Is all Bleach the same?

branchop

LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2008
79
North Carolina
#1
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!

This week Clorox was on sale so we went with that instead of the Walmart brand. The bleaches are the same colors, same 6%, virtually the same packaging. So how come after three days of Clorox use, our clear pool is crystal clear? We can count the number of dirt particles on the floor of the deep end. My parents who oohed and ahhed over the pool this weekend, came by last night and asked how we got it even better.

My husband thought maybe it's the Clorox. Is this even a reasonable conclusion? My way of thinking is that it is probably the same bleach from the same factory with the different label, but I can't argue with the results.

Thanks!

Branden
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,461
SW Indiana
#2
Clorox adds sodium polyacrylate to their bleach, which might serve to remove some minerals from the water in a pool. It seems some people with iron have seen a brown sediment when using Clorox. I've never seen anybody post anything about negative effects of using Clorox, nor have I seen anything quantitative to indicate it removes minerals.

As far as sanitizing, bleach is bleach if the sodium hypochlorite percentage is the same. Water clarity is mostly due to filtration IF the pool chemistry is good.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#3
My guess is that the house brand was not quite full strength and so you have been using lower FC levels than you thought you were. But it could just be a coincidence.

Clorox seems to take more care to insure that their bleach is pure and full strength. All of the bleach is no doubt made in the same place(s), but not with the exact same set of procedures. Plus, Clorox is usually shipped more quickly and replaced on the shelf more quickly.

Even Clorox can have lower than advertised strength sometimes. Some people test each batch of bleach they buy to be sure.
 

Butterfly

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
#4
Well, just for add'l info: We can also
branchop said:
...... count the number of dirt particles on the floor of the deep end.
.....and we use Tundra from Aldi's. :shock: 8) :lol: They have a lot of product turnover, too.
 

Poolidiot

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 31, 2007
445
Texas
#5
JasonLion said:
My guess is that the house brand was not quite full strength and so you have been using lower FC levels than you thought you were.
But if you are testing and you get the same FC reading from your test then you would be using the same FC levels, correct? I am NO chem expert by a LONG shot, so I may be looking (sounding) like an idiot .
 

branchop

LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2008
79
North Carolina
#6
Poolidiot said:
JasonLion said:
My guess is that the house brand was not quite full strength and so you have been using lower FC levels than you thought you were.
But if you are testing and you get the same FC reading from your test then you would be using the same FC levels, correct? I am NO chem expert by a LONG shot, so I may be looking (sounding) like an idiot .

I'm in the idiot boat with you then. Everything is the same except the bleach. Weirdest thing. I don't care - I Like it! But now am going to have to shell out the extra .40 for Clorox now :-D
 

Aquaman95

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2008
249
#7
JasonLion said:
My guess is that the house brand was not quite full strength and so you have been using lower FC levels than you thought you were. But it could just be a coincidence.

Clorox seems to take more care to insure that their bleach is pure and full strength. All of the bleach is no doubt made in the same place(s), but not with the exact same set of procedures. Plus, Clorox is usually shipped more quickly and replaced on the shelf more quickly.

Even Clorox can have lower than advertised strength sometimes. Some people test each batch of bleach they buy to be sure.
Clorox has their own plants. All bleach used for laundry purposes follows the same basic manufacturing process but can differ a bit from plant to plant even within the same company. Regardless, the main potential problem with bleach quality comes from metal contamination. You will find metal contamination in a lot of "industrial" bleach but not Clorox or laundry brands that you can buy at the supermarket.
 

257WbyMag

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
5,061
Denton, TX
#8
How does one test the bleach to determine if the percentage of sodium hypochlorite listed on the container label is matching up with the actual concentration in solution in the container. Can this be done with distilled water and a FAS/DPD test?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#9
Typically, you measure the FC level and then add the calculated amount of bleach. If your bleach is weak that will result in lower than expected FC levels. If you wait an hour and then test the FC level again, you can see if you are hitting your target level, which will give you a rough idea of how strong the bleach is.

I am not saying that Clorox is the only bleach you should use. Most of the house brands are just fine. All bleach loses strength over time. Clorox is more diligent than most to be sure their bleach is fresh and full strength, but most of the other brands are just fine.

Every now and then you find some bleach that is distinctly weaker than what it is labeled. There was recently a case with a dollar store selling bleach that was pretty much just salt water, no FC, presumably because it had been sitting around for years. That is an extreme example. Much more commonly there is a slight loss of strength. Every now and then, most often with Clorox, you find some that is stronger than it is labeled.

To test the strength of bleach you need to be able to do large dilutions accurately. If you do a 5,000 to 1 dilution and use the FAS-DPD test normally (such that each drop would normally count as 0.5) then each drop will count as 0.25%. One good way to do this is with a syringe (without needle), often sold for measuring baby medicine, and a 1 liter soda bottle. 1 cc into 1 liter is 1,000 to 1. Then 2 cc of that and 8 ml of water into your 10 ml FAS-DPD test vial will give you 5,000 to 1. Remember that you need to use chlorine free water for the dilution (typically distilled water). Some people prefer to do 10 cc into 1 liter twice (100 to 1 twice is 10,000 to 1) and then do the FAS-DPD test so that each drop would normally be 0.2, then each drop is 0.2%. Through cleaning of the syringe that held full strength bleach is essential, least there be contamination down the line (or just use a different syringe for each step).