What Is Sodium Hypochloride?

Sodium hypochloride is a stable compound of one sodium atom paired with a molecule composed of one oxygen and one chlorine. The sodium atom is positively charged and attracted to the negative oxygen atom of the oxygen-chlorine pair. It is also known as sodium hypochlorite, household bleach or Dakin's solution.

Sodium hypochlorite is widely used as a disinfectant, both for cleaning wounds and for cleaning drinking water for consumption. It is used to clean clothing, from disinfecting fabric to lightening stains and reducing odors. In its natural state, sodium hypochlorite is a translucent liquid, either colorless or pale yellow depending on purity.