How To Purify Water With Bleach – Tips For Safe, Effective Cleaning

You cannot deny the importance of water in your daily activities. You need water to do so many things. From washing to cooking, cleaning, and drinking also. It is not just enough to have sufficient water to do all these things. It is equally important to have hour water as clean as possible. This is so in cases when you need it for cooking or drinking.

A water purification process eliminates or neutralizes chemicals, biological agents, and suspended solids. Some methods include boiling, filtration, membrane purification, activated carbon adsorption, distillation, chlorination, and ozone treatment. Bleach is one of the most popular water purifiers used nowadays.

Bleach is an oxidizing agent that breaks down impurities in water into harmless by-products. Water purification has been around for over 100 years, and it's relatively easy to use and affordable.

By releasing free chlorine into the water, bleach kills bacteria and other pathogens. By reacting with organic matter in the water, chlorinated compounds create new compounds that are less harmful.

Bleach needs to be used only in small quantities for effective disinfection when treating contaminated water.

You do not want to risk your healthiness. Out of the many available cleaning agents, one of the most effective is the household bleach. I will be taking you through how to purify water with bleach.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

What is bleach?

Bleach is the title given to a set of compounds, which can be used industrially and domestically to whiten clothes, lighten hair color and eliminate stains.

Many bleaches have broad-spectrum bactericidal properties, which makes them suitable for disinfecting and sterilizing and therefore are used in swimming pool sanitation to control bacteria, viruses, and algae and in several areas where climatic states are needed.

They’re also utilized in several industrial processes, especially from the bleaching of wood pulp. Bleach can also be used for removing mold, killing insecticides, and increasing the longevity of cut flowers.

The whitening procedure has been understood for millennia, but the compounds used for whitening caused by the work of numerous 18th-century scientists.

Chlorine is the foundation for chlorine bleach: for instance, the solution of sodium hypochlorite, which will be so omnipresent that many calls it “bleach,” and calcium hypochlorite, the active chemical in “bleaching powder.”

Oxidizing bleaching agents who don’t contain chlorine are often based on peroxides like hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate, and sodium perborate.

Why Use Bleach?

A colleague of mine once asked me why I feel she should consider using bleach to sanitize water. My reply was straight, and I was able to shed more light on why it is best to use bleach to disinfect water.

Why Use Bleach?

Imagine a situation where you are; you can leave your home. This might be due to a disaster or anything else. Boiling your water would not be the best option. Using bleach to purify water will come in handy.

  • Keep it safe to use;
  • Kill germs that can affect your health and wellness.
  • It is a very easy, effective, and comfortable way to purify water.
  • It is best for emergencies.

How to Use Bleach to Purify Water

Using bleach to purify water is a great way to ensure drinking water stays safe to consume.

Chlorine bleach is a great way to purify water. To do this, mix up a batch of treated water and then let it sit for an hour or two before drinking the results. If you're interested in trying out this process now, so you have your technique down, read on! The higher the quality of the source, the better quality your water will be after treatment with chlorine bleach.

In the great outdoors, without electricity or fire, purifying water with bleach can be a lifesaver. It's safe to use if you follow these easy steps:

  • Make sure your hands are clean before handling chemicals.
  • Before starting, make sure you have everything you need to get the job done. If possible, bring along a plastic container and some old towels for cleaning up any spills or residue from your bleach.
  • Pour out 1/4 cup of chlorine bleach into a small container (you can use a measuring cup). Add enough water to fill it halfway.
  • Stir the mixture with an old toothbrush until it's thoroughly mixed, and then let it sit for an hour or two.
  • After the allotted time, you can drink your water and be sure that it's safe to do so. If you want to try this process in a more controlled environment, check out the instructions here.

To purify water using chlorine bleach:

  1. Place 2 cups of chlorine bleach into a large bowl (1/2 cup per gallon). Submerge the bleach in cold tap water until it covers the bowl.
  2. Stir the mixture until it's completely dissolved.
  3. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag and let it sit for 1 hour or more, depending on how dirty your water is, to begin with. After this time has passed, pour the solution into another container (preferably one that can be used again). If you do not have enough chlorine bleach in step 1 to cover all your water, add more to the water as needed.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water and stir it up until dissolved.
  5. Pour the solution into a jug or other container and cover with a lid (preferably one that can be used again). This step will help prevent any remaining chlorine from evaporating out of your water. 6. Store the jug in a cool, dark place for 24 hours before using it.

You can learn more about it, or try it out, check out our page on home water purification.

What are Advantages of Using Bleach for Water Purification?

For cleaning and disinfecting drinking water and equipment, chlorine bleach is a practical and safe option. This article will review the benefits and drawbacks of chlorine bleach. Cleaning and disinfecting of water sources can be done by chlorine bleach.

Chlorine in the bleach will play the role of disinfectant in water purification. It kills pathogenic bacteria. The concentration of chlorine bleach ranges from 5 to 10%. It has been recommended to use a concentration of 8 to 10%.

If a lower concentration is used, the disinfection will be weaker. If you use a higher concentration, there may be side effects such as skin irritation. In addition, the residual effect of chlorine bleach cannot be ignored. As a result, it is vital to take precautions to ensure safety when using the product.

What are Disadvantages of Using Bleach for Water Purification?

Bleach is a method of water purification that adds chlorine to the water, making it non-potable. That means chlorine is deadly and causes many toxic substances in the body. People with bladder and kidney problems are more prone to urinary tract infections.

Moreover, bleaching can also cause harm to people who try to store the bleach in the container for a long time. It increases the toxic contents of the bleach. On the other hand, water purification with the help of iodine is safe and less harmful.

Why is It Important to Know How to Purify Water with Bleach?

Knowing how to purify water is very important because you can drink tap water without knowing if it's pure. This will not only leave you dehydrated but can lead to death. The adequate amount of water that everyone needs is 4 liters a day. 28 gallons is what the National Geographic Society recommends.

We can purify our water in two different ways: by boiling and by purifying with bleach. Boiling will kill all the microorganisms and is more common and cost-effective. You can boil it for three minutes, and you will have 99% pure water.

This will work on water that is clean and fresh, although some mountain streams and some lakes may be too dirty for this (try pouring your water into a glass first). If you want to use bleach instead, you need to know which type of bleach to buy.

There are many types available at home improvement stores such as Home Depot, Lowes, etc., including Clorox® Regular Strength Household Bleach, Clorox® Premium Concentrate Bleach, Clorox® Ultra Power Bleach, and others. All these contain about 10% chlorine. To get the most out of your bleach, follow the instructions below carefully.

Is It Safe To Drink Bleach?

This is a delicate situation if you do not know exactly what you are doing. You have to be well guided when dealing with bleach. It can get harmful when you are careless and harmless when you are careful. When taken wrongly, it can go as bad as burning up vital organs in your body.  It can also lead to low blood pressure and even death if you do not know your onus.

Is It Safe To Drink Bleach

This is it! Consuming concentrated bleach is a definite killer. It will be harmless once you mix it with the right proportion of water. Bleach in drinking water is also very safe. This is because it can get rid of pathogens and various germs in an instance.

Does It Matter What Type of Bleach You Use?

You can only sanitize water with bleach when you do it right, and you use just the best type of bleach to disinfect your water. There are two types of bleach.

  • The Chlorine Bleach
  • The Non-chlorine Bleach

When you use bleach for water purification, make use of the chlorine bleach. The one without scent. Ensure you make use of the chlorine type.

The reason for this is not far fetched. The chlorine bleach works more effectively in the water. The chlorine contents can disinfect all the harmful substances, once they come in contact. The effectiveness is what you need if you genuinely have your water sanitized.

Can You Use Concentrated Bleach

Can You Use Concentrated Bleach?

There are other types of bleach apart from the ones I mentioned earlier. They include:

  • Concentrated Bleach;
  • Diluted Bleach.

The concentrated version becomes diluted when it is mixed with solutions like vinegar. It does not matter if you have decided to use the concentrated version or the diluted variety. Either of these types will be cool as long as it contains sodium hypochlorite between 6 percent and 8.25 percent.

Note: Try as much as you can, to use the unscented bleach type. They make your water potable and are much safer.

Also, stick strictly to the concentration level I had stated earlier.

How To Purify Water With Bleach?

How To Purify Water With Bleach?

It is an effortless task to purify water with bleach. You do not have to go through certain hassles to do so. Just follow these practical and necessary steps

  • You first need to buy a bottle of bleach or any new bottle in good condition.
  • Clean up the traces of bleach in it. You can make use of an eyedropper. And also, keep your water in a neat container.
  • Filter your water using a clean cloth to get rid of debris.
  • Double the bleach amount once you discover the water is cloudy, chilled, or has color.
  • Stir the bleach well in water and leave it for half an hour.
  • You will know it is clean once you begin to smell that scent of chlorine slightly.
Mixing Larger Batches of Purified Water

Mixing Larger Batches of Purified Water

When you wish to purify a large amount of water, there is the need to check now the amount of bleach you use also. You also have to check that the contaminants have reached. There should be a set maximum. For larger batches, consider the following:

  • Larger batches of purified water are used in pharmaceuticals to produce medicines and also for laboratory tests.
  • Apart from those, they are used for several other processes in pharmacies.
  • Even in industrial firms, you need them to clean the equipment used.
  • You can mix more substantial batches of purified water in different ways.

Other Uses For Bleach

There are a lot of ways to utilize bleach. Other uses are:

  • Bleach can also be used to fight against water-borne diseases.
  • It can be used to remove stains also from fabrics and other surfaces.
  • It can also serve as disinfectants for surfaces and other items.
  • They are necessary ingredients for oxidation.

These are only a few of the benefits you can derive from using bleach apart from bleach water purification.

Tips for Using Bleach to Disinfect Water

Be careful with the amount of bleach you add to your water. Excess of this bleach content can affect digestion in whoever falls, victim. And if it is not enough, you will still have your water contaminated, which will also affect your health. This means that you have to seek to reach an equal measure.

Tips For Using Bleach To Disinfect Water

It is also advisable for you to filter your water before you add bleach content to purify it further. This way, you will get rid of harmful substances, debris, and the likes.

Ensure the bleach you use has not stayed for over four months. In a case where it has remained for a more extended period, you have to get rid of it. At that point, it is a contaminant itself.

When storing your bottle of bleach, ensure you keep it in the perfect condition. Store it at room temperature. And an empty bottle of bleach must not spend more than a year.

Ensure you have tried bleach water purification before you find yourself in a moment of distress. That will help you avoid mistakes. As well as save you needless worries.

Don’t Forget The Threads

When you are using bleach to disinfect water, ensure you open the cap of the bottle your water is in. Then apply the bleach between the threads. If you fail to do this, the pathogens and germs beneath the threads can go on to contaminate your water all over again.

Bleach need in different volume of water

Keep the water for at least for an hour and add some bleach before you like to drink it. If water has pH higher than 8 and colder than 10 degree C, let the water stand for at least 2 hours or more before drinking.

Bleach Need In Different Volume Of Water

Gallons (liters) of water to be clean    total of Household bleach (5%) to add*

1 gal (4.5 L)                    2 drops (0.18 mL)

5 gal (23 L)                    11 drops (0.9 mL)

2.5 gal (10 L)                    5 drops (0.4 mL)

22 gal (100 L)                    3/4 tsp (4 mL)

10 gal (45 L)                    22 drops (1.8 mL)

50 gal (230 L)                    1-3/4 tsp (9 mL)

45 gal (205 L)                    1-1/2 tsp (8 mL)

220 gal (1000 L)                8 tsp (40 mL)

100 gal (450 L)                    3-1/2 tsp (18 mL)

1000 gal (4550 L)                6.5 ounces or 12 tbsp (180mL)

500 gal (2200 L)                6 tbsp (90 mL)

Add household bleach for such amounts may produce water along with approx two parts per million of chlorine (0.0002%)

When was sodium hypochlorite invented?

Sodium hypochlorite has a long history. In the year 1785, a Frenchman Berthollet used it for making a liquid of bleaching. The javelin company used it and called it ‘liqueur de javelin.’ In the beginning, it was used for bleach cotton.

It got much popularity very quickly for its specific characteristics. It has the power to remove a stain from clothes at room temperature. In France, it is still popular as ‘eau de Jave’l.

Can I apply bleach to disinfect water?

Yes, you can. When you have not an alternate way to boil water, you can use beach into the water to make it fresh or pure. You should use unscented bleach. Never use the scented bleach, bleaches with added cleaners, color safe bleaches, and nonchlorine bleach.

Can I Apply Bleach To Disinfect Water?

Bleach will kill the germ into the water. But there are some germs which will remain in the water. Treated water means the water is disinfected with the bleach. Bleach has no effect on water if it contains chemicals or highly polluted.

You can boil water to remove parasites like Cryptosporidium and Giardia. If you are sure that water is not properly treated with bleach, please do not drink it.

Mix the bleach and water together. Cover water well and then waits for at least thirty minutes before use it as drinking. Still, you will get the chlorine smell after the scheduled time. It remains, again add two drops. Wait again for 15 minutes.

If you see water is cloudy, or take water from the lake or stream or shallow well, you may add four drops of odorless household bleach for one liter of water.

Video on How To Purify Water With Bleach

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to Purify Water With Bleach

1. What equipment do I need to purify my water with bleach?

You will need disinfectants like water and bleach, measuring items, equipment for cleaning as well as protective items.

2. Will the process of purifying my water with bleach, lead to heat?

It is most advisable for you to allow ventilation when you want to start the process. 

3. Is it necessary to make use of safety materials?

Safety materials like gears, gloves, and what have you are very important when you are ready to make use of bleach to purify water.

4. Is it important to measure the bleaching item?

This is very important. That is why you are advised to make use of measuring cups or spoons.

5. Why do you use bleached water to make sure there are no germs?

No matter how clean the water is, it doesn't mean you would want to drink it. \Your question wasn't really about the quality of water, but about the convenience of drinking it. If you find drinking water directly from the sink "gross," you need to cook your fresh food since eating straight off of it also seems gross. So it's not necessary to sanitize the water.

6. Are there any dangers of using bleach to purify water?

Thousands of people die from diarrhea, typhoid, and cholera every year due to contaminated water. When water is boiled, bacteria and viruses entering it from natural or artificial sources can be removed. However, most people cannot boil water at home, nor can they afford to buy bottled water.

7. Is it true that bleach can be used to purify potable water?

Yes, bleach can be used to purify potable water. However, better options like sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) or chlorine dioxide (ClO2) tablets are available.

Bleach is an option for removing both organic and inorganic impurities from water. Bleach will disinfect the water by removing organisms like bacteria, parasites, and viruses.

8. One gallon of water requires how much bleach to purify it?

A gallon of water contains 128 ounces or 3.78 liters. If you have a 1-gallon jug, then a 1-gallon jug would be enough to purify 12 gallons of water.

9. Why is bleaching powder added to filtered water?

The answer to why bleaching powder is added to filtered water is so that the water is purer. The bleaching powder is used because it helps to disinfect the water by killing harmful bacteria. Bleaching powders contain chlorine and hydrogen peroxide, two ingredients that also kill bacteria in your drinking water.

10. Can bleaching powder be used for treating bathing water?

Bleaching powder can be used to treat bathing water by adding it to the swimming pool. Bleaching powder is an excellent option if you want to make your pools look more attractive, bleaching powder is an excellent option.

11. What is the best amount of bleach to put in a 2500 liter water tank for storage?

Different types of bleach have different chemical compositions. The type of bleach you want to use is dependent on your storage needs. You can use chlorine-based bleach or sodium hypochlorite, which is known as pool shock.

If you are using chlorine-based bleach, make sure you follow the instructions on the package carefully.

12. Mixing bleach and water is safe?

In addition to killing microorganisms in water, bleach can harm people with weakened immune systems or illnesses.

13. Can I drink my tap water if it smells like bleach?

For the most part, yes. Most of the time, bleach odor is not present in tap water because it has been treated with chlorine. You should replace some of your tap water with distilled or spring water if there is a bleach odor present in it.

14. Can I use bleach to purify drinking water?

Bleach is typically used to disinfect water by killing bacteria and viruses, but it's not recommended for drinking water.

Bleach is a chemical, so it can have some adverse health effects when ingested.

15. Does bleach make your water 100% pure?

No, bleach does not make water 100% pure. Bleach is used to disinfect water, making it safe for drinking purposes.

16. Does it matter what type of bleach you use?

Whether or not it matters what type of bleach you use depends on the situation. If you are cleaning your clothes, the most important thing is to disinfect them with something that removes stains and odors. For example, Clorox is a brand of bleach that has been used for years because it is non-toxic and has low levels of chlorine, which helps remove stains.

17. Can you purify water with Clorox bleach?

Yes, you can. To purify water with Clorox bleach, mix a solution of one tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water and leave it for ten minutes. Then add the solution to the water source you want to be purified, wait 10 minutes, and filter the water.

18. Can you use low-splash bleach to purify water?

Yes, but it is not recommended because the water you are using will likely have residual chemicals.

19. Does low-splash bleach kill mold?

No, low splash bleach will not kill mold. Bleach is a disinfectant and will only kill the visible mold on your walls or surfaces. The chemicals in bleach can also cause damage to flooring or other surfaces.

20. What is the time it takes for bleach to kill bacteria in the water?

It takes approximately five minutes for bleach to kill bacteria in water.

21. How much bleach does it take to disinfect a gallon of water?

It would take about 8 ounces of bleach to disinfect a gallon of water.

Tips on different terminology related to purifying water with bleach.

Regular household bleach

Bleach is a chemical compound that reacts with organic molecules present in water, causing them to break down and bleach out of the water. It effectively kills any pathogen or other contaminants in the contaminated drinking water. Bleach does not destroy all bacteria or viruses. If chlorination and boiling have failed, household bleach can serve as an additional measure.

Household chlorine bleach

Bleach, also known as chlorine bleach and household chlorine bleach, is a common household product. It's used to disinfect many objects such as pools and household fixtures. Bleach is fatal if it comes in contact with the eyes or mouth of an infant or young child. Corneal injuries can cause blindness or even death. The Centers for Disease Control has shown that mixing bleach with water results in an explosion and fire. So, it is important to use only bleach and not water.

Using bleach for water purification can be dangerous if not done properly. The product should be used in a safe manner and never mixed with other chemicals such as ammonia or chlorine (a chlorinated pool). Also, before using any household cleaning product, make sure you read the label on the bottle to ensure it's safe for your specific needs. If you have questions or concerns, contact your local water utility.

Chlorine level

The chlorine level in your well water is the concentration of chlorine in the water. Chlorine levels increase when there is pollution. The rate at which chlorine levels increase depends on how much bacteria and algae are present in the well system. Living organisms need chlorine to survive. These substances remove it from circulation to use themselves for growth or respiration. Excess chlorine can damage health. It causes eye irritation from its effects on mucous membranes. e.g., conjunctivitis.

Chlorine odor

This is a chemical reaction of chlorine and oxygen. The chlorine odor comes from the oxidation of chlorine to chloride ions (Cl–) + hypochlorous acid (HOOC–) + ozone (O3). Organic chemicals, including old sewage and industrial wastewater, can form chloramines and trihalomethanes from chlorine disinfection. They react with other impurities in the water to form chlorocarbons, which are used as disinfectants in public water systems.

Drops of bleach

The bleach drops are used to purify the water. Mix 16 bleach drops with six drops per liter of water, add it to a cup, heat it until it boils, and pour it into a bowl. It will take about two minutes. Only start this procedure when it is safe outside. If there's any deviation in pressure, you might have a problem. You can have enough time to react with the liquid. The process of mixing bleach and water. If you don't add enough bleach, the bubbles will fizz and pop like a firecracker. If you add too much bleach, the water will bubble up and burn. Heat it for 2 minutes more.

Statistics on purifying water with bleach

  • The active ingredient may be labeled as containing 6.25 or 8.25% sodium hypochlorite.

  • If you have a gallon of water, add 6 drops of 6.25% bleach, or 8 drops of 6% bleach, as a guideline for how much bleach you should add to it.

  • *Amount of 8.25% Bleach to Add* Volume of Water 6% Bleach Amount of 6% Bleach to Add

  • In a bleach, sodium hypochlorite can comprise between 6 and 8.25%. 

  • To every quart or liter of water you are disinfecting, add five drops of 2% tincture of iodine. 

  • Most household bleaches have a chlorine content of 5.25 to 8.25 percent.

  • Water treatment using household bleach that contains 5.25-8.25 percent chlorine Volume of Water to be Treated Bleach Solution to be Added 1 quart/1 liter 5 

  • CDC guidelines indicate, one way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to disinfect surfaces using bleach and other disinfecting products. 

  • EPA guidelines limit the amount of chlorine in a system to four parts per million rather than eight parts per million since chlorine dioxide seems to affect the taste of water negatively. 

  • The mixture should consist of 2 drops (0.10 mL) of household bleach (5.25 percent chlorine) and 1 liter (4 cups) of water.

Wrapping Up!

Note that, the process of using bleach to disinfect water is not just a rash process. It is not one you can rush through. You have to be well rounded before you do it. This is as a single step can mar it all and lead you back to where you started from (continued water).

Most times, getting things wrong can even worsen the situation that had led to you wanting to disinfect your water.


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