Unscented/regular scent bleach

Meaty

Well-known member
Sep 8, 2015
57
Dallas Texas
I bought some generic "regular scent" bleach at the grocery store. When I used it, it literally had no scent. I'm concerned it's expired or too diluted; does unscented/regular scent not smell like the traditional bleach odor?
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,081
Central Minnesota
Bleach itself doesn't have much scent, until it starts to oxidize something. Pour a little into the sink, then take a whiff.

Alternatively most bleach bottles have a "born on" or expiration date code on the bottle. Many times it looks like this: "16058" or something similar. 16058 would mean it was made on the 58th day of 2016. See this thread here: Chlorine Date Code Decoder/Easy Way to Measure Strength.

The older bleach is, the more strength it has lost.
 

Meaty

Well-known member
Sep 8, 2015
57
Dallas Texas
I bought some generic "regular scent" bleach at the grocery store. When I used it, it literally had no scent. I'm concerned it's expired or too diluted; does unscented/regular scent not smell like the traditional bleach odor?
Thanks; makes me feel better. I'll try to determine its age too. How long does bleach typically retain its potency?
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,081
Central Minnesota
That's a complicated answer. The higher the initial concentration, the faster the hypochlorite will decay. Higher temperature will increase the rate of decay. Exposure to UV light will cause decay. Metal contaminants not removed from the bleach during manufacturing will increase decay.

When stored properly, regular old grocery store bleach that is fresh when purchased should retain most of it's strength for 2-4 months before noticing a loss of strength.
 

Alloy25

Member
Feb 7, 2016
16
Austin, TX
Did the generic bleach show the percentage concentration of acid? The generic bleach that was left by the contractor didn't list the concentration (about 15 bottles). It hardly had any smell and i'm real sensitive to the smell of bleach. Though it was about 6 months old.

I'm using 10% pool chlorinating "bleach" by Pool Essentials from Walmart for $3.64 a gallon, 10% sodium hypochlorite concentration. Probably about the same price that I can get the 3 packs of Clorox bleach from Sam's Club or Costso, which are a bit smaller (121 oz) and have a lower concentration (8.3%). Think i will use this to clean the cedar fence too.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,522
Evans, Georgia
One way to determine if the bleach is still "good" is to test your FC about an hour after adding it and see if it brought your FC to the desired level (per PoolMath)
 

Meaty

Well-known member
Sep 8, 2015
57
Dallas Texas
Did the generic bleach show the percentage concentration of acid? The generic bleach that was left by the contractor didn't list the concentration (about 15 bottles). It hardly had any smell and i'm real sensitive to the smell of bleach. Though it was about 6 months old.

I'm using 10% pool chlorinating "bleach" by Pool Essentials from Walmart for $3.64 a gallon, 10% sodium hypochlorite concentration. Probably about the same price that I can get the 3 packs of Clorox bleach from Sam's Club or Costso, which are a bit smaller (121 oz) and have a lower concentration (8.3%). Think i will use this to clean the cedar fence too.
Unfortunately not, it doesn't list the concentration. I'll have to pay better attention when I buy next

- - - Updated - - -

One way to determine if the bleach is still "good" is to test your FC about an hour after adding it and see if it brought your FC to the desired level (per PoolMath)
Great idea. Thank you