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Sodium hypochlorite



Name Sodium hypochlorite
Chemical formula NaClO
Appearance White solid


Formula weight 74.4 amu
Melting point Decomposes at ?
Density ?
Crystal structure ?
Solubility ?



Ingestion Dangerous, possibly fatal.
Inhalation Dangerous, possibly fatal.
Skin Causes burns, can be fatal.
Eyes Causes burns.
More info Hazardous Chemical Database
SI units were used where possible. Unless otherwise stated, standard conditions were used.

Disclaimer and references

Sodium hypochlorite is a chemical compound with formula NaClO. A solution of sodium hypochlorite is used as a disinfectant and as a bleaching agent; indeed, often it is simply called bleach even though other chemicals are sometimes given that name as well.

Sodium hypochlorite (like all hypochlorites) is a salt of hypochlorous acid, HClO. In solution, it splits into the sodium cation Na+ and the hypochlorite anion ClO-. The oxidizing power of the latter causes the bleaching and disinfecting effect.

A 5-6% solution of sodium hypochlorite is often called common household bleach. A 1:5 dilution of such a solution with water is effective against bacteria and viruses, and is often the disinfectant of choice in cleaning hospitals. The solution is corrosive however, and needs to be thoroughly removed afterwards; sometimes the bleach disinfection is therefore followed by an ethanol disinfection.

Bleach should never be mixed with urine or with other household cleaners, especially not with ones containing acid, since chlorine gas can form; or ammonia, since chloramine gas can form. Both chlorine gas and chloramine gas are highly toxic.

The CAS number of sodium hypochlorite is 7681-52-9 and the UN number of sodium hypochlorite solution is 1791.