In this week’s blog we’re going to talk about the main ingredient in our treatment process, bleach. We use various types of soaps, and then mostly water in our solutions, but it’s bleach that deserves a bit of attention due to the fact it’s perceived as a harmful chemical. Let’s talk facts so that we can establish right away that bleach is not as scary as we’re made out to believe by the cleaning industry.
Bleach Is Everywhere!
To start out with, bleach is a common, safe household item that is used to clean our surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, outdoors and indoors. It’s probably under your kitchen sinks or in your laundry room at home. It’s 100% biodegradable, which we’ll cover more, but this just means that it breaks down completely into the environment and doesn’t stay in its bleach form forever. It also occurs naturally in nature. Bleach isn’t unnatural to our planet like plastic is. It’s not banned anywhere and is used everywhere. It’s a fantastic chemical that is used in most industries and has a significant impact on our everyday lives.
Let’s talk about the chemical makeup of bleach. First off, bleach is Sodium Hypochlorite. That is the scientific name for what we use. It’s not chlorine. Chlorine is a gas. Sodium Hypochlorite or bleach is a liquid. You may hear bleach referred to as liquid chlorine, and that’s just not so. Chlorine is a gas, and can never be cooled to the point where it is a liquid. It’s not possible. Let’s break it down further. We have Sodium, NA, we have Oxygen, O, and then we have CL, which is chlorine. These atoms are all held together with atomic bonds to form the molecule NaOCl, and in its natural state is a liquid we are all familiar with, bleach.
How Does it Even Work?
The way that bleach works is that when it comes into contact with organic material like Gloeocapsa Magma a chemical reaction occurs and it begins to clean. This is because bleach is an oxidizer. Specifically, it oxidizes much like a sudsy handful of soap does. In that chemical reaction the Chlorine is released from the chemical makeup and becomes a by-product. This is why when we clean, we smell the chlorine. It’s working! By itself, bleach is not chlorine, remember that.
When we use it and it breaks down, it will enter the environment. Because bleach is 100% biodegradable, it will decompose into carbon and water, and this will occur within 20 days of its introduction into the environment. If it wasn’t biodegradable it would exist as bleach forever and ever in the our customer’s yard and soil, and decontaminate the environment. That’s not what happens. Mother nature reabsorbs the bleach.
Secret Weapon Used in Many Industries
Bleach is used in many products and in a lot of industries. For starters it’s used to brighten our laundry. We also use it in the water management industry to disinfect water. It’s used in toothpaste for whitening our teeth. Paper mills use bleach to whiten our paper we use. It’s even widely used in food processing where we sanitize the food before they enter our homes. Hospitals use it as a means to disinfect and stop viruses dead in their tracks. We even use bleach as a neutralizer to chemical and biological warfare. The bleach will eradicate those threats by neutralizing them, killing dangerous viral agents. Bleach was even used during the Cholera outbreak to prevent the spread of the epidemic by disinfecting the water people drank.
That’s it for bleach. As you can see it’s very widely used, it is invaluable to disinfecting surfaces, and it’s critical in what we do. You’re starting to see now why knowledge is so important in this company when dealing with chemicals and solutions that use a substance that is hazardous in the wrong hands. It’s our job to inform and educate our customers so they understand that we know precisely what we’re working with, and how to remain in compliance with local and federal regulations.