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Reaction of dish soap and bleach

  1. Nov 28, 2010 #1
    today I was cleaning out my fiances hamster cage, we had a hamster in there before, and long story short, we had to return for what appeared to be an illness. So, needless to say, I wanted to clean it really well. I first rinsed it with water, then dumped out the water, poured in some chlorine-bleach, and added some dish soap. the part I'm interested in is the reaction it created, and the resounding lack of information on the web. The best thing I could deduce is that the sulfates are chemically separated, but given my fairly limited knowledge of chemistry, that's the best I could come up with. The interesting thing about this reaction was that when the soap was poured into the bleach, it changed from it's orange color to to a white. then when water was added, the suds went crazy. there was a lot more suds that resulted from this reaction than water and soap alone. I know this was lengthy, but I'm really interested to see what the answer is, thanks!
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  3. Nov 28, 2010 #2


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    pnorm91 mentioned

    Formulas designed for cleaning dishes will not typically contain any soap. They will have other detergent materials and ingredients intended for stability and processing but NO SOAP.

    Mixing cleaning formulas with residue from chlorine bleach can be a bad idea. Dishwashing detergents may often contain ammonium compounds (having ammonium cation) which could react with hypochlorite; I don't right now know what the products would be to this reaction, but they may be toxic. Also, if sufficient residue from the hypochlorite solution were still present, by its being alkaline, your adding liquid dishwashing detergent containing possibly an ammonium compound may release ammonia, but you would likely smell this.
  4. Nov 28, 2010 #3


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    Dish soaps are sometimes quite complicated mixtures. Loss of color is the easiest part - chlorine easily attacks conjugated bond systems that are responsible for color of many organic dyes.
  5. Nov 28, 2010 #4


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    Don't forget that bleach is a fairly strong solution of NaOH. pH can affect color as well. The high pH you've added with the bleach can also behave as a detergent builder which stabilizes suds and foam.
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