About Bleach Neutralizers

Bleach gives off toxic fumes, and is extremely dangerous
••• cleaning mailbox 2. image by mdb from Fotolia.com

Most homeowners do not think twice before using bleach on clothing and other articles without realizing its harmful effects. Bleach gives off toxic fumes, which are extremely dangerous. While it effectively removes even the toughest of stains, it damages fabrics in the long run, often permanently, and its effects continue long after the fabric has been washed and rinsed. Bleach needs to be neutralized after it has accomplished its intended purpose. Bleach neutralizers refer to chemicals that neutralize the harmful effects of sodium hypochlorite, commonly known as bleach.

Sodium Metabisulfite

Sodium metabisulfite (chemical formula Na2S2O5) is also called disodium disulfite, pyrosulfurous acid and disodium salt. It is often used in the dechlorination of swimming pools, or to lower its chlorine levels. Water treatment plants employ the substance to remove trace of excessive chlorine. Sodium metabisulfite is an effective bleach neutralizer. 2.2 grams (one teaspoon) of sodium metabisulfite added to 2.5 gallons of water effectively neutralizes all harmful bleach residue.

Sodium Sulfite

Sodium sulfite (chemical formula Na2SO3) is an effective, fast and cheap bleach neutralizer that is easily available at most swimming pool chemical vendors. It is typically used to stabilize high levels of chlorine in a swimming pool, and is sold under the trade names De-Chlor and Knock Down.

Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid (chemical formula C6H8O6) is used commercially to neutralize bleach in water storage tanks. Bleach, which is added to water tanks as a disinfectant, needs to be completely eliminated before the water is fit for drinking or agricultural purposes. Ascorbic acid neutralizes all residual bleach in a matter of seconds, and 1/4 tsp. of the substance added to 1 gallon of water effectively removes all traces of bleach.

Sodium Thiosulfate

Sodium thiosulfate (Na2S2O3) is used in spas to lower bromine and chlorine levels. It is a valuable bleach neutralizer, and is just as effective as sodium metabisulfite, even though it is slightly more expensive.


Acids besides those mentioned in this article should not be used in an effort to neutralize bleach. Vinegar is one such substance that is erroneously purported to have a neutralizing effect on bleach. Instead, vinegar acts on the hypochlorite content of bleach, turning it into hypochlorous acid and other dangerous chemicals. Hypochlorous acid can convert to deadly chlorine gas in a low pH solution.

According to Rayna Gillman in the book “Create Your Own Hand Printed Cloth,” hydrogen peroxide is an ineffective bleach neutralizer—contrary to popular opinion.

Related Articles

Do the Heat & Sun Affect Pool Chlorine?
Is Muriatic Acid the Same As Hydrochloric Acid?
How to Dissolve EDTA in Water
What Is the Usage of Sodium Tripolyphosphate?
What is Sodium Benzoate?
The pH Level of Ammonia
What Is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?
How to Make Bromine Water in the Chemistry Lab
How to Detect the Presence of Insecticides in Fruits...
What Chemicals Are Used to Purify Drinking Water?
Is Muriatic Acid the Same As Hydrochloric Acid?
Commercial Uses of Sodium Polyacrylate
Ammonium Carbonate Uses
What Are the Differences Between Bleach and Chlorine?
Environmental Concerns With Sodium Bicarbonate
How to Dissolve Calcium Chloride
The Uses of Hydriodic Acid
Litmus Paper Types
Citric Acid Powder Uses
Dangers of Phosphoric Acid

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!