Q:

Can non-chlorine bleach be used to disinfect things?

A:

Quick Answer

Non-chlorine bleaches are not disinfectants. The active antimicrobial chemicals in bleach are chlorine-based and are not found in other bleaches. Both chlorine and its derivative compounds are effective disinfectants.

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Full Answer

Common household bleach is chlorine-based and can be used as a disinfectant. The active ingredient in most liquid household bleaches is sodium hypochlorite. Household bleaching powders use calcium hypochlorite, which is also a disinfectant.

Pure chlorine is used as a commercial bleach and disinfectant. Chlorine disinfectant is used in public pools and municipal water treatment plants, and pure chlorine bleach is used to whiten wood pulp for paper production. Pure chlorine is not used in consumer-grade bleaches.

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