Caution with storing bleach
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  1. #1
    Registered User MsMarieH's Avatar
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    Default Caution with storing bleach

    We had a bottle of bleach, unopened on a shelf that was apparently two (or more) years old (we missed it in the rotation). The bottle imploded and the bleach leaked all over the cabinet. We talked to the manufacturer and they said unopened bleach only has a shelf life of about 2 years.

    Just wanted to give you a heads up to be careful about long term storage of it.
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    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    I would never have thought of bleach going bad! Thanks!
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    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    Wow, me either. Thanks for letting us know. I was planning on stocking up a bit on bleach, I'll be careful to not buy over what we would use within two years now.

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    Thanks, I didn't know bleach only had a shelf life of two years either.

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    Oh? I'd better do some purging. My wife wasn't paying attention, and we have something like 5 big bottles of bleach that are several years old. What's the best way to get rid of several bottles of bleach?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mndtrp View Post
    Oh? I'd better do some purging. My wife wasn't paying attention, and we have something like 5 big bottles of bleach that are several years old. What's the best way to get rid of several bottles of bleach?
    You could always pour it down bathroom sinks and bathtubs as it helps to unclog. (assuming there is some kick left in it)

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    Ditto. I guess I can see that it might corrode plastic esp. the cheap bleach bottles that are thinner. thx.

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    Aqueous bleach solutions do go bad fairly quickly. A good alternative is the powdered "pool shock" chemicals. In their dry form, they last almost indefinitely. You have to look around at the different brands for any additional chemicals, but powdered dry sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is ideal for long term storage and is used extensively in pool maintenance. Should be very easy to find.

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    There are also bleach tablets available, which I kept in my CERT (community emergency response team) go bag. They're still in there after 6 years, and haven't caused a problem yet. I haven't participated since I got pregnant , so I'm a little rusty, but I think each tab made one gallon of bleach. You could then disinfect water with that prepared bleach, or grate off just what you need to disinfect a smaller amount of water, should water supplies be that limited.

    They were available at home depot when I got them.


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    Registered User krbshappy71's Avatar
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    What a mess to clean up!

    For longer storage, could gas cans work? They seem to have thicker plastic than bleach bottles. Or is it the bleach itself that will expire/lose effectiveness?

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    Registered User MsMarieH's Avatar
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    I would think both... Once the bleach is opened (which it would be if you transferred it to another container, it starts to break down and lose effectiveness. I believe an open container of bleach is supposed to only be effective for six months.

    However, bear in mind, I am not an expert on this. It's just what I have heard.
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    The bleach itself breaks down when in liquid form, regardless of the container.

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    Ummm...I've lived in my house for 7 years and I know I have bleach that is that old....

    I guess I better figure something out. I would not like bleach everywhere!!

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