Impurities in Bleach - should I worry about it?

michiele

LifeTime Supporter
May 18, 2007
24
Broken Arrow, OK
#1
I am a newbie to pools. I have read up on the BBB method and am excited to use it. I was talking with my hubby yesterday about all that I have learned and he was concerned about the impurities in cheaper bleaches. He said he had heard of lots of iron in cheaper bleaches. Is this something I should worry about? Right now, I am purchasing Aldi's bleach, which says it is 6% sodium hypochlorite. Thanks.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,460
SW Indiana
#2
michiele said:
I am a newbie to pools. I have read up on the BBB method and am excited to use it. I was talking with my hubby yesterday about all that I have learned and he was concerned about the impurities in cheaper bleaches. He said he had heard of lots of iron in cheaper bleaches. Is this something I should worry about? Right now, I am purchasing Aldi's bleach, which says it is 6% sodium hypochlorite. Thanks.
Bleach is sodium hypochlorite, water and sodium hydroxide (lye). There is nothing in the manufacturing process that would add anything else. The process is performed by running an electrical current through salt water, just like a SWCG does in the pool.
 

DavidD

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
91
#3
I have also heard the claim (from a pool dealer :roll: ) that there is lots of iron in bleach however I cannot substantiate it it. Clorox make no mention of it nor do any of the others I found the MSDS sheets on. Logic tells me it is probably B.S. since iron would hinder the bleaching ability of the product. In other words, it wouldn't get the clothes as white. :wink:

Dave
 

gonefishin

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 5, 2007
413
Joliet, Il.
#5
Hi michiele :) welcome to the forum!


Where did you hear this bit of information? Generic bleach is the same as other bleach...sodium hypochlorite. If you can find any plain bleach on sale...buy it :) You just need to make sure that the percentage is 5.25 instead of the lower 3% that you find once in a while.

dan
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
#6
Technically, having metals in bleach or in chlorinating liquid is a potential problem, but is easily mitigated during the manufacturing process. This is talked about at this link and this link. Metals and other contamination can be introduced via the water that is used (if it's not filtered through a water softener or demineralizer) or the type of salt that is used (if mined rather than evaporated). Clorox makes a good product so buying a quality chlorinating liquid or Clorox bleach should be fine. As for the "cheap" bleaches, it is possible for them not to be made as well. If they do not filter their water to remove metal contaminants before processing, then the final product will not only introduce metals, but will likely have the chlorine level be very low as the chlorine will degrade rapidly in the presence of such substances.

In some cases, you get what you pay for. If someone is concerned, then the safe thing to do would be to take some bleach, dilute it with known clean water (distilled or filtered), remove the chlorine via thiosulfate or equivalent, then test for metals. Also, if the chlorine level measures as stated at around 6% (or 5.25% depending on brand), then it is likely to be of higher quality. If it's not stated and measures at 3% or so, then there may be contamination.
 

DavidD

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
91
#7
chem geek said:
...if the chlorine level measures as stated at around 6% (or 5.25% depending on brand), then it is likely to be of higher quality. If it's not stated and measures at 3% or so, then there may be contamination.
Excellent observation Richard as usual. :-D

Dave