December 16

How to Use “More Concentrated” Bleach to Purify Water

By Rob

December 16, 2021

It's no secret that clean drinking water is hard to come by in a survival situation.

You need to make sure you have enough water to last until help arrives, but you also can't afford to waste precious resources on water that's not safe to drink.

So how do you purify water with bleach? And what kind of bleach should you use?

In order to learn how to use the "new" bleach in water purification, you've found the perfect post.

When I went to Walmart the other day, I recalled that I needed a new bottle of bleach.

It had been a while since every container I looked at had "More Concentrated" written on the label. 

Even the cheap generic bleach is included on this list! They're saying this:

In any case, my better half was in a hurry, so I didn't check every bottle thoroughly; however, I'm sure they all said "more concentrated."

I asked myself, "What the hell is going on here?" Where is the regular bleach?

You know, the stuff with a sodium hypochlorite concentration of 5.25 percent.

Instead of the regular leaded bleach, every bottle had 8.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. 

Again, I thought to myself, what the hell is going on here? I must be missing something.

how do you purify water with bleach

Assuming you're familiar with basic algebra, 8.25 percent is a whopping 57% larger than 5.25 percent, which suggests bleach has been becoming much stronger over the past few years. 

But, unfortunately, I wasn't completely aware of it until I started buying some for my own supply.

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I do know that the concentrated bleach I'm used to is usually 6-6.25 percent, which corresponds to the 33 percent "highly concentrated" claims, so it must be the starting point. 

Anyway, this post aims to alert you that the dosage charts and information floating around the Internet on using bleach to disinfect water properly are no longer applicable to this newer "more concentrated" 8.25 percent bleach.

The Commonly Accepted Ratios for Purifying Water with 5.25 percent Bleach

  • 8 drops for every gallon of water
  • 2 drops for every quart of water
  • 1 teaspoon for every 5 liters of water

If the water isn't clear (or doesn't have a faint bleach scent), you may use twice the recommended amount.

This means you may add up to 4 drops per quart, 16 drops per gallon, and one teaspoon every 5 gallons of water to your water supply.

However, it would help if you didn't continue doing it after the second round.

Keep in mind that bleach is a chemical, and it may only be used for a brief time.

In addition, I think that the suggested dosages for the 6-6.25 percent bleach will also work.

My New Water Purification Ratios using 8.25 percent Bleach

The "more concentrated" bleach is 57 percent more concentrated than the original 5.25 percent bleach, as I had previously said in this post.

In addition, as the numbers above also apply to the 6-6.25 percent bleach, it is impossible to make accurate conversions, but we'll try our best.

Before we get to the specifics, a few things to keep in mind:

  1. A dropper's output is difficult to measure and subject to significant variation. The volume of a dropper's tip affects how many drops there are in a teaspoon. The amount varies from 50 to 120, depending on the size of the dropper's tip. The easiest way to find out whether a dropper works is to try it out in the real world. Count the number of droplets required to fill a teaspoon, and you'll know for sure. Then record it! In my experiments with three different droppers, it took between 80 and 100 drops to equal one teaspoon. I will use 90 drops per teaspoon as a general rule of thumb.
  1. This will work.
  2. Dosing massive amounts with bleach rather than using droppers would be preferable, but if you insist on using them, you must know how many drops from your dropper equal a teaspoon if you're going to use them.

The following are the instructions for using bleach to purify water (assuming a concentration of 90 drops per teaspoon based on my own testing):

  • 5-6 drops per quart of water. Even if you can't get your hands on a scale tiny enough to measure it, 5 drops are equivalent to around 1/18 of a teaspoon. I cannot gauge anything that small, so if you can, that's great.
  • In 5 liters of water, use 1/3 teaspoon. It's difficult to measure a third of a teaspoon, and a quarter teaspoon of bleach isn't enough. You might use a "heaping" 1/4 teaspoon or a "short" 1/2 teaspoon to approximate the amount... or, better yet, adjust the amount of water to 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon. 4 gallons for 1/4 teaspoon bleach and 7.8 gallons per 1/2 teaspoon bleach would be required to assist you. If you rounded the latter up to 8 gallons, I wouldn't have a heart attack, but the decision is yours.
  • One teaspoon for every 15 liters of water. This is only a little bit more than is truly required (you actually need 0.955 tsp).
  • For every 30 gallons of water, use two tablespoons of this solution. Water barrels that hold 30 gallons of water are frequent for storing.
  • 55 gallons of water: 1 tablespoon + 2/3 teaspoon In addition to 55-gallon water barrels, there are many more options for storing water.
  • 6 tablespoons for every 270 gallons of water For IBCs, 270-gallon totes are the most common size.
  • Every 330 gallons of water need 7 tablespoons Plus 1 teaspoon of salt. It is common for IBC totes to have 330 gallons in capacity.

To sum it up

Again, the advice above on how to purify water is fundamental math.

I hope I didn't make any mistakes there, but it isn't always black and white, particularly when dealing with little amounts of water and droplets of solution.

Having said that, I hope this information will help you in properly dosing the latest "more concentrated" bleach!

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