Bleach is one chemical that almost all of us are going to be instantly familiar with. As something that is primarily used in laundry whitening, it also has a whole host of other properties in and around the home that make it useful. Whether you are disinfecting your home, cleaning up a tough stain, or making a cool looking t-shirt, bleach is a pretty common household item.
Now, when it comes to cleaning compounds, our team at Cleaning King is right in our element. Cleaning is what we do day in and day out. So, we make it our mission and business to help our customers fully understand what goes into the cleaning process around the house–and outside of it–as well as what is inside the products they use. So, with that, we felt like it was time for us to talk about bleach.
If you are in the market for a high-quality bleach to use around the house, you have almost certainly heard of Clorox. Clorox is essentially the de facto product that everyone thinks of when bleach comes to mind. But, does that mean that Clorox is the absolute only bleach you should use or buy? What about a generic brand bleach such as Walmart’s Great Value bleach?
Well, that is what we are here to find out. Let’s talk about bleach, what you should know about it, and how generic Great Value bleach holds up against the king in Clorox.
Clorox is the name brand when it comes to disinfectants and bleaches. Clorox sells laundry detergents, basic chlorine bleaches, pool chlorine, stain removers, you name it. When it comes to Sodium Hypochlorite and its byproducts, Clorox essentially wrote the book.
With all that being said, we have to point out again that with standard household bleach, Clorox is identical to Great Value in every way that matters. That is, Sodium Hypochlorite content. Both products contain exactly 6% Sodium Hypochlorite as an active ingredient. The remaining 94% is dilutants and other compounds that keep the bleach from being too overbearing.
One area where Clorox does shine is the actual aroma of the chemical. Clorox bleach does tend to have a much more mild smell that doesn’t smack you in the nose with a heavy chemical wave. You will still detect the chlorine signature, but with Clorox it generally isn’t overwhelming.
Clorox also has a whole host of variety at its fingertips. With Clorox you can get bleach products across the gamut of concentration and strength. This means that you can tackle any job whether it be industrial, commercial, or residential. With Clorox you are getting a whole lot more in the way of options.
Great Value is the house brand of the Walmart family of products. It can be found on the shelves of Walmart and Sam’s Club warehouses across North America and other parts of the world. It is generally considered to be a great line of compromise products as it sacrifices very little in quality in the name of getting a better value.
However, when buying cleaning chemicals, there is very little difference–as opposed to when it comes to buying food or clothing. That is because raw cleaning chemicals are generally predetermined as a compound based on chemistry and science–not what is fashionable or tasty.
In this way, Great Value bleach is essentially identical to any other form of household bleach you will find across the globe. It is made from 94% inactive ingredients and 6% Sodium Hypochlorite. In this regard, you are getting the same active chemical composition as you would if you were to buy any other bleach. Great value is a good buy here, as it allows you to get the cleaning and disinfecting you need at a bottom level price point. However, that does come at the cost of variety.
Great Value bleach is generally less variety driven. You will only find a small handful of variants on the product, and thus are limited to what Great Value has to offer as a standard. This can be a bit of a drawback for some buyers who seek more optionality in their purchasing power.
Common household bleach is actually a very diluted version of a much stronger compound. What we know as bleach, or chlorine bleach, is basically just less potent Sodium Hypochlorite. Now, without diving too deeply into the chemistry behind this compound, just know that Sodium Hypochlorite is an extremely powerful chemical compound that works wonders on disinfecting and cleaning things.
Despite being an amazing disinfectant, Sodium Hypochlorite is also incredibly dangerous when it comes into contact with ammonium salts as well as human skin and eyes. So, if this chemical is so caustic, why use it at all?
Well, the standard store bought bleach that we all know and use is only about 6% or less Sodium Hypochlorite. That means that 94% of what is in the bottle is made up of non-active diluting compounds that work to keep the bleach safe. This prevents chemical burns, eye damage, and other health hazards.
Store bought bleach will range in strengths depending on the usage. Most common household bleach is roughly 6% Sodium Hypochlorite. However, you may find some a little less potent in the 2-3% range. By contrast you can also find some industrial pool bleach (chlorine), that is around 10-12% Sodium Hypochlorite. These are the main differences you will find when buying bleach.
As we mentioned above, there really isn’t a whole lot to buying bleach. You simply need to know the concentration of Sodium Hypochlorite in the bottle itself. The stronger it is, the more likely it is to handle industrial level jobs. In general, 6% is the ideal sweet spot for whitening laundry without damaging it completely. However, there are uses for much stronger formulas of Sodium Hypochlorite–such as pool maintenance!
So, if you are in need of some bleach, rest assured that Great Value and Clorox are virtually the same. Simply pay close attention to the Sodium Hypochlorite content and what the maximum concentration you need might be before buying and using.
At Cleaning King we pride ourselves on our knowledge of all things clean and sanitary. That is why we take the time to review and analyse important and popular cleaning products so that you don’t have to.
When it comes to the battle of the bleach, Great Value bleach does all of the work chemically that you could ever need. It has the same active amount of Sodium Hypochlorite. However, the value may not be worth it to all buyers, especially if you are looking for a larger selection of strengths and purposes for your bleach.
On the lowest end your bleach should be about 3% Sodium Hypochlorite. This is to ensure that there is a proper disinfecting process happening. 6% is by far the standard amount of active Sodium Hypochlorite. However, sometimes you can find chlorine bleach with far more Sodium Hypochlorite than that. In special cases it can be upwards of 10-15%, although this is considered for pool use, not laundry or home cleaning.
Yes, bleach can cause a lot of damage to pesky weeds. However, bleach will also kill your grass as well as many of the harmless little critters under your lawn. It’s always best to use an eco-friendly lawn and weed care compound as opposed to harsh plant killing bleach.
Bleach works by causing a chemical reaction to whiten the clothes or surface area it is used on. It releases oxygen molecules which release the chemical bonds of chromophores. When chromophores are released, they do not reflect visible color. This is how bleach can essentially ‘rip’ color away from anything properly porous.
Bleach is antimicrobial, and as such is very harmful to inhale regularly. It can damage and kill large parts of the respiratory system if not treated carefully. You should always use bleach in well ventilated rooms, and avoid using it daily. However, bleach use once a week won’t pose a significant health risk.
When it comes to a chemical compound like bleach, you aren’t going to find a lot of variation. In essence, generic brand bleach is identical to the name brand in almost every way. The only differences may be small non-active compounds that change the fume aroma, etc,.