Does Bleach Expire?

Updated on January 19, 2008
K.M. asks from Kailua Kona, HI
9 answers

I was told today that when I dilute bleach in water for disinfecting cleaning that it only stays potent for 24 hours and then it is useless. Also, if this is true what does that mean for cleaning solutions and detergents that "contains bleach"? Do they have an expiration? I am wondering if anyone can provide me with links that confirm or disagree with this. I am not really looking for cleaning alternatives to bleach as the setting we are using it in requires it for bio clean-up; I'm just wondering if I really need to be mixing a new bottle each day when most days it is not used.

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answers from Los Angeles on

As a Director of a Children's Center we had to throw away the bleach mix daily and re-mix each morning. Try the Departmnt of Social Services Web Site... they may have someting!

29 Palms

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answers from Los Angeles on

First of all using bleach is harmful to everyone's health - especially children. It was originated in Germany by the Nazi's to reduce lung capacity of the enemy....There ARE alternative solutions if you are even open to being educated. Bleach is one of the #1 neuro-toxin invaders......please re-think your decision.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Okay, I don't have a link but have been told the same thing. When I worked in a restaurant the water needed to be changed everyday for the same "reason". This is per food safety requirements.



answers from Los Angeles on

As far as I know -Yes you need to change the bottle every day. Child care licensing requires that in their regulations for that reason. I know it's a pain. There are other bio friendly products out there that last longer-they will just be much more expensive but the convenience may be worth it. S.



answers from San Diego on

I run a daycare and when we went through safety classes we were told that once bleach hits light, it loses its strength. This is why they package it in dark containers. It also loses it's strength when it hits air or when it is diluted. Dilution only helps in making the strong substance safe to be around children to when they come in contact with it, It still is a wonderful product to work with and I highly recommend it. This quote came from a rep from the clorox company at Cornell University.

“We recommend storing our bleach at room temperatures. It can be stored for about 6 months at temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. After this time, bleach will be begin to degrade at a rate of 20% each year until totally degraded to salt and water. Storing at temperatures much higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit could cause the bleach to lose its effectiveness and degrade more rapidly."

Hope this helps.



answers from Los Angeles on

Bleach is not that bad for people... the harm is when the fumes are inhaled (as she said) but if you properly store it and you don't mix it ever with anything other than detergent it is perfectly safe. But yes, it does loose it's potency. If you have it in an open container (like a bucket) it will last 24 hours, but if you keep it in a spray bottle it will last longer, although I honestly can't remember how long. But you do have to be careful with it- don't mix it too strong, and go easy when you use it. I'm less concerned with bleach as a toxin than I am with people oversanitizing, which can lead to a weak immune system. I would say only in meat handling areas and diaper/toilet areas.

And no, this does not affect store bought cleaners.

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