Using Bleach

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
September 17, 2019

I've read labels all my life. One of the first I remember reading was on a brown glass Clorox bottle. A lot of accidents occurred with that thin glass container. Here, plastic is definitely an advantage.


The text of the label on that bottle remained the same for decades. It spoke of the advantages of using Clorox, gave instructions for its use, listed precautions and listed the active ingredient and its strength.

For many years, the active ingredient in Clorox (and most all other brands of household bleach) was a 5.25% solution of sodium hypochlorite. It was very effective when used for its intended purpose.

More recently, the makers were pushing customers to use more Clorox. That is, more per load of wash. I don't think the ads were very effective. Most know that clothes and linens don't last as long when continuously over bleached.

Even more recently, Clorox makers informed soap opera fans they could now use less and still get a sparkling white wash. This was because the makers had increased the percentage of sodium hypochlorite in the bleach. I don't remember the exact amount of increase. I do remember it was up to, or maybe a little over, 6%.

I never bought a lot of Clorox. I compared labels and found the cheaper brands had the same strength of the active ingredient. I think a lot of others did the same. Next, Clorox advertised that other brands contained lots of impurities that Clorox did not.

More to the point, I relied on the listing of the amount of sodium hypochlorite in the solution to make my decision as to which brand to buy. And even more recently (20 years?), I cannot find any brand of household bleach that lists the concentration of sodium hypochlorite on the label, just that it does contain it.

This wasn't really a problem as most all household bleach makers continued to keep their active ingredient at the same concentration as other makers. I continued to buy the cheapest brand. I was even buying Dollar Tree's brand of bleach and found it satisfactory. Some things are just too good to last.

I buy items at Dollar Tree I will buy nowhere else. Amid their junk are some real bargains. However, I just bought my last bottle of bleach from them.

I bought a 3 qt. bottle of their Home Store bleach, brought it home and used some to disinfect some things that had been packed away for a long time. I thought it strange I couldn't smell the bleach in the pan of water I was soaking things in.

A tablespoon should have been more than enough. I added a half cup more. No smell. Then more. I put the bottle opening very close to my nose (almost touching). Ordinarily, this would burn my nose. Indeed, there was a very faint scent of sodium hypochlorite. I probably could have drank it without harm. For years household bleach was recommended to help make drinking water safer by adding 8 drops bleach to a gallon of water.

The thing about it is, if the strength is not listed on the label, the makers can make the solution as weak as they want and are not breaking any law.

I have promoted Dollar Tree a lot right here on ThriftyFun. I like it that much. And too, from reading articles, I know a lot of other members like shopping with them. I do hope on their next excursion there, they, as I, will bypass the shelf with the bleach.


'Excursion', I learned that word in the third grade. This is my first time to use it. I'm so afflicted with frugality, I won't even throw words away!

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February 25, 2017

Humidifiers can grow mold over time; using bleach to periodically clean them is common. However, adding bleach to the unit and allowing it to be dispensed is not recommended.


This is a page about using bleach in a humidifier.

A bottle of bleach.

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