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#295283 - 03/19/20 04:32 AM Bleach expires.
Michael2 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 50
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.

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#295287 - 03/19/20 07:35 AM Re: Bleach expires. [Re: Michael2]
Phaedrus Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2618
Loc: Big Sky Country
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).
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“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#295291 - 03/19/20 02:53 PM Re: Bleach expires. [Re: Michael2]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2151
Loc: Colorado
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.

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#295296 - 03/19/20 05:20 PM Re: Bleach expires. [Re: Michael2]
Ren Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 238
Disaster relief agencies use pool tablets. Here's Oxfam...

https://supplycentre.oxfam.org.uk/chlorine-dispenser-kit-floating-pot---3-pce-676-p.asp

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#295297 - 03/19/20 07:10 PM Re: Bleach expires. [Re: Michael2]
Phaedrus Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2618
Loc: Big Sky Country
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.
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#295301 - 03/19/20 09:10 PM Re: Bleach expires. [Re: Phaedrus]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1407
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
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.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#295302 - 03/19/20 09:51 PM Re: Bleach expires. [Re: Michael2]
Phaedrus Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2618
Loc: Big Sky Country
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.
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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