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Thread: Inactive ingredients in bleach vs chlorine

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    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Zeeland MI

    Inactive ingredients in bleach vs chlorine

    So I know that bleach and Chlorine are the same thing in different concentrations but can anyone tell me why my bleach seems to have more of a potent smell than liquid chlorine if it is the same stuff? Maybe it is just my bleach... Do manufacturers add a "bleach" smell to the stuff you buy from the store? Maybe I am crazy. Go sniff your jugs
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  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Buckeye AZ

    Re: Inactive ingredients in bleach vs chlorine

    If it is older bleach, some of the active cl may have converted and what you smell is byproduct, not necessarily the active cl...?
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Inactive ingredients in bleach vs chlorine

    Some sodium hypo has a little more lye than others. That could be the difference in odor.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Inactive ingredients in bleach vs chlorine

    Some bleach has fragrance added but that's not the bleach you want for pools. Other bleach is splash-less or "outdoor" which has more lye and thickeners in it and again is not what you want for pools. Plain bleach should be the same as chlorinating liquid except for concentration. Differences in the amount you smell probably have more to do with how full the bottle is (amount of gas vs. liquid), shape of the container, temperature, and other factors affecting gas volatility.

    Clorox bleach also contains a very small amount of sodium polyacrylate (see this post for more details about the contents of bleach), but that should not be volatile nor smell.

    When bleach degrades it forms mostly chlorate though lower-quality bleach will also form more oxygen gas. Neither should smell. Most of what you smell in bleach is hypochlorous acid gas and some hypochlorite ions (yes, a small number can escape even though they are charged, but of course this amount is limited). Technically, this gets into the water/liquid in your nose and reacts with chemicals to form chloramines so your nose may be detecting those as well.
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    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Re: Inactive ingredients in bleach vs chlorine

    ^as an engineer geek I so enjoy your explanations.
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Re: Inactive ingredients in bleach vs chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by robertmee View Post
    ^as an engineer geek I so enjoy your explanations.
    ^ ² ^ Geeks ^
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