Make Disinfectant Water at Home

Make Disinfectant Water at Home
Sodium Hypochlorite Generation Facts

by Courtney Sturniolo

Sodium What?

Many people recognize NaCl as the chemical formula for sodium chloride – aka common table salt. Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) is created when salt is combined with water and electricity, and it is the active ingredient in bleach.

The average household bleach is about 5% sodium hypochlorite, which can be very harsh. However, when the concentration is between 0.5-1% - like our sodium hypochlorite bottle generates – it is considered to be non-hazardous but still very effective for domestic cleaning and disinfection.

At this concentration, the disinfecting solution is residue-free, non-toxic, and eco-friendly, making it ideal for a variety of cleaning applications:

  • Glass, stone, ceramic, vinyl, plastic, wood
  • Kitchen counters, sinks, surfaces, and cutting boards
  • Bathroom counters, sinks, showers, toilet seats, and surfaces
  • Nurseries, baby surfaces, play areas, toys, and high chairs
  • Pet feeding and living areas
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Office desks, phones, and common area or high-touch surfaces like a copy machine keypad
  • School desks, counters, and high-touch surfaces
  • Topical antiseptic for cuts, scrapes, and abrasions
  • Air cleaner and odor remover
  • Hotel room cleaning – bring the dry bottle with salt inside, add tap water from the hotel, and clean surfaces, remote controls, phones, etc.

Generation

It sounds crazy, right? Salt + tap water = disinfectant? Almost! There is another step in generating sodium hypochlorite. Dissolving salt in water results in a brine solution, which is then electrolyzed and forms a sodium hypochlorite solution in water.

Electrochlorination is the process of producing hypochlorite by passing an electric current through saltwater. The result is sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and hydrogen gas (H2).

NaCl + H2O + electrolysis --> NaOCl + H2

Shelf Life

Sodium hypochlorite is volatile because the chlorine evaporates rapidly and the solution degrades quickly. For this reason, the solution created in our sodium hypochlorite generator is effective for 2-3 weeks. The shelf life is shorter when the solution is exposed to air, heat, sunlight, and certain metals. Store the solution in the closed generator bottle in a cool, dark location for maximum shelf life.

Safety

While sodium hypochlorite at low concentrations is considered non-hazardous, common sense still applies.

  • Do not drink the solution
  • Do not inject the solution
  • Do not inhale the solution
  • Do not deposit the solution into human tissue
  • Safe for external topical application to cuts, scrapes, and abrasions

Sources