The Novel Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2 virus, more commonly known as the corona virus has left many of us scratching our heads as to why people are suddenly hoarding. A lifetime supply of toilet paper is apparently being stashed away by people. The hoarding has spread into the food sector as well. Luckily, there’s a solid supply chain of most of these necessities. One item that has disappeared off the shelves and is difficult to get is surface type disinfectants, including chlorine bleach or sodium hypochlorite. This article covers how to make homemade chlorine bleach
Chlorine Bleach – Sodium Hypochlorite as a Disinfectant Sanitizer
Chlorine bleach is an excellent disinfectant. It is what is typically used to sanitize pools. Chlorine Bleach is an effective sanitizer even in diluted quantities. The CDC has specific guidelines on how to prepare a sanitizing solution with household chlorine bleach, CDC Instructions. They reccomend a cup of 5-6% chlorine bleach to 5 gallons of water. This results in a bleach concentration of between 625 and 750 ppm of chlorine.
Current Availability of Chlorine Bleach
The current problem facing most if us is that bleach has been wiped off the shelf by hoarders. There is a simple solution though. Make your own Sodium Hypochlorite! It’s fairly simple to to do and can be made with common household salt.
By Products of Making Chlorine Bleach Yourself
Most of you have heard of salt water pools. Salt water pools are not chlorine free. They use the salt in the water to create chlorine through electrolysis. What I am about to show you uses the same principle that salt water pools use to create sodium hypochlorite, or chlorine. Basically, you’ll use the same technology salt water pools use to make homemade chlorine bleach.
A word of caution, using this process will produce water with high contents of chlorine in it. It will also produce hydrogen and chlorine gas. It can also produce Sodium Hydroxide (Lye). If you do this, do it in a well ventilated area and use PPE (Personal Protection Equipment).
Making Homemade Chlorine Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite)
What you’ll Need
- Salt (No Iodine, Kosher is a good salt)
- Glass Containor (16 oz)
- 2x Pencils
- Rubber band or Scunci
- 12vdc Power supply – Just about any voltage will work but 12vdc will get you results faster
You’ll want pencils for your electrodes. We will be using the graphite in the pencils as a conductor. The graphite is non reactive and will not affect the solution. Metal electrodes will interact with the electrolysis and interfere with making chlorine. If you have access to graphite rods use them!
Start by exposing the lead (graphite) in the pencil for about 3/4 of it’s length. I used a belt sander to sand away the wood and expose the graphite. I also sanded away the top edge of the pencil to expose the graphite there. This gives me a place to attach the alligator clips from the power supply to. Put the pencils against each other and secure them with the rubber band. Make sure that the graphite sections are facing each other.
Congratulations, you just made a chlorine generator! In just a few steps, you’ll have everything together to make chlorine.
Preparing the Solution
Pour 16 oz of water (tap water is fine) into your glass container. Add 1 tsp of salt to the water and stir until dissolved. The salt will dissolve faster if the water is warm or hot. Once the salt is completely dissolved, you can place the pencils in the container. Make sure the ends with the long strips of exposed graphite are in the water.
Prepping the Power Supply
You’ll need to prep the power supply by adding alligator clips. The safest way to do this is to cut and strip the wires coming from the power supply. You can add the alligator clips to the bare ends of the wire. You can also make an adapter that will fit the end of the power supply. This is preferable if you want to save the power supply for future experiments!
Connecting the Power Supply
Once you have the alligator clips on the leads from the power supply you can connect them to the bare ends of the pencils. Make sure they do not touch. I placed a thick piece of paper between the two to make sure they would not short out. Next, plug the power supply in. You should see a steady stream of bubbles coming from one of the pencils at this point. Don’t inhale the gas being produced! It is Chlorine gas and hydrogen. If you leave this generating for about a half hour, you’ll have a decent concentration of dissolved chlorine in the water. You’ve just made homemade chlorine bleach! I tested mine with a pool test kit and the chlorine level was off the scale!
What Next with the Chlorine sanitizer
First, take all the precautions you would take if you were using commercially available chlorine. Rubber gloves should be a must. You can use this solution to sanitize hard surfaces in your kitchen or bathroom. Be careful though, it is bleach and will or can take color out of some materials. You may even put in a spray bottle and spray it on the surfaces you want to disinfect. I would dilute it some before doing that though. Chlorine bleach, or Sodium Hypochorite will kill almost all germs and viruses including covid-19 also known as the coronavirus
I hope this article has been helpful to you. Thanks for visiting! You can watch the video version of this article here: Kill Covid-19 – How to Make Homemade Chlorine Bleach Surface Disinfectant – #Timely Tips Also check out our entire section of Tips Tricks and Hacks!
Although not exactly the same items I used in this article (I had these laying around the shop) the affiliate links to the items below will be what you need to do this at home: