Chemical Formula: NaOCl
Sodium hypochlorite is usually sold in solution in water,
where it makes a greenish yellow liquid.
Household bleaches usually contain sodium hypochlorite in
a 3% to 6% solution. Some sodium hydroxide (lye) is added
to keep the pH high to avoid decomposition. If the solution
is made more acidic, sodium hypochlorite will dissociate,
producing chlorine gas and oxygen.
It is made by bubbling chlorine gas through a solution of
In the environment, it breaks down into water, oxygen, and
Sodium hypochlorite is the main ingredient in laundry bleach.
Because it is an excellent disinfectant, as well as a bleaching agent,
it is used in many disinfectants and household cleaners.
Despite the name "chlorine bleach", in normal use there is no
chlorine gas involved in the action of bleaching or disinfecting.
Sodium hypochlorite is one of the best disinfectants known,
killing bacteria, yeasts, fungus, spores, even viruses.
Sodium hypochlorite is also used to disinfect water supplies and
swimming pools, although
in powder or pellect form is also used, due to the convenience
of the solid form. Sodium hypochlorite is too hygroscopic (it
absorbs water from the air) to be used conveniently in solid form.
sodium hypochlorite: InChI=1/ClO.Na/c1-2;/q-1;+1
By Simon Quellen Field