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Thread: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

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    Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    Getting ready to switch from diclor to bleach and was wondering how critical it is to use "Clorox". Are the cheaper brands just as good or is there problems with them?
    Chuck

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    no-mas's Avatar
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    no problems with store brands - just make sure it is plain, unscented bleach.
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    Not every brand is 6% chlorine. If the percentage isn't labeled, I wouldn't buy it.
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    The Walmart Great Value bleach works well for many of us. You have to check the label on many off-brands, as duraleigh said. If the concentration isn't listed, then it's very likely to be only 3%, which isn't really a bargain at all. Clorox and the Walmart brand are 6%.
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryH3
    The Walmart Great Value bleach works well for many of us. You have to check the label on many off-brands, as duraleigh said. If the concentration isn't listed, then it's very likely to be only 3%, which isn't really a bargain at all. Clorox and the Walmart brand are 6%.

    Thanks for the info. The Walmart brand was the one I was thinking about trying.
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    I use Walmart bleach all the time. I've also used Dollar Store brand but I make sure it says 6% on the bottle before I buy it.
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    Careful with the dollar store stuff in general. Sometimes it's been sitting too long.

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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Careful with the dollar store stuff in general. Sometimes it's been sitting too long.

    Scott
    When I looked at the dollar store stuff it was like 5.25%, so that would be an issue as well.

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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryH3
    The Walmart Great Value bleach works well for many of us. You have to check the label on many off-brands, as duraleigh said. If the concentration isn't listed, then it's very likely to be only 3%, which isn't really a bargain at all. Clorox and the Walmart brand are 6%.
    I use the Walmart brand and it seems to wotk for me
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach


    Such a busy thread!


    I don't know for sure, but since Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the known universe they might have more than one supplier of bleach. Corporate buyers and policies also change periodically, along with specifications. It's just a good idea to check the packaging label for the percentage of Sodium Hypochlorite -- whichever brand or store you patronize.

    Who said that buying dollar-store bleach was a bad idea because of it sitting on the shelf too long? That's sounds right. Of course, the bleach stocked in such places likely began as 0.99% (in Prussia, right before the Great War.)

    It's not the end of the world if you mistakenly buy bleach that's less than 6%. In early September I found that the regular Clorox (marked 6.00%) I had used to shock the pool was not full strength... but 4.26% (estimated.) You just have to use more. Same story with 10% Liquid Chlorine. After a long summer being stored in a hot garage, more than 1/3 of the chlorine left town... content fell to 6.5%. Manufacturers, I've been told, fill the jugs with chlorine of a strength far in excess of labeled contents, anticipating that it will weaken over time. Most folks here already know that if you buy a higher concentration bleach (10, 12, 15% liquid chlorine) it's going to deplete more rapidly than a 6% solution.

    It's interesting that the Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) for Clorox regular bleach states that the product contains:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Clorox Company

    Sodium hypochlorite 5-10%

    Sodium hydroxide lyel <1%

    • Does anyone believe this?

      Or do you think there’s a little lye? lye lye
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    You need to look at the pH to know the actual level of excess lye (the < 1% does not mean anywhere near 1%). 6% Clorox Regular bleach has a pH of 11.9 which corresponds roughly to 0.06% so negligible excess lye which is why it doesn't have the pH rise over time (carbon dioxide outgassing can still have the pH rise, but that can be minimized by lowering the TA). Many off-brand Ultra bleaches (which are 6%) have a pH of 12.5 which is 0.25% excess lye that can contribute to a pH rise that cannot be compensated except by adding acid. So I would be careful about using off-brand bleaches if you are concerned about needing to add more acid. You can try each and compare.
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    You need to look at the pH to know the actual level of excess lye (the < 1% does not mean anywhere near 1%). 6% Clorox Regular bleach has a pH of 11.9 which corresponds roughly to 0.06% so negligible excess lye which is why it doesn't have the pH rise over time (carbon dioxide outgassing can still have the pH rise, but that can be minimized by lowering the TA). Many off-brand Ultra bleaches (which are 6%) have a pH of 12.5 which is 0.25% excess lye that can contribute to a pH rise that cannot be compensated except by adding acid. So I would be careful about using off-brand bleaches if you are concerned about needing to add more acid. You can try each and compare.
    I do get Clorox at Costco sometimes as it ends up being cheaper than Wal-Mart and I do notice a slight bit of difference in the amount of acid that I have to use when changing between the Great Value and the Clorox. Now I understand why. Thanks!

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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    We have a store here in Texas called HEB. Their store brand is the same about at a little over 6% as chlorox. It is only 2.54 for a 182 oz jug of bleach and it is right around the corner. I may take a look at sams club and see what they have.

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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    We have a store here in Texas called HEB. Their store brand is the same about at a little over 6% as chlorox. It is only 2.54 for a 182 oz jug of bleach and it is right around the corner. I may take a look at sams club and see what they have.
    I think that I pay $2.54 for the 182 oz. jug at Wal-Mart too. That's a good price.

    BTW, I loves me some HEB! Wish they would come up to DFW. We had those when I lived in Austin. They have a great beef brisket that you can't beat for a heat-and-eat.

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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    Wal-Mart and other store brand bleaches are a chlorine/caustic plant by-product. Chlorox is the only brand I'm aware of that actually makes a household bleach on purpose. The off-brand bleach is made by adjusting the chlorine concentration of a chlorine/caustic solution that is produced when an imbalance occurs in the chlorine/caustic plant (usually because of selling more caustic than chlorine one week then more chlorine than caustic the next). No attempt is made to control the caustic content (within reason) and as a result the excess caustic can and does very widely from batch to batch. That's why you will sometimes need to add acid after using a store brand and sometimes not. I stopped using Wal-Mart brand because it was costing more to buy the hydrochloric acid than it would to buy the chlorox.
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    Great post, Steve. Do you work with a chlorine producing company?
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    No, I'm a consultant and have designed two caustic/chlorine plants. I still get calls every once in a while to help with production problems. I also worked for many years in a pulp mill and was responsible for the bleach plant that used 25 tons per day of chlorine gas and 15 tons of chlorine dioxide.
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    I'm not wanting to start anything but would like to clear up a few things. I do work at a chlor-alkali plant. Yes, we make chlorine, caustic, hydrogen, sodium hypochlorite, salt, hydrochloric acid, and a few other compounds. We sell hypo (that's what we call it) to many brands including Clorox and we don't change the recipe or process regardless of who the customer is. It all comes from the same process and is pumped through the same pipes and hauled in the same railcars and trucks. I can't speak for any other plant but our hypo isn't a by-product, it's a co-product and is always made the same way no matter how much chlorine or caustic is sold.
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    I'm not wanting to start anything but would like to clear up a few things. I do work at a chlor-alkali plant. Yes, we make chlorine, caustic, hydrogen, sodium hypochlorite, salt, hydrochloric acid, and a few other compounds. We sell hypo (that's what we call it) to many brands including Clorox and we don't change the recipe or process regardless of who the customer is. It all comes from the same process and is pumped through the same pipes and hauled in the same railcars and trucks. I can't speak for any other plant but our hypo isn't a by-product, it's a co-product and is always made the same way no matter how much chlorine or caustic is sold.
    I believe I know the plant (at McIntosh) you work for and I did buy chlorine and sometimes hypo from that plant years ago (for Gulf States and later Neheola). I'm glad to hear that the plant now makes a co-product instead of a by-product that's a big improvement. The household bleach market used to be so small compared to industrial uses that most plants did not want to make the investment in equipment to produce that particular product. Glad to hear that yours is not one of them.
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    Re: Clorox Vs Cheap brand of bleach

    Great info - thanks. I've been buying the super cheap HEB Hill Country Fare bleach (made in Mexico). It's $1 for 96oz. For some reason I was thinking it was at least 6%, but after reading this I looked at the label and noticed that it doesn't list the strength. So, today I bought another HEB brand (Bravo) that is $2.94. It's 121 oz and 8.25% strength. I'm going to pour in the 96 oz of the cheap stuff and then take a reading (I've done this before but don't have my log in front of me). I'll post the results. Either way, I'll probably stick to the Bravo brand.
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