Saturday, May 4, 2013

Make you own Full Strength Bleach from Pool Shock

I have removed my information about making your own full strength 6% bleach due to the fact that far to many people didn't fully understand the formulation and how to do it of the posting.

The link below will take you to another site that explains very well the use of Pool Shock.


  1. Your posts never cease to amaze me. I admit, I've "stocked" up on bleach before, but now I won't bother if it has such a poor shelf life.

    PS - you need to put all your informative/how-to/storage food recipe posts in a binder and sell it! Or .pdf it, or whatever they call it. Did you ever think of offering it in a pdf version for download (and maybe even get a bit of $$ for them). I like coming to your blog when I run into something here on the homestead and then think, "Oh! I think Mike did that!!" and search through the blog.

  2. Hi Carolyn,
    Years back I also stocked up on bleach until I researched it and found that it has a very short shelf life. Who would have thought bleach has a short life! I guess it was because bleach has no expiration date on the jug and people just assumed it was indefinite.

    I noticed the other week that Clorox is selling “Concentrated” bleach that they claim uses less bleach than the standard version for the same load size. Reading the label I see the “Concentrated” version has 8.25% Hypochlorite (25% stronger) in place of the 5¼%-6% of the standard version. So pay attention to the bleach strength you’re using or you could have Paul dressing like a tie-dyed hippie! 

    As for selling this information, yes I do plan on doing so. I have planned for 11 topics so far in 30-45 page booklets in downloadable PDF’s and will sell them through Amazon for $1.99 to $3.99 each.

    What I need now is a copy editor, someone who can help with the re-writing, re-assembly, corrections and especially the grammar. It will be a lot of work. Know anyone who would be interested?

    Also, open the Clorox link and look at all the farm/animal uses Clorox has detailed, I think you will find many of them useful and interesting.

  3. Wow, I would have thought that bleach would last for years. Nice to know for sure!

  4. Hiya Mike!

    I remember reading, perhaps, that bleach breaks down much faster for each 10 degrees over 60. When summer temps run near 100 in Missouri, other means had to be found. Enter pool shock.

    I made super chlorinated, which I then made into 10% bleach, which was then added into my tanks. Very quickly I found that I was able to add 3 tablespoons of 60% (all I could find in my area) directly to the tanks as I was refilling them. Normally, a single bag would treat more than 1000 gallons, and I would have enough left over to make several gallons of bleach.

    Lessons that I learned:

    *Bleach degrades rapidly, even in appropriate bottles, when stored in summer time temperatures. The key is to ensure chlorine gas pressurizes the container and cannot escape. An equilibrium is reached eventually, but still degrades.

    *If the sealed pool shock pouches are exposed to higher temps, then chlorine gas forms and the bags then fill.

    *Once a pool shock pouch is opened, the chlorine begins to gas quickly. Even if the bag is folded over, placed into a ziplock, then placed into mason jars, it still degrades quickly due to exposure to oxygen and moisture.

    *ALWAYS* open the granular containers pointed away from your face, gas is quickly able to form. This goes same for bottles of bleach as well that may have become pressurized with chlorine gas.

    *Store the pool shock pouches as low in temperature as you can. I kept mine in a small bucket that was in the freezer. Note that this is a bad practice as this product should be kept out of the living space of people and animals. My freezer was located in the shed with the water tanks, battery bank, washing machine, etc.

    *Buy as small a package of pool shock that you can as it helps prevents waste and storage. Avoid the bulk container.

    *Speaking of bulk, try to avoid buying pool shock late in summer when it has to be trucked in hot containers to the warm warehouse and then to the store. It may not be the labeled % by the time you get it during warm months. Be aware of date codes. That being said, I found some fantastic deals at the 'orange clearance stores' on small packages of shock for the temporary pools. Just watch date codes.

    *Always mix your shock and water in an open area, preferably with a breeze blowing. Remember chlorine used to be used as a chemical weapon.

    *Watch your exposure from over chlorinating your water. Studies have indicated that excess chlorine can cause breathing problems (Duh), irritability, loss of smell, throat irritation, etc. You won't get much exposure at the kitchen sink, but you may in the shower.

    *If you are using pumps, consider what the seals are made of. Butyl or nitrile rubber seals are damaged by Chlorine gas, viton is what you should be using. Problem compounds at summer time temps. Anything metal in the pumps / lines / fixtures / waterheaters / etc may also corrode faster if chlorine levels are higher.

    Pool shock is great for prepping, but make sure that you use common sense. Eye/Nose/Mouth protection at a minimum, then add chemical gloves and old clothes that you dont mind turning white just from the gas in the air. As long as you treat it as if it were acid, you should be okay, and remember to always add it to water, never water to it.

  5. Great, from the 6% point we will then use 8 drops/gallon (or 16 drops/gallon for cloudy water) to purify if we are not able to boil?

  6. Great info except for the caption by the picture. You can make WAAAAYYY more than 15 bottles of bleach with that much pool shock. Maybe like 1,500. Either way it's all good. I like the cups, Tbsp, etc, recipe method instead of grams and liters. Thanks for your post. Great info.

  7. Thanks for life saving info. I like the us measuring standards instead of grams and liters. Your recipe is easy to follow. One thing. Your pool shock will make one HECK of alot more than 15 gallons of bleach. Looking at the caption near the box of pool shock. I think you left off a couple 00s as in 1500 bottles of bleach (or more).


  8. Tom, I have spent too many hours researching this topic and testing this formula. I posted the procedure step by step, picture by picture and even show the final test strip results verifying the strength. I am confident it is accurate and when needed will save my life and the lives of people who trust what I post.

    It is very unfortunate but there is so much garbage posted on the internet along with so many people who believe what they read never challenging what they read by proving it one way or the other themselves, but accepts it as fact. What makes this the worst case possible is they re-post the bad information elsewhere and it propagates into massive web based misinformation.

    Your comment that I “can make WAAAAYYY more than 15 bottles of bleach” is simply wrong. This formula can only produce 15 gallons of 6% bleach concentration from 12 pounds of 68% pool shock. I strongly recommend you make a batch and test and prove it for yourself because you have been woefully misinformed by others.

    As for using the US Measuring Standard, I do it out of thoughtless habit and need to include the conversion to metric in all my recipes because if you look at the “Map of Visitors” in the side bar this blog is read by a lot of people globally and I should include metrics in my posts.

  9. Sheldon,
    All good points, thanks!

  10. One thing I didn't find is how you determine how much pool shock to use. Given you have 12lbs. and it makes 15 gallons of bleach, do you mean you use 12/15ths (4/5ths) of a pound (12.8oz. by weight) in each gallon?

    Is there a formula you used to determine this? Dealing with water by gallon and pool shock by pound seems to indicate that you came up with this ratio by trial-and-error. That's fine, but it would be good to know.

    Fortunately, I found 65% pool shock also in 1 lb. bags, otherwise the measurement would be more complicated.

  11. Anon 11:58am
    Thanks for your comments. This topic has had a lot of questions so I have simplified the formula or recipe to use one entire 1 lb. bag of pool shock added to 5 quarts plus 1/2 pint of water. Check the percentage strength with test strips.
    5 quarts times 12 (bags) will give you 15 gallons.

  12. So 12 pounds makes 15 gallons? Not too economical... Given that these calcs are so much different than the EPA's recommendations, I just wonder if what you are discarding is a significant amount of undissolved chlorine versus just "inert" ingredients?

  13. Anon 12:55
    The purpose of making bleach from pool shock is not about saving money its about the long term storing of bleach. Liquid bleach does not store well at all, it's almost not worth the effort.
    I don't understand your EPA comment? Please clarify, send me an email because if I'm in error I need to correct it.

  14. Great article on water sanitation with a helpful mix of text and pictures. I especially like your recommendation to actually test the end product for desired results. High end test strips range approximating 10,000 ppm) are more expensive than chlorine strips for common pool testing. Any idea of how long they will last and ways to optimize storage?

    Storage of “Granular Calcium Hypochlorite” can be problematic due to the
    off-gassing. Would sealing in mylar bags be helpful?


  15. Chasuezoo, Yes the test 10,000 strips are expensive but since I've taken the time to use them and verify the results there's no need for you to buy them. Also they have a year or less shelf life.
    So if your dry granules are less than five years old then simply mix 5 quarts of water and a 1 lb bag of granules and you should be good to go to make 5 quarts of 6% bleach.

    As long as you keep the 1 lb. bags factory sealed you will not have a problem with off gassing. If you must open and use part of the granules then re-heat seal the factory bag.

    Hope this helps.

    YOU SAID, "This 12 lb. is for my long term storage and this amount will make about 15 gallons of household strength bleach."
    15 gallons? This should make hundreds of gallons.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. mkmason,
      It is all clearly spelled out in the post and no it can't make hundreds of gallons.

  17. It should make hundreds or maybe thousands of gallons of fresh water suitable for drinking, but not hundreds of gallons of bleach...

  18. Thank you! I'm trying to make my home as prepared for an emergency as possible, and this is the next to-do on my list. Having access to my own bleach to purify my drinking water would be helpful in almost any situation. It actually seems extremely doable with your instructions.


Your thoughts are welcome!