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Thread: Bleach Hand Smell

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    Bleach Hand Smell

    Have ever gotten bleach or liquid chlorine on your hand or fingers and noticed that the smell would not go away for several days?

    Yeah, me too.

    I thought the smell was chloramine. I thought that the chlorine reacted with ammonia that was on my skin from sweat and it produced a chloramine and that was what I smelled. I was wrong. First of all, there is way more chlorine than ammonia so it would have destroyed the ammonia, not made a chloramine. Second, I thought washing my hands with soap and water would remove it. It didn't. It must be something else.

    What we have all been smelling is L-pyrroline. L-pyrroline is formed from the amino acid L-proline when the keratin protein found in the stratum corneum layers of the skin is exposed to free chlorine or other halogens.

    How much L-pyrroline is formed varies from person to person but the mechanism is the same. The degradation of skin protein is believed to begin with the rapid chlorination of a protein of an amide protein bond when the skin is exposed to chlorine. If this N-chlorination occurs adjacent to the amino acid L-proline, the ensuing protein fragmentation results in the formation of L-pyrroline. Once the N-chlorination has occurred, the formation of the odor on the skin will continue for several days.

    So far I have not found anything that will remove the smell except time. If any of you have found something that will remove the smell, I would sure like to learn about it.

    Another one of life's mysteries solved or at least explained. FYI Y'all.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Bleach Hand Smell

    Thank you for sharing this very interesting information. Please add an attribution link when you copy/paste from another source.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Bleach Hand Smell

    You could try rubbing your hands with a bar of stainless steel. This is a method cooks have used to remove onion and garlic smells from their hands.

    Or you could wear gloves when pouring bleach.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Re: Bleach Hand Smell

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3
    You could try rubbing your hands with a bar of stainless steel. This is a method cooks have used to remove onion and garlic smells from their hands..
    I have one of the "onion bars" and while it works great for onion smell, it doesn't do anything for the bleach smell.

    In addition, normal 6% bleach isn't anywhere near as bad as the 73% cal-hypo!

    Terry in NC
    Triad Region of NC
    18x37 Vinyl IG (24,000 gal.), BBB & GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 SWG, Hayward 1 HP Superpump / Hayward Sand Filter / Polaris 280 cleaner / 6 deck jets / Sheer Descent Waterfall (in coping) / Brick Red Concrete Coping / Stamped Concrete Deck
    Lots of oak trees, maple trees, *and* leaves!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Coastalish 'down easter'

    Re: Bleach Hand Smell

    What's wrong with hands smelling like chlorine (please don't tell me it's not normal )
    Luv& Luk

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Bleach Hand Smell

    Hydrogen Peroxide (3 % from the drugstore) or vitamin C (crushed up into a powder and made into a patste) might work. I haven't tried it, so I am just speculating.
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  7. Back To Top    #7

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    near the swamp

    Re: Bleach Hand Smell

    I use GOJO.

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