What to do with 1 year+ expired bleach?

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  • #1
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Mine expired in March 2020....I had it "hidden" under a laundry area sink and was using newer ones and forgot about it...

Safe to open?

Safe to pour down drain?
 

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  • #2
symbolipoint
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Just guessing the concentration as the hypochlorite is now too weak to do anything. You have just an alkaline solution, and you should be able to run it down the sink with running water. I would still take care to not touch it, not splash it, and not allow any to get into eyes.
 
  • #3
Borek
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Definitely safe to open, if it wasn't left opened it is most likely still active and OK to use.

Regulations require expiration dates even on things that have infinite shelf life. The only bad thing that can happen to bleach is it can lose activity if the chlorine seeps out.
 
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  • #4
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Regulations require expiration dates even on things that have infinite shelf life.

About that bleach... Likely it's just as good as a new one.
 
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hutchphd
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Can you not use it in circumstances where the exact free chlorine concentration is not critical?? It is likely just a little less potent than advertised. Wash your deck or your white clothes. Don't just pour it down the sink! Save our planet, please.
 
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  • #8
strangerep
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[...] Wash your deck or your white clothes. Don't just pour it down the sink! Save our planet, please.
Umm,... wouldn't it just end up down the drain anyway?

( I suspect COVID-19 is doing far more to save the planet -- by reducing the human population. :oldfrown: )
 
  • #9
256bits
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Don't just pour it down the sink!
Sink will be sparkling clean!
 
  • #10
Vanadium 50
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Umm,... wouldn't it just end up down the drain anyway?
Yes, but you would have poured one gallon down the drain. If you pour it down the drain without using it, and then buy a new bottle to use, so it ends up down the drain, you would have done the same cleaning at a cost of two gallons down the sink.
 
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  • #11
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Maybe check your local city/county website to see if they consider it a "household hazardous waste". If it is, you should be able to find a free drop-off/recycling center where you can take it (and any other stuff you are wanting to get rid of). This is for where I live:

https://www.sccgov.org/sites/rwr/hh...ardous-Waste-and-How-do-I-Dispose-of-it-.aspx
1.) Thanks everyone for the input.

2.) I think I'll take this approach first....THEN see what else I can do.

3.) This may sound "bad," but I thought of taking it to my local library and pouring it down THEIR sink with running water if it was safe to open and pour down sinks. LOL. Figured if it damaged something, it'd be THEIR sink/pipes/etc. Who knows...maybe they'd arrest me or something.
 
  • #12
Tom.G
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Aww... come on folks! At around 7% sodium hypochlorite you would have to dump a significant amount on a fair sized surface for real problems to occur. For instance covering the bottom of a kitchen sink straight out of the container would NOT be a good idea.

About a week ago I went to use some bleach that had been sitting around for roughly a year. When opened there was NO Chlorine smell at all (yes, the cap was tight.) I dumped it down the drain, trashed the bottle, and bought a fresh bottle.

For super safety, you can take it outdoors, with it pointed away from you and the wind to your back, and open it. Then cautiously smell it. If it smells like Chlorine, use it, else discard and replace.

Been there, done that
Tom
 
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  • #13
Mine expired in March 2020....I had it "hidden" under a laundry area sink and was using newer ones and forgot about it...

Safe to open?

Safe to pour down drain?
Use it as normal. It may not work as well as fresh stuff, but it probably will.
 
  • #14
Maybe check your local city/county website to see if they consider it a "household hazardous waste". If it is, you should be able to find a free drop-off/recycling center where you can take it (and any other stuff you are wanting to get rid of). This is for where I live:

https://www.sccgov.org/sites/rwr/hh...ardous-Waste-and-How-do-I-Dispose-of-it-.aspx
It is OK to put it down the drain 1 cup at a time in the wash so why not pour it down the drain in dilution unless you have a septic tank. Can't imagine it being considered hazardous as it is an oxidizer, right? So it is going to find some yummy turds to oxidize before it gets to the waste treatment plant.

However it turns out that hot water can be detrimental to sewer systems. Many years ago an industrial operation in an industrial park near the sewage treatment plant shut down their boilers and drained 70K+ gallons of 180+ degree water into the sanitary sewer. No throttling, they just dumped it as fast as the tanks would drain. Heard later that the treatment plant guy were complaining that someone killed all their "bugs".

Guess I better check the expiration date on those U-238 pellets I bought.
 
  • #15

About that bleach... Likely it's just as good as a new one.
Guess I better check the expiration date on those U-238 pellets I bought on Amazon last year.
 
  • #16
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It's not going to hurt anything.
Flush it down the drain with ample water.
That's what happens to bleach when using it to clean the toilet or other household applications, isn't it?

Sodium hypochlorite bleach decomposes over time, and you'll gradually end up with less available chlorine in the solution, mainly just NaCl and NaOH.

(In applications where you really need to have confidence that it has germ-killing potency, like in hospital labs, microbiology, or anywhere where biohazards are handled, safety regulators insist that bleach must be carefully monitored for expiry date and replaced, so that it is known to still be active to do its job.)
 
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  • #17
256bits
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3.) This may sound "bad," but I thought of taking it to my local library and pouring it down THEIR sink with running water if it was safe to open and pour down sinks. LOL. Figured if it damaged something, it'd be THEIR sink/pipes/etc. Who knows...maybe they'd arrest me or something.
Your getting a little carried away there aren't you?
Out of sight - out of mind :rolleyes:
 
  • #18
symbolipoint
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(In applications where you really need to have confidence that it has germ-killing potency, like in hospital labs, microbiology, or anywhere where biohazards are handled, safety regulators insist that bleach must be carefully monitored for expiry date and replaced, so that it is known to still be active to do its job.)
Or, if person is equipped, actual bleach (hypochlorite) can be measured.
 
  • #19
bob012345
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Aww... come on folks! At around 7% sodium hypochlorite you would have to dump a significant amount on a fair sized surface for real problems to occur. For instance covering the bottom of a kitchen sink straight out of the container would NOT be a good idea.

About a week ago I went to use some bleach that had been sitting around for roughly a year. When opened there was NO Chlorine smell at all (yes, the cap was tight.) I dumped it down the drain, trashed the bottle, and bought a fresh bottle.

For super safety, you can take it outdoors, with it pointed away from you and the wind to your back, and open it. Then cautiously smell it. If it smells like Chlorine, use it, else discard and replace.

Been there, done that
Tom
Did you get the same bleach? What product was it? It would be interesting to see what it was and to look at the label. Thanks.
 
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