Bleach expires.

Posted by: Michael2

Bleach expires. - 03/19/20 04:32 AM

Who knew? Not me, until recently. That aging bottle of unopened bleach that I stored next to my water containers five years ago? Probably useless.

Clorox says the shelf life is about a year, and that bleach breaks down into salt and water over time.

Suspicious fellow that I am, it crossed my mind to wonder if this was just a ploy to sell more bleach.

But here's another source, from a person in Environmental Health & Safety at the Scripps Research Institute, that says the same thing (and also includes some interesting info about diluting bleach):

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Bleach But Were Afraid to Ask

So now I know if I want to stash away bleach for disinfecting water (or anything else), I should get a new bottle every year.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Bleach expires. - 03/19/20 07:35 AM

Yes, bleach is certainly perishable! Some forms are a bit more stable, such as pool shock. But you should be rotating your bleach and using it within a year.

Apropos of nothing but related to prepping, iodine is also perishable/unstable. It will keep for a year or two (I forget the precise timeframe).
Posted by: haertig

Re: Bleach expires. - 03/19/20 02:53 PM

There are posts going around the net about using pool shock to purify your drinking water. Those who trust these "internet chemists" might be playing with fire. Sure, there are sanitizing agents in pool shock. Duh. But pool shock was never intended for human consumption. Who knows what else the manufacturer put in their proprietary formulations - it was never even remotely considered for human consumption, so there is no required food labeling to tell you exactly what's in it. And every manufacturer, every product may be different.

Am I supposed to go out to my hot tub and grab the "pH Up" and "pH Down" chemicals for my upset stomach too? Maybe spray my frying pan with WD-40 so food won't stick?

Unfortunately, after this pandemic is over, we'll have fewer people in this world. Might as well let the ones who end up going be Darwin picks.
Posted by: Ren

Re: Bleach expires. - 03/19/20 05:20 PM

Disaster relief agencies use pool tablets. Here's Oxfam...
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Bleach expires. - 03/19/20 07:10 PM

I didn't mean to imply that pool shock was a substitute for water treatment, just that there are solid forms of bleach with a longer shelf life. IIRC AquaTabs have a 2 or 3 year shelf life.
Posted by: Teslinhiker

Re: Bleach expires. - 03/19/20 09:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
IIRC AquaTabs have a 2 or 3 year shelf life.

Usually 4 year shelf life depending on when your order them. Tablets I ordered in 2019, expire in April 2023. Tablets I ordered last month, expire in Oct 2024.

If ordering off Amazon - only purchase from Aqautab the company as many times, 3rd party resellers have old inventory with shorter expiry dates. This is nothing new and has been an issue for years. Right now though, Aquatab the company is not selling on Amazon as they have been out of stock for weeks.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Bleach expires. - 03/19/20 09:51 PM

Luckily I have maybe 500 AquaTabs, all well within their expiry date. One 100-ct only has another 10 months so I'll try to use them up first. I hate to waste anything but they're cheap enough that I'd rather have and not need than need and not have.