lime to form laundry bleach. This powder chlorine bleach is used also to dye sugar, disinfect drinking water, sanitizing pools and bathrooms, and to bleach linen.

Water

  • Water makes up most of chlorine bleach. The water serves to dilute the chemicals in the bleach. If the water wasn't added to the chemicals, the bleach would be dangerously strong and potentially dangerous. Most chlorine bleaches are about 5.25 percent chemical and 94.75 percent water.

Bleach Dangers

  • Bleach can be poisonous if ingested or deadly if mixed with other chemicals/products. If the bleach is ingested, you should call 911 and contact poison control. Should the bleach get into your eyes, you should immediately flush your eyes with cool water. Bleach should never be mixed with ammonia or other chemicals because fatal gases can occur.

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