What Is the Chemical Formula for Clorox?

The chemical formula for Clorox regular bleach is water, sodium hypochlorite, sodium chloride, sodium carbonate, sodium chlorate, sodium hydroxide and sodium polyacrylate. Its name derives from chlorine and sodium hydroxide, which are the two main ingredients.

Chlorine is a greenish-yellow gas in its pure state and is a halogen, which means it rather violently steals electrons from other materials. It is an irritant to mucous membranes and was used as a weapon in World War I. Because of its halogenic properties, chlorine readily forms compounds such as those that make up the ingredients of Clorox. Chlorine is never found in its pure state in nature. Much of it is bound up in the relatively benign table salt, which is NaCl, or sodium chloride.

Sodium chlorate is a white or yellow crystalline solid that is often used to make herbicides as well as Clorox. It explodes or combusts if it comes into contact with materials such as wood, metal, salts or sulfur. Sodium hypochlorite has the chemical formula NaOCl. This chemical provides much of the bleaching and disinfecting power of Clorox.

The Clorox company was launched in 1913 by Archibald Taft, Charles Husband, Rufus Myers, Edward Hughes and William Hussey. Originally, it was made in a factory near San Francisco Bay and called the Electro-Alkaline Company. The name Clorox Chemical Company was adopted in 1928.