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How To Use Household Bleach To Disinfect Drinking Water [Infographic]

Did you know that you can use unscented liquid household chlorine bleach to disinfect drinking water in an emergency? All you have to do is make sure it’s the correct amount!

However, the thought of pouring bleach into drinking water might be a little scary when you don’t know how much is the right amount. So that’s why I created this infographic. 

This infographic shows exactly how much bleach you need based on the concentration of sodium hypochlorite, the amount of drinking water in your container, and your measurement device.

If you are looking for insights into stockpiling emergency water, other treatment methods, or water-related gear recommendations for your emergency kit, check out The Definitive Guide To Emergency Water.

It’s important to understand that bleach comes in different concentrations. So you always have to start by checking the label. 

In the United States, unscented liquid household chlorine bleach is between 5% and 9% sodium hypochlorite. But outside the United States, it is often a lower concentration.

Follow these steps to disinfect water with bleach:

  1. If the water is cloudy, let it settle or filter it first.
  2. Then, draw off the clear water.
  3. If the label has instructions for disinfecting drinking water, follow those instructions.
  4. If the label doesn’t have specific instructions, look for the “active ingredient” to find the percentage of sodium hypochlorite.
  5. Use the information in the graphic below to add the appropriate amount of bleach using a medicine dropper, teaspoon, or metric measure.
  6. Stir the mixture well.
  7. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes before drinking it.
  8. Store the disinfected water in clean, sanitized containers with tight covers.
How To Use Household Bleach To Disinfect Drinking Water Infographic
How To Use Household Bleach To Disinfect Drinking Water Infographic
How To Use Household Bleach To Disinfect Drinking Water Infographic
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References

All the information referenced in this infographic can be found in the following article:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Making Water Safe in an Emergency
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