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What Is Bleach and What Are Its Active Ingredients?

Bleach is a powerful cleaning agent but what is bleach made of? Discover what bleach is including overall bleach ingredients and the bleach active ingredient.

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What is bleach?


The active ingredient in household bleach is sodium hypochlorite, which is derived from salt.  In fact, Clorox is headquartered in Oakland, California because we started making bleach here by running electricity through salt water from San Francisco Bay! So household bleach begins and ends as salt and water. During the laundering process, about 95 to 98 percent of household bleach quickly breaks down into oxidized salt and biodegradables, which is the primary reaction that makes it environmentally friendly.

Variations on this question about the make-up of our laundry and cleaning products come up a lot for my readers.  I can see that more and more people (myself included) want to be informed shoppers choosing products based on their back story and ingredients.  It’s with this in mind that I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Clorox’s Ingredients Inside App and mobile website. This cutting-edge free iPhone app allows you to know exactly which ingredients make up any of our household and commercial disinfecting, cleaning and laundry products in the U.S. and Canada, anytime you need it. All you have to do is scan the Clorox product with your iPhone camera and the product ingredient list will appear along with an explanation of each ingredient. Check out a video of the Ingredients Inside app in action here.

Readers, do you read the ingredients on your laundry and cleaning products?