What Is the Active Ingredient in Clorox Bleach?


Quick Answer

The active ingredient in Clorox bleach is sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), a strong oxidizing agent used to clean, sanitize and disinfect surfaces and liquids, and to destroy pigments in stains and textiles. This is a powerful and potentially dangerous chemical which must be handled carefully.

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What Is the Active Ingredient in Clorox Bleach?
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Full Answer

At the concentrations found in household cleaners, sodium hypochlorite can cause extreme irritation and damage if it comes into contact with skin or eyes. Breathing the fumes can cause damage to the lungs and throat. Ingesting sodium hypochlorite can result in major damage to the mouth, throat and stomach, and can even cause death.

Additionally, when sodium hypochlorite comes into contact with an acid, chlorine gas is released. This is a very dangerous gas that can cause severe disability and death. When sodium hypochlorite is mixed with ammonia, toxic gases called chloramines are released. These gases can cause damage to skin and eyes and can critically damage lung tissue.

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