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Sodium hypochlorite (bleach)

Sodium hypochlorite (bleach) Bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant, but it is readily inactivated in
the presence of organic material. Its active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, is effective in killing
bacteria, fungi and viruses, including influenza virus. Diluted household bleach disinfects within 10–60
minutes contact time (see the table below for concentrations and contact times), is widely available at a
low cost, and may be recommended for surface disinfection in healthcare facilities. However, bleach
irritates mucous membranes, the skin and the airways, decomposes under heat and light, and reacts
readily with other chemicals. Therefore, caution is advised when bleach is used. Ventilation should be
adequate and consistent with relevant occupational health and safety guidance. Improper use of bleach,
including deviation from recommended dilutions.

Procedures for preparing/using diluted bleach

1. Use a mask, rubber gloves, and waterproof apron. Goggles also are recommended to protect
the eyes from splashes.
2. Mix and use bleach solutions in well-ventilated areas.
3. Mix bleach with cold water because hot water decomposes the sodium hypochlorite and
renders it ineffective.
4. Bleach containing 6 % sodium hypochlorite should be diluted as shown in the table below
5. Solutions used for sanitizing equipment shall not exceed 200 parts per million (ppm) available
chlorine.

Sodium hypochlorite: concentration and use:

Concentration of commercially Required Chlorine To prepare 1000 ml


available hypochlorite solution concentration Solution in ml Add water in
ml
6% 200 ppm 5 995

Testing Instructions:

1. Tear off a strip about 1-2 inches in length.

2. Dip the strip into the sanitizing solution for 10 seconds, then instantly match the resulting color with
the color chart on the package to determine the concentration..

3. The test solution should be between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. If reading is below 200 ppm, prepare a fresh sanitizer solution.