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Use of Sodium Hypochlorite for Dirty Clothes Name: Michael Gumulya Class: 10.2

Dirty clothes are one of problems we have faced before. We used clothes everywhere we go and any activity we do. During those activities many bacterias, stains and dirts will get into our clothes and stay there unless we do something to it. Most of the stains we get are from foods, grass and mildew. There’s also stains that comes from chemical compound called chromophores (Gill). Dirts and stains will stay on the clothes creating a dirty looking clothes, especially white clothes. Then people were forced to buy a new clothes and dispose their old dirty clothes. In addition, dirty clothes also contains bacteria, stains and dirt and it will affect human’s health and hygiene. One of the solution that science provide us is to use sodium hypochlorite which are usually known as bleach or chlorine bleach. One usage of bleach is to get rid of the bacterias, removing the stain and dirts from our shirt. These next two sentences are irrelevantUsing only detergent to wash dirty clothes will not kill the bacteria unless hot water are used. The hot water needs to be around 140-150 degree celsius to kill germs (Carollo).

Sodium hypochlorite is an oxidizers. Bleach usually contains about 5% of sodium hypochlorite due to it’s corrosive property (Disinfectants Sodium Hypochlorite). The way it works is by oxidizing with the stains. The oxidation reaction of Sodium Hypochlorite: NaOCl Na++ OCl- (Armenante). And this is the reaction when sodium hypochlorite dissolves in water: NaOCl + H2O → HOCl + NaOH-

(Disinfectants Sodium Hypochlorite). Chromophores causes color to be visible. The oxygen in sodium hypochlorite reacts with the chemical bonds of the chromophores molecule, and it either masked the color or removed the part that reveals the colour so the color isn’t visible (Bodine). Chlorine in sodium hypochlorite is used to disinfect pools from germs and our drinking water and it works the same way for chlorine that sodium hypochlorite contains (Bodine). They kill all the bacteria and germs on our dirty clothes. Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and Hypochlorite ion (OCl-) that’s produced during the reaction attacks the microorganism and bacteria by destroying cell walls and enzymes. The bacteria cell dies because their structure is damaged, and the cell becomes harmless (Johnson).

The benefit of using sodium hypochlorite is it kills all the bacteria and germs in the dirty clothes. Like mentioned above just using detergents won’t kill bacteria and germs unless a hot water around 140-150 degree celsius is used (Carollo). In this case using bleach is more efficient than using detergents with hot water. Institute Pasteur in Paris has proven that sodium hypochlorite is very effective against bacteria, virus and germs. This is a benefit for humans because with sodium hypochlorite as bleach, they can clean their shirt not just from dirt but also from bacterias, viruses and germs which will decrease the possibility of sickness and diseases. For example, sodium hypochlorite has been a major factor that helps people in Latin America during the cholera outbreakCan you explain this in more detail?. The sodium hypochlorite has also been used as bleach in hospitals to get rid of any viruses that can spread HIV/AIDS also by NASA to clean everything that will be used in the space travel to prevent any harmful disease or virus on board. Sodium hypochlorite can be obtained with a low-price, so it’s very easy to get by everyone, therefore taking care of basic human health and hygiene will be much simpler (Fletcher). However, sodium hypochlorite has one major social problem which is related to health. It may cause eye irritation, skin irritation, throat/lung irritation and nausea (Wagner). This is mainly caused because sodium hypochlorite is actually a corrosive substance (Sodium Hypochlorite), however chlorine bleach usually only contains 5% of sodium hypochlorite so the bleach isn’t corrosive however it’s irritating (Disinfectants Sodium Hypochlorite). Eye irritation, throat/lung irritation might be caused if the person is exposed to a highly concentrated chlorine gas. The gas will irritate eyes, and when inhaled may cause throat/lung irritation. This might only happen if the area has poor ventilation and exposed for a long period of time. If it’s exposed to skin it may cause skin irritation. It’s most dangerous if someone ingests a chlorine bleach because it will react inside our body causing corrosion and cells damage (Wagner). Overall, sodium hypochlorite is a solution that science has made to solve the problem of dirty clothes. It removes colour of stain by removing part of chromophores on our dirty clothes. It’s very beneficial because it’s available at low cost and not only that it removes stains and dirts but

it also kills bacteria and germs. However, safety and health must be considered with the usage of sodium hypochlorite as bleach because the chlorine gas produced might be harmful for health.

Works Cited: ● Armenante, Piero M. "Chemical Oxidation and Reduction." Chemical Oxidation and Reduction. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. <>. ● Bodine, Alicia. "How Does Bleach Work?" EHow. Demand Media, 28 Oct. 2008. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. <>. ● Carollo, Kim. "Dirty Laundry? How Nasty Germs Survive in Your Washer." ABC News. ABC News Network, 27 May 2010. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. <>. ● Fletcher, John, and Don Ciancone. "The Sodium Hypochlorite Story." (The Sodium Hypochlorite Story). N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <>. ● Gill, Pauline. "How Does Chlorine Bleach Work to Remove Stains?" EHow. Demand Media, 30 Oct. 2008. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <>. ● Johnson, Ann. "How Does Chlorine Work to Kill Bacteria?" EHow. Demand Media, 22 Dec. 2008. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <>. ● Wagner, Kaye. "Harmful Effects of Chlorine Bleach." EHow. Demand Media, 19 Mar. 2011. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. <>.<>. ● "Disinfectants Sodium Hypochlorite." Lenntech. Lenntech BV, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. <>.

â&#x2014;? "Sodium Hypochlorite." Delaware. Delaware Health and Social Services, Apr. 2007. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. <>.

Science 10 - Essay - Sodium Hypochlorite  

Essay about the use of sodium hypochlorite in bleach.