Tag Archives: bleach

Bleach for Water Purification

I see FEMA, the American Red Cross and others all recommending liquid Clorox, Purex or chlorine as a method for water purification in an emergency.  Bleach can be a good method of water purification, except they don’t mention that  liquid bleach has a shelve-life.

Clorox states on their website that bleach should be replaced every year.  This is for laundry use.  For water purification purposes, bleach has started to lose its strength at six months.  It takes about 4-8 weeks from the time chlorine bleach is made to reach your home. This leaves you 3-5 months where the bleach is at the effectiveness level stated on its label.

Avoid using bleaches that contain perfumes, dyes and other additives.  Use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 to 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite.  Chlorox has recently come out with a new product “Clorox Ultra”.  They have changed the concentration of Sodium Hypochlorite (chlorine) from 5.25% concentration to 6%, and they have added Sodium Hydroxide.  They are doing this to reduce the size of the containers.  Chlorox has stated that this is safe to use for water purification.

Clorox Ultra, Chlorox, Purex or chlorine bleach may be used to disinfect water in the following amounts.  Four drops per quart gives 10 ppm in clear water.  This amount should be increased to eight drops in turbid (cloudy) water.  Sixteen drops will provide 10 ppm per gallon of clear water.  You should be able to get a slight odor of chlorine after the water sits for the 15 minutes.  If not, add more Clorox.

Warning – Chlorine will not reliably kill Giardia and Cryptosporidium.  SODIS, boiling, chlorine dioxide tablets and good water filters are more reliable.  While chlorine will not kill Giardia and Cryptosporidium reliably, it is effective against most other bacteria’s.

Don’t pour purified water into contaminated containers.  Sanitize your water jugs first and don’t forget the threads and caps.

Clorox Bleach Sanitizing Solution.
To sanitize containers, mix 1-tablespoon chlorine bleach into one gallon of water.  Always wash and rinse items first, and then let each item soak in chlorine bleach sanitizing Solution for 2 minutes then drain and air dry.

Now as we approach the beginning of a new year it is a good time to check any bleach you have stored and rotate it if needed.

We will discuss powdered chlorine in a future post.


Posted in Self sufficiency, water purification | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

What About Your Food Storage after a Flood?

What do you do with your food after your basement has flooded?  First, do not eat any food that has come in contact with floodwater.  Consider the flood water to be contaminated.

Get rid of the following types of food.

  • Opened containers and packages which have come in contact with floodwaters.
  • Unopened jars and bottles with screw top lids such as those containing mayonnaise or salad dressing.  The water will get up into the threads and you cannot decontaminate them.
  • Any foods in paper, cloth, fiber or cardboard boxes, even if the contents seem dry.  This includes salt, cereals, pasta products, rice and any sealed packages of crackers, cookies or mixes.
  • Dented seams, bulging, rusty or leaking tin cans.
  • Home-canned foods, this is a bit more controversial.  While water can get under the threads, you can remove the locking rings and if the seal is still good, you may be able to decontaminate the jars.

Products properly sealed in cans or foil pouches can be used after the container is rinsed with clean water and immersed for 15 minutes in a freshly made solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of clean drinking water.  The containers should be completely air-dried before opening or storing.  If you lack bleach, you can submerge the cans in boiling water.

One of the problems you would encounter is the fact that the labels would be damaged or destroyed.  This would present a problem in identifying the contents of your cans.  You would have food to eat, but you might have a strange menu.


Posted in food storage, Sanitation | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

The Lack of Sanitation can Kill You

During all the wars the United States fought prior to World War II, more men died of disease than combat.  We are lucky to live in a country and era in which good sanitation is available.

When I was a child in South Africa, I can remember going to the butcher shop and seeing the meat hanging up, unprotected from the flies.  The butcher would slap the meat to shoo the flies off and cut the piece you wanted.  You would then take it home, wash it and cook it before the maggots could hatch.

In England and Europe during World War II lack of soap was a major problem.  We are so used to having everything clean that it is easy to take this for granted. I have attached a short list of sanitation supplies you should have on hand.  Most of these are self explanatory.

Toilet paper
Hand soap
Dish soap
Laundry soap
Disinfectant, such as Pinesol, Lysol or Hexsol.
Feminine supplies
Diapers, if you have small children or are planning a family.
Tooth brushes
Dental floss
Mouse and rat traps
Bug sprays
Clothes pins

Stock a generous supply of the above items.  They will disappear faster than you think.  In a real emergency you will use more soap and cleaning supplies than normal, due to your change in life style.

In a future post I will discuss, your options, when these supplies are not available.


Posted in Sanitation | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments