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topic 37106p2

Can you buy sodium hypochlorite?

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A discussion started in 2005 but continuing through 2019

October 12, 2015

Q. I will be cleaning houses and roofs for algae, lichen, black mold, etc. what would be the best form and delusions^dilutions of hypochlorite to use? I will sometimes want to mix in large volumes at times in a chemical tank as my business gross but will most likely start with 5 gallons mixtures when at a job. Should I stay with start hypochlorite and water or would it be even better with another additive? Can I add a scent to it so when job is complete it will have a fresh smell?

David Batterton
- Choudrant Louisiana

Ed. note: We try to quietly correct typos & spelling errors. But we didn't notice the above one until Miles Alexander noticed it on March 3, 2017, and we didn't want to spoil his pun by depriving the readers of seeing what he saw :-)

November 2, 2015

Q. Hi, I have 2 questions if I may? Firstly is Calcium Hypochlorite safe to store / shelf life ? And secondly , is it good for treating drinking water when camping in the bush? Thanks for your input. Kind regards, ian

Ian Brander
- Newcastle , New South Wales , Australia

Roof Cleaning with sodium hypochlorite

December 26, 2015

Q. I have been told a 12.5% solution of Sodium Hypochlorite mixed with water and a splash of dish soap is great, an excellent cleaning product for blackened/moldy roof. Any thoughts in mixing 1 part sodium hypochlorite to 2 parts water? Cold water? Hot water ? Reactions?

Wayne Chasson
- West Palm Beach, Florida

December 2015

A. Hi Wayne. On another thread, topic 34002, someone working on a roof inhaled something sprayed by another person and was seriously injured, and is suing them for medical damages. It was probably sodium hypochlorite.

I don't think you should do this based on internet advice or reading, but only if you've received hands-on training with it. Atomizing bleach into an inhaleable aerosol sounds horribly dangerous.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

Trying to find a powder form of Sodium Hypochlorite to make 12%-15% bleach

October 21, 2016

Q. I'm in the process of opening a pressure washing supply store and am looking at different ways to get "bleach". Currently I'm buying it by the 55 gal. drum in liquid form from my soon to be competitor. It's sold to me at 12-15%. I was talking to another businessman who says I can get powder SH and mix it myself. If so, where can I purchase it and are there any licenses I need or anything else I'm not thinking of? Thanks for your help!!


Jason Lewis
Pressure Washing - Richmond, Virginia, USA

March 3, 2017

Q. Hi, have been searching for a bleach or alternative that has a much longer shelf-life than liquid sodium hypochlorite for laundry and other household applications. After reading this thread--and marveling at Ted's super patient and thoughtful responses--it would seem a visit to the pool supplies aisle is the way to go. Mix calcium hypochlorite powder with water when needed, proceed as if sodium hypochlorite. Pour into the washer, disinfect the loo, etc.

Where am I going wrong? I know Clorox makes a bleach crystals product but I've never used it and I'm still trying to find any spec on its shelf life or use outside of laundry.

I'll check here for any replies for a few weeks at least.

Ted, I'm an ingredient label reader from way back, and I suffer no delusions (that I know of). *grin*

Thanks in advance for any help.

Miles Alexander
- Dallas Texas USA

Ed. note: Thanks for catching the spelling error of Oct. 12, 2015 which I had missed :-)

March 4, 2017

There's cyanuric chloride. Also, calcium hypochlorite.

dave wichern
Dave Wichern
Consultant - The Bronx, New York

Will calcium hypochlorite build less scale than bleach?

October 19, 2017

Q. We use Sodium hypochlorite {Bleach) through a proportioning pump to chlorinate our 150 gpm well water discharge. We have a heavy buildup of Calcium scale around the injection point in the well pump discharge line.
Q: 1. Would Calcium hypochlorite reduce this buildup?
2. Is there another liquid chlorine type product that would not cause the calcium buildup at the injection point?

Ned Hastings
A Water Supply Company - Canyon Lake, Texas

April 27, 2018

A. Both sodium and calcium hypochlorite are used in the hydroPonic industry as a system maintenance preventive, and root enhancer.
It's done at 0.028%. There are numerous products , Under Currents UC ROOTS, CLEAR REZ ,and Shunk Labs RES CLEAR.
UCroots and clear res and res clear are hypochlorous acid. Witch is what the 4$ ,1-lb bag of pool shock ,either sodium ,or calcium hypochlorite breaks down to when you add water to it. One gram of 49% hypochlorite (HTH, SHOCK TREATMENT) in one gal of water makes a concentrate of the above products. One ounce of that concentrated solution in 5 gal of water gives you roughly 0.028%. Watch the pythium (root rot ) and other micro organisms disappear, and the roots explode like you've never seen. One liter of this concentrate sells for 20$ in a hydroponic store OR one lb makes 450 gal of concentrate that treats up to 297,000 gal of water for hydro use.
Don't use in soil unless you have the beneficial organisms to replace the ones the chemical kills. It kills everything alive in dirt like it does in pool or hydro water.
Hope it helps dude.

Frank Thomas
- Akron, Ohio

August 27, 2018

Q. I am looking for industrial strength bleach. Around 15%. Is pool shock this strength and is it best to get it in liquid or powder?
Thank you

Tony Dobbs
- Greenville, North Carolina

August 2018

A. Hi Tony. When you don't tell us where and how and why you want to use something, but you want to know whether liquid or powder is better, it's tough to answer. 12-15% liquid sodium hypochlorite is available from suppliers of water & wastewater treatment chemicals. But it should be kept cool and out of the light to slow down the decomposition. Liquid bleaches like this include sodium hydroxide for stabilization, and this can increase or decrease the cost of pH control, depending on whether you want to raise or lower the pH for whatever you are doing.

The term "pool shock" quickly became slang, and may mean different things to different people. The chlorinating power of most is very high, but whether they are safe to have around, let alone use for unspecified purposes, can depend on exactly what it is, for example HTH-brand calcium hypochlorite and tri-chlor (Trichloro-S-Triazinetrione) may both be called 'shock'. Never add water to them, only add them to water. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

August 27, 2018

Q. Sorry I wasn't more clear with my question. I was told to clean a roof I will need a SH of 12.5% I have researched and house hold bleach is only around 6% is the higher % of bleach okay to use on shingles, brick, concrete and vinyl?

Tony Dobbs [returning]
- Greenville North Carolina

August 2018

A. Hi. That sounds horribly strong! I suspect they were talking about starting with 12.5% and diluting it, but I'm from the electroplating industry not the roof cleaning industry so I can't comment knowledgeably. Try to google that topic some more for confirmation from people who are experienced with it.

But please be very careful with this whole idea, and read the question from Wayne C and response. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

September 5, 2018

Q. I am planning on storing 250 gallons of water in a food grade container. From what I've read elsewhere and on this thread it appears that I can use unscented "Plain Bleach". The mixture appears to be about 1/8 teaspoon per gallon of water.
My question is, does that sound about right and how long will it keep before I need to rotate it?

Darrell Peck
- Salt Lake City, Utah USA

September 2018

A. Hi Darrell. You haven't said why you want to do this, or what material the storage container is made of, etc.; but it sounds to me like you're a prepper. 1/8 teaspoon per gallon of 5% bleach is suggested; twice that much if the water was cloudy. Home prepared water is good for a year; commercial stored water 5 years (it probably started out cleaner and more free of contaminants). Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District has a helpful page at


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

Home made pool chlorine

October 19, 2019

Q. Is there a way to make my own pool chlorine at home?

Paul Miller
home remedies - Brandon, Florida, USA

October 2019

A. Hi Paul. There are other routes to chlorination including sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite, electrolysis of table salt, and chlorine gas (a leak at my retirement village caused a shutdown of the whole clubhouse for 7 months and counting -- it will probably be a year). But there is probably no practical route except sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and commercial calcium hypochlorite based powders/tablets.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

October 25, 2019

A. I take it you're not a pool owner, Ted.

There's also di-chlor and tri-chlor tablets and sticks which work just fine.

I hear what you say about chlorine gas. I once worked in a factory which did a good bit of cyanide based plating and a lot of molten cyanide heat treating. We had to destroy all that cyanide, so used gaseous chlorine in ton cylinders.

One day a gasket in one of the chlorine feeders failed and released maybe 5# of chlorine into the plant. 1500 people were quickly evacuated with no injuries, and the plant was ventilated out in an hour, so that much was not a major problem, but we had millions of instantly rusted steel parts.

It took months to get them all cleaned up.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina

November 2019

A. Hi Jeff. Way back when, I designed a wastewater treatment system which used chlorine gas instead of bleach. I've always been anal about safety, so after a study of chlorine accidents, we did everything perfectly: an isolated chlorine room with outside entrance; chlorine detectors; emergency ventilation system; eductors which required a vacuum in the main plant so a leak into the plant was not possible; glass walls looking into the chlorine room from the main plant so people could see into it if anything went wrong; bright lighting...

It turned out to be a constant source of friction with the union ... them feeling it must be worse than plutonium if we were being this careful. After a couple of years, management gave up and switched to liquid bleach :-(


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

November 16, 2019

I would like to use sodium hypochlorite to remove moss from our roof. From looking at the previous threads it sounds like "pool chlorine / shock" is not the same.
Is there a way to mix a higher concentration myself, 15%, or do I need to find a chemical company to get 15% Na Hypochlorite?

Jaime leon
- Anchorage alaska

November 2019

A. Hi Jaime. First, you need to realize that it can be dangerous to spray sodium hypochlorite (see thread 34002 for example).

Although I have no roof mold/moss experience, I find it difficult to believe that undiluted household bleach isn't strong enough, and the internet suggests anything from 1:1 bleach to water ratio to 1:4 bleach towater. But yes, you can buy high strength industrial bleach from a commodity chemical supplier if you wish. Trying to mix up from powder a liquid which is more powerful than household bleach sounds tricky as well as dangerous. But good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

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