Sodium Hypochlorite


Sodium hypochlorite is a chemical compound with the formula NaOCl or NaClO, comprising a sodium cation and a hypochlorite anion.

A chemical compound is an entity consisting of two or more atoms, at least two from different elements, which associate via chemical bonds.

Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11.

An ion is an atom or molecule that has a net electrical charge.

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It may also be viewed as the sodium salt of hypochlorous acid.

Hypochlorous acid is a weak acid that forms when chlorine dissolves in water, and itself partially dissociates, forming hypochlorite, ClO−.

An acid is a molecule or ion capable of donating a hydron, or, alternatively, capable of forming a covalent bond with an electron pair.

Getting Rid of Black Lichen with Sodium Hypochlorite by Russell Platten


The anhydrous compound is unstable and may decompose explosively.


It can be crystallized as a pentahydrate NaOCl·5H2O, a pale greenish-yellow solid which is not explosive and is stable if kept refrigerated.

A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure, forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions.

In chemistry, a hydrate is a substance that contains water or its constituent elements.


Sodium hypochlorite is most often encountered as a pale greenish-yellow dilute solution commonly known as liquid bleach or simply bleach, a household chemical widely used as a disinfectant or a bleaching agent.

Disinfectants are antimicrobial agents that are applied to the surface of non-living objects to destroy microorganisms that are living on the objects.

Bleach is the generic name for any chemical product which is used industrially and domestically to clean, to lighten hair color and to remove stains.

Household chemicals are non-food chemicals that are commonly found and used in and around the average household.


The compound in solution is unstable and easily decomposes, liberating chlorine, which is the active principle of such products.


Indeed, sodium hypochlorite is the oldest and still most important chlorine-based bleach.


Its corrosive properties, common availability, and reaction products make it a significant safety risk.


In particular, mixing liquid bleach with other cleaning products, such as acids or ammonia, may produce toxic fumes.

Ammonia or azane is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3.

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