Did grocery stores weaken the bleach they sell?

Zindar

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2011
209
Austin, Texas
It seems like last season my chlorine bleach wasn't as effective as usual. I actually have a paper cheat sheet I made years ago tailored to my pool that tells me how many ounces of bleach to use to raise the free chlorine x parts per million, where I have a column of values for x, varying in increments of .5

Well today when I bought bleach I thought to double check the active ingredient, and it says 6% chlorine. I kind of think it used to be 8.25%, so I went to the math page on this site and compared it to my cheat sheet, and behold... I do think my cheat sheet is based on 8.25% chlorine.

So I think my local store (H.E.B. grocery store) has weakened their bleach. Both generic as well as clorox brand are at 6%. Maybe Clorox always was, for all I know, because I always buy the cheap brand.

Oh well, I assume that 6% is okay, as l long as I account for that in my pool math.
 

linuxninja00

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
79
Virginia Beach, VA
I noticed this first started in 2018 in my area. No more 8.25 anywhere in 2018 or this year. In fact, the WalMart Great Value concentrated bleach and "Cleaning" bleach are both 6%, yet Concentrated costs more. More for what, I checked the labels and they are exactly the same 🤷‍♂️
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,062
SouthWest Alabama
The bleach deal is kinda like the New Coke deal. It's was all a brilliant marketing ploy.

For many many years the standard concentration of household bleach was 6%. The mfg's proposed making household bleach 8.25% would mean that they wouldn't be paying for shipping as much water, which s kinda true. But they claimed that people still used the same amount of "bleach" (liquid) that they always did so they quietly switched back to 6%, and kept the price and the container size the same. They also touted that the smaller jug of 8.25% was the same amount of chlorine as the 128 oz of 6%, which wasn't exactly true. So now they have raised the price of bleach and no one is the wiser. And they're not the bad guys for raising the price.

P.S. New Coke wasn't a mistake! PM me or ask in the Coffee Bar and I'll explain how brilliant that was.
 

BowserB

Active member
Jul 29, 2018
35
Katy, Texas
I've run into the HEB bleach problem too. When they have it, the HEB "concentrated" is 8.25%. Their other bleach brand (Bravo or something like that) doesn't specify the percent, so I assume it's 6% or maybe even less? Kroger's house brand "Home Sense" also labeled "Concentrated" is 6%.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
So I think my local store (H.E.B. grocery store) has weakened their bleach.
So I wrote HEB customer service last week after also speaking to my local store manage about this. Here was our conversation. You can see their reply was worthless.

Hello. I'm a long-time HEB shopper, and also a member for one of the largest pool forums in the country. As you can imagine, there are thousands of pool owners in Texas, and many of us relied on HEB's "regular" Bravo bleach to use as chlorine for our pools. I myself purchase about $350 worth of bleach each year. Multiply that by the number of TX pool owners and it's a LOT of revenue for HEB.

But not anymore. HEB's decision to reduce the percentage strength (from 8.25% to 6%) was a mistake. Now your product is no longer competitive product to pool owners. On top of that, HEB kept the price at $2.94! That's simply a foul that many customers won't see, but I can assure you thousands of pool owners know about it.

Thousands of TX pool owners are already finding alternative locations to purchase bleach (a.k.a. liquid chlorine), so their money will go elsewhere. If it's not important to HEB, that's fine, but I figured someone should let you know. I had this discussion with an HEB store manager this morning (FM 3009, Schertz, TX), but I don't know if he will really up-channel my concerns either. Have a good day.
Dear Pat:

Hello, and thank you for contacting us at our H-E-B Web Site. We appreciate the time you have taken to share your feedback with us.

Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the changes to the H-E-B Bravo Bleach. HEB Bravo Bleach just switched over to 6.0% active ingredient. Our product is following the lead of Clorox which converted over several months ago to 6.0%. Our supplier will no longer produce the 8.25% for HEB. The new 6.0% Bleach is still EPA Registered and kills 99.9% of bacteria.

We value you as our Customer and genuinely appreciate your comments and your business. Thank you again for writing, and for shopping at H-E-B. We will look forward to all future opportunities we may have to serve you.

Sincerely,

Senior Customer Relations Specialist

H-E-B Customer Relations
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,979
SE Kansas!
I've run into the HEB bleach problem too. When they have it, the HEB "concentrated" is 8.25%. Their other bleach brand (Bravo or something like that) doesn't specify the percent, so I assume it's 6% or maybe even less? Kroger's house brand "Home Sense" also labeled "Concentrated" is 6%.
If the bleach jug label doesn't state the percentage, it's between 3%-5.25%, which is more stable long term, BUT not a recognized disinfectant/sanitizer. Any sodium hypochlorite solution over 6% must be listed on the label (and will likely be touted as antibacterial/sanitizing). You will find some brands do list 5.25%.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
If the bleach jug label doesn't state the percentage, it's between 3%-5.25%, which is more stable long term, BUT not a recognized disinfectant/sanitizer. Any sodium hypochlorite solution over 6% must be listed on the label (and will likely be touted as antibacterial/sanitizing). You will find some brands do list 5.25%.
The new bottles do show "6%" concentration.
 

AboveAndBeyond

New member
Jun 14, 2018
2
Houston, TX
My local HEB has just changed their bleach formulation from 8.25% to 6% sodium hypochlorite. To add insult to injury, the new package label now says "WHITES STAY BRIGHTER LONGER+........+When compared to to H-E-B Bravo Regular Bleach" I'm going to assume this is the equivalent to Chlorox's "Chloromax" technology.

The old good bleach: (still available, but only in 64 oz for $1.46) IMG_0379.JPGIMG_0380.JPG


The new bad bleach ($2.59 for 121oz): IMG_0377.JPGIMG_0378.JPG

And just to kick us while we're down, the new bad bleach is NOT reduced in price accordingly.

The 64oz 8.25% HEB Bravo is now the clear winner here, but requires twice as many bottles, and is not worth the strange looks that come with buying many many many bottles of bleach at your local (very popular I might add, and always very busy) grocery store.
 
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pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,287
FL panhandle
The weirdest part of this deal is Kroger now stocks regular bleach at 6% and concentrated bleach, also 6%. Two different part numbers, stock locations, labels etc for the same product. :crazy:
 

AboveAndBeyond

New member
Jun 14, 2018
2
Houston, TX
Inspired by @Texas Splash in his above post, I too decided to contact HEB about their recent bleach changes. Please forgive the slight plagiarism @Texas Splash lol



Case Comment: Hello. I am customer who lives in *******, TX and frequently shops at your ********** location. I am also a pool owner, and for years I have thoroughly enjoyed using your HEB Bravo bleach product for my swimming pool. I purchase over $300 a year in bleach at your store alone. I will have to stop purchasing bleach from you immeditalty I am sorry to say. A friend recently made me aware of HEB's reasoning behind the change in your HEB Bravo bleach product. It seems that you are following the lead of Chlorox and making all your bleach 6% instead of 8.25%. In addition to that, you have included some new wording on the label "Whites stay whiter longer" I'm slightly concerned with the decrease in strenght/concentration, but I'm MUCH MUCH more concerned about this new wording on the label. "White stay whiter longer" implies that additional chemicals or polymers are being added to this bleach. This makes it UNUSABLE in all swimming pools. I regret to inform you that you will lose a lot of business from informed customers about this new added chemical in your bleach. Please ask your supplier to refrain from adding any additional chemicals to your bleach, so we can continue to utilize your HEB Bravo bleach in our swimming pools. We can accept the fact that the bleach is now a weaker concentration, (for the same price as the stronger concentration I might add) but we cannot use your new bleach AT ALL due to the added chemicals. Thanks and have a great day.



Dear Mr. Rogers

Thank you for taking the time to write to us. I appreciate this opportunity to respond to your concerns regarding our product.

We strive to provide quality products for a great value, so it disappoints us to read that you were not satisfied with our H-E-B Bleach. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Thanks to our continued dedication to provide quality products for our customers, we offer a money back guarantee on our H-E-B and Hill Country Fare products. Please return your receipt and any unused portion of the purchased item to the store for a full refund.

I have shared your valued feedback with our Own Brand team for further review. Thank you for shopping with us, and we look forward to better serving you in the future.

Sincerely,

Suzanne

Customer Contact Specialist

H-E-B

1-800-432-3113

Customer.relations@heb.com
 

Zindar

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2011
209
Austin, Texas
I'm using the Bravo 6% bleach from H.E.B., and it yes is does now say "White stay whiter longer" . Is this true, that I can't safely use this bleach anymore? I'm currently shocking (SLAM) my pool with it.
 

mhornet

Member
May 11, 2011
8
In the Chicago area both American Sale and The Great Escape have a 4-pack of the 12% bleach for around $13. I have found this to be cheapest and easiest route to go.