Gun and Game Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just a quick post here as I learned something that I didn't know today and hadn't really considered. Maybe I'm way behind the curve on this one or heard it long ago and forgot it, but Bleach / Sodium Hypochlorite has a very limited Shelf Life and will go bad!

I normally try and keep several gallons on hand as in a SHTF situation bleach can be indispensable in keeping the nasties at bay, and as I was refreshing my memory on using bleach to sanitize water for drinking I learned the following:

1. Household Bleach has a shelf life of only 12 months if stored properly (out of heat and light)

2. This date is from the Date of Manufacture, and normally because it degrades so rapidly many manufacturers actually put a slightly higher concentration in their bleach during summer months due to degradation during shipping / storing.

3. As a general rule the printed code on a gallon of bleach has the first two digits as the year of manufacture, a space then the next group of numbers will be the day of the year (from 001 to 365) it was manufactured on.

4. I though I had a very sufficient quantity of bleach in case things got bad so I have not purchased any in the last couple of months, when I went through the bleach I had I had a jug that was date coded for about Oct of 2018 (about 1yr 5mo's old) and it was completely degraded and it was stored in an air conditioned/heated environment away from sunlight, so unlike many products Yes the 1 year shelf life rule is definitely accurate!

5. If in doubt Smell the bleach as it's "bleach" smell degrades with it's potency as an indicator (and is a good idea to check anyway because if it was stored at high temperatures, in direct sunlight, etc then it will degrade in less than the one years time!).

5. So, the Original Information I was reminding myself of is 2 drops of bleach per quart of water, agitate and let stand for 30 minutes for clear water and 4 drops of bleach per quart for cloudy water, agitate and let stand for 1 hour in case anyone needs a reminder and that is to just kill the Living Nasties... remember that does noting to protect you from chemicals etc. in your potential water source!

6. Also if you're using this to purify drinking water make sure you open the cap to your container after agitating and allow the solution to wash the lid and threads to the cap to kill the Nasties there too.

7. Now for something that I didn't hear putting all this together - If you have bleach close to the end of it's shelf life or bleach that doesn't smell full strenth I would be a little liberal with the number of drops that I put in water to clear it, or it might not kill all the critters as it should, then after the 30 minutes to an hour set it out in the sun with the lid off for a couple hours to make sure the bleach had degraded / broken down ~ Remember that if it's still active it can destroy / damage the good bacteria in you digestive tract no different than what it will do to the Nasties.

So One last thought on all of this... Always Review, Rethink, Analyze and Keep learning because no matter how much you prepare there's always going to be holes and gaps in your preparations and sometimes like today for me you might just learn that something you've believed or thought you understood for a long time is wrong and might put you at risk or worse!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Much of the "new clorox" is 6% whereas the old was 8.25%. The guide lines are probably for the stronger stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Much of the "new clorox" is 6% whereas the old was 8.25%. The guide lines are probably for the stronger stuff.
I didn't know that, but I think some bleach is still a little higher % so you have to check what you're buying, and some brands don't even say the % on them (I always thought that they had to but apparently not) but I know one of the videos I watched stated 6% and the 2 to 4 drops mentioned. To me, now knowing how fast it degrades etc. that sortof makes everything more SWAG instead of written in stone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,597 Posts
Might want to stick to known brands as well. Since bleach is not meant for human consumption it doesn't have to have the purest water in it.

I covered a HS science fair where a kid's project was testing the purity of bleach, and whether it could be used to purify water. Clorox did pretty well, but several other brands contained lead, arsenic, methyl alcohol or mercury.

He also tested pool shock and chlorine tablets, and they were pretty pure.

I'm sure there is a more official study out there than one from a bright 17 year old, but I have been weird about off-brand bleach ever since.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top