• 05
  • 02
  • 03
  • 04
  • 05
  • 05
  • 05
  • 05
  • 05
OTHER CHEMICALS > Sodium Hypo Chlorite

Sodium hypochlorite is a chemical compound with the formula NaClO. It is composed of a sodium cation and a hypochlorite anion; it may also be viewed as the sodium salt of hypochlorous acid.

Formula: NaClO, Molar mass: 74.44 g/mol, Density: 1.11 g/cm³, Melting point: 18 °C, Boiling point: 101 °C, Soluble in: Water

Uses :


Household bleach is, in general, a solution containing 3-8% sodium hypochlorite and 0.01-0.05% sodium hydroxide; the sodium hydroxide is used to delay the breakdown of sodium hypochlorite into sodium chloride and sodium chlorate.

In household form, sodium hypochlorite is used for removal of stains from laundry. It is particularly effective on cotton fiber, which stains easily but bleaches well. Usually 50 to 250 mL of bleach per load is recommended for a standard-size washer. The properties of household bleach that make it effective for removing stains also result in cumulative damage to organic fibers, such as cotton, and the useful lifespan of these materials will be shortened with regular bleaching. The sodium hydroxide (NaOH) that is also found in household bleach (as noted later) causes fiber degradation as well. It is not volatile, and residual amounts of NaOH not rinsed out will continue slowly degrading organic fibers in the presence of humidity. For these reasons, if stains are localized, spot treatments should be considered whenever possible. With safety precautions, post-treatment with vinegar (or another weak acid) will neutralize the NaOH, and volatilize the chlorine from residual hypochlorite. Old T-shirts and cotton sheets that rip easily demonstrate the costs of laundering with household bleach. Hot water increases the effectiveness of the bleach, owing to the increased reactivity of the molecules.


A weak solution of 2% household bleach in warm water is used to sanitize smooth surfaces prior to brewing of beer or wine. Surfaces must be rinsed to avoid imparting flavors to the brew; these chlorinated byproducts of sanitizing surfaces are also harmful.

US Government regulations (21 CFR Part 178) allow food processing equipment and food contact surfaces to be sanitized with solutions containing bleach, provided that the solution is allowed to drain adequately before contact with food, and that the solutions do not exceed 200 parts per million (ppm) available chlorine (for example, one tablespoon of typical household bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite, per gallon of water). If higher concentrations are used, the surface must be rinsed with potable water after sanitizing.

A 1-in-5 dilution of household bleach with water (1 part bleach to 4 parts water) is effective against many bacteria and some viruses, and is often the disinfectant of choice in cleaning surfaces in hospitals (primarily in the United States). The solution is corrosive and needs to be thoroughly removed afterwards, so the bleach disinfection is sometimes followed by an ethanol disinfection. Liquids containing sodium hypochlorite as main active component are also used for household cleaning and disinfection, in particular for cleaning toilets.[10] Cleaners may be formulated to be thick so as not to drain quickly from vertical surfaces (as of a toilet bowl).

See hypochlorous acid for a discussion of the mechanism for disinfectant action.

Stain removal

Sodium hypochlorite has destaining properties.[11] Amongst other applications, it can be used to remove mold stains, dental stains caused by fluorosis,[12] and stains on crockery, in particular those caused by the tannins in tea.
Water treatment

Sodium hypochlorite has been used for the disinfection of drinking water or water systems. The use of chlorine-based disinfectants in domestic water, although widespread, has led to some controversy due to the formation of small quantities of harmful byproducts such as chloroform.

Additionally, transport and handling safety concerns have directed public opinion towards the use of sodium hypochlorite rather than chlorine gas in water treatment, which represents a significant market expansion potential.

Sodium hypochlorite solutions have been used to treat dilute cyanide wastewater, such as electroplating wastes. In batch treatment operations, sodium hypochlorite has been used to treat more concentrated cyanide wastes, such as silver cyanide plating solutions. Toxic cyanide is oxidized to cyanate (OCN−) that is not toxic, idealized as follows:

    CN− + OCl− → CNO− + Cl−

Sodium hypochlorite is commonly used as a biocide in industrial applications to control slime and bacteria formation in water systems used at power plants, pulp and paper mills, etc. in solutions typically of 10%-15% by weight.


Sodium hypochlorite is now used in endodontics during root canal treatments. It is the medicament of choice due to its efficacy against pathogenic organisms and pulp digestion. In previous times, Henry Drysdale Dakin's solution (0.5%) had been used. Its concentration for use in endodontics today varies from 0.5% to 5.25%. At low concentrations it will dissolve mainly necrotic tissue; whereas at higher concentrations tissue dissolution is better but it also dissolves vital tissue, a generally undesirable effect. It has been shown that clinical effectiveness does not increase conclusively for concentrations higher than 1%.

Nerve agent neutralization

At the various nerve agent (chemical warfare nerve gas) destruction facilities throughout the United States, 50% sodium hypochlorite is used as a means of removing all traces of nerve agent or blister agent from Personal Protection Equipment after an entry is made by personnel into toxic areas. 50% sodium hypochlorite is also used to neutralize any accidental releases of nerve agent in the toxic areas. Lesser concentrations of sodium hypochlorite are used in similar fashion in the Pollution Abatement System to ensure that no nerve agent is released in furnace flue gas.

Reduction of skin damage

Dilute bleach baths have been used for decades to treat moderate to severe eczema in humans, but it has not been clear why they work. According to work published by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in November 2013, a very dilute (0.005%) solution of sodium hypochlorite in water was successful in treating skin damage with an inflammatory component caused by radiation therapy, excess sun exposure or ageing in laboratory mice. Mice with radiation dermatitis given daily 30-minute baths in bleach solution experienced less severe skin damage and better healing and hair regrowth than animals bathed in water. A molecule called nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-kB) is known to play a critical role in inflammation, ageing and response to radiation. The researchers found that if NF-kB activity was blocked in elderly mice by bathing them in bleach solution, the animals' skin began to look younger, going from old and fragile to thicker, with increased cell proliferation. The effect diminished after the baths were stopped, indicating that regular exposure was necessary to maintain skin thickness.