How to Purify Water With Bleach

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In most situations when you need to purify water, the likely solution is boiling. However, water can also be purified with bleach if you are not able to boil it. Bleach contains chlorine, which vigorously kills bacteria in water. You must be extremely careful when you add bleach, as it is a potentially deadly substance. With the proper knowledge and technique, water can even be consumed after being purified with bleach.

Things You'll Need

  • Empty 1-gallon jug
  • Water
  • Coffee filters
  • Clean airtight container
  • Bleach
  • Liquid dropper

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Fill an empty gallon jug with the contaminated water.

Pour the water through two coffee filters and into a clean, airtight container. The coffee filters will remove large particles of impurities. Let the water stand for 15 minutes so it can settle.

Fill a liquid dropper with bleach. Add eight drops of bleach to the water and mix well.

Wait 30 minutes, then smell the water. The water should have a very faint bleach odor that is present but barely noticeable. If you cannot smell the bleach, add two more drops and mix it again. Do not exceed 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water.

Tips & Warnings

  • When purifying larger quantities of water, use the same bleach-to-water ratio. For example, two gallons of water should get 16 drops of bleach and a quart of water should get two drops of bleach.
  • Do not use scented bleaches.


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