As we all know, bleach is a powerful cleaning agent. It can kill harmful bacteria and remove tough stains.
Few people understand that bleach is highly picky and has a minimal shelf life. Only 3 to 6 months will allow the bleach to maintain its full potency and effectiveness. Following then, it starts to deteriorate, losing 20% of its strength annually.
This implies that after a given amount of time, you can no longer be guaranteed that the bleach will successfully eradicate stains or kill bacteria. Additionally, it’s critical to keep bleach properly to ensure its efficiency and safety.
Bleach improperly stored poses a risk to children and animals. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the dangers and the limitations of this powerful cleaning agent.
Can Bleach Be Stored In Glass
The usual guideline with cleaning chemicals is to maintain them in their original container so that you can easily see the labelling and warnings, even though you might believe bleach would look prettier in a glass jar or sprayer. Glass is a unique substance since it doesn’t absorb bleach. However, scratched glass can hold onto little residues of bleach.
Bleach should be stored between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Bleach retains its full strength and efficiency at those temperatures. It loses power more quickly if kept in warm conditions.
The ideal location for bleach storage is out of direct sunlight in a cold, dry environment. Because the containers are occasionally delicate, you should keep them out of the way and place them on an old linoleum to prevent accidental kicking or knocking off the shelf.
It’s critical to realise that bleach has a shelf life. Use a black marker to mark the date when you purchase it.
Utilise the first-in-first-out cycle to ensure that you are constantly using the oldest product; this way, you are free to throw it out even if a product has beyond its 6-month expiration date.
As long as it isn’t more than a few years old, you may still use it to kill pests in the garden, battle smells and germs in waste areas, and use it in the laundry.
Because bleach degrades into salt and water as it breaks down, it continues to be helpful. Salt kills specific bugs and hinders many others even after it decays.
Because bleach has a limited shelf life and isn’t used regularly (unlike spaghetti sauce), you might only use a gallon of it every few months; bleach isn’t the best thing to stockpile.
Even while it’s absolutely a good idea to stockpile, there are alternative safer, more compact water filtration solutions with a nearly endless shelf life.
Keep ammonia away from bleach if you’re keeping it for any purpose. If there is a leak, you risk the creation of hazardous gases or, if there is enough ammonia present, an explosive substance. Setting fire to your laundry room is not a good idea.
What Substances Can Harm Glass?
While most people think of glass as a sturdy and reliable material, a few chemicals can cause it to break down. Hydrofluoric acid, phosphoric acid, and phosphorus acids can damage glass, causing it to become corroded.
In particular, concentrated solutions of these acids can cause the glass to break down quickly. However, bleach cannot corrode glass, so it is safe to store in glass bottles.
While glass is generally durable, a few substances can cause it to break down over time.
Can Bleach Be Stored In Plastic Bottles?
You may have seen tips online or from friends about using bleach to clean your plastic storage containers. While bleach can be an effective cleaner, it is also corrosive and can damage the plastic over time.
When Bleach Reacts with Plastic
Bleach is an oxidising agent, which causes a chemical reaction that removes electrons from the atoms in the bleached object.
This reaction is what gives bleached objects their characteristic white colour. However, this reaction can also damage the structure of the bleached thing over time.
Continuous oxidation is the scientific term for the slow degradation that occurs when an oxidising agent is present.
When you store bleach in plastics, the chloride ions in the bleach react with the hydrocarbons in the plastic to form chloroethane. This chloroethane then slowly breaks down the hydrocarbon chains in the plastic, causing cracks and weakening the material.
The type of plastic and the bleach concentration also affect how quickly this degradation occurs. For example, polyethene terephthalate (PET) is a plastic commonly used in water bottles.
This type of plastic is more resistant to degradation from chlorine than other plastics, like polyvinyl chloride (PVC). However, even PET will degrade over time if exposed to chlorine bleach.
The chlorine concentration in household bleach ranges from 2-5%, while industrial bleaches can contain up to 10% chlorine. The higher the concentration of chlorine, the greater the rate of degradation.
So what does all this mean for your beloved storage container collection? If you continue to use bleached plastics, you will eventually see signs of deterioration, like cracks or crazing (a network of fine cracks on the surface). The container may become brittle and eventually crumble.
Safe Alternatives to Bleach
Luckily, there are plenty of safe alternatives for storing bleach, but not in plastics. Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda are all great options for storing in your plastics without causing any damage.
While bleach may seem like an effective way to store your plastics, it will eventually cause damage to them through a process called continuous oxidation. It is better to use safe alternatives like glass bottles.
Glass doesn’t absorb bleach, as seen by the frequent use of bleach to clean and sterilise it in public and private settings. Instead, using bleach to guarantee the cleaning of glass objects is a typical and secure method.
You may reuse glass objects repeatedly by cleaning them with bleach and water that has been adequately diluted.
Given that glass does not absorb bleach, it is evident that bleach may be safely stored in a glass bottle.