It depends. Bleach is sold in various formulations. Bleach can qualify as a pure substance, but in most cases, it doesn’t.
In this article, we’ll explain what a pure substance is, and how/when bleach qualifies.
When Is Bleach A Pure Substance?
What Is A Pure Substance?
To understand how and when bleach qualifies as a pure substance (scientifically), we must first understand what a pure substance is.
In chemistry, a pure substance is a material that is made up of only one thing.
One building block.
This building block could be an element.
The building block could also be a compound.
A good example of a pure substance that is made up of an element that should be familiar to you is gold.
Silver, lead, and iron (when they are not mixed with other substances) are also pure substances made of elements.
A good example of a pure substance that is made up of a compound that should be familiar to you is water.
Water is made up of only molecules of oxygen bonded to hydrogen.
Other examples of pure substances made up of a compound are salt, sugar, and carbon dioxide.
What Is Bleach?
This is where the analysis gets more complicated.
“Bleach” is a term that is loosely used to describe a cleaning product, whitening product, and disinfecting product.
“Bleach” can refer to a commercial bleach product (like Clorox).
Or “bleach” can refer to sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl).
Commercial bleach products (like Clorox) vary in their formulation, but usually they contain a certain amount of sodium hypochlorite, as well as sodium hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide, and callcium hypochlorite, among other substances.
Is Bleach A Pure Substance?
Bleach may or may not be a pure substance, depending on what “bleach” refers to.
If by “bleach” you mean sodium hypochlorite, then yes, that “bleach” is a pure substance.
The reason sodium hypochlorite qualifies as a pure substance scientifically is that it is a material made up of only one kind of compound.
There are no other ingredients, elements, or compounds mixed in.
Is Cleaning Bleach A Pure Substance?
But if by “bleach” you mean commercial bleach, Clorox Bleach, household bleach, the answer is no, these products do not qualify as pure substances.
The reason–these products are more up of more than one element or compound.
Most of these products contain multiple substances to achieve the end goal of the product, be it whitening, cleaning, and/or disinfection of surfaces.
Is Chlorine Bleach A Pure Substance?
No, chlorine bleach is not a pure substance.
“Chlorine bleach” is more of an informal term to refer to some commercial disinfection and cleaning products.
In most cases, these products are a mixture of water with sodium hypochlorite, or other chemicals/materials.
Since “chlorine bleach” is not made up of only one kind of element or compound (contains at least two–water and sodium hypochlorite), it cannot be considered a pure substance.
When Does Bleach Qualify As A Pure Substance?
Bleach only qualifies as a pure substance when we are talking about pure sodium hypochlorite.
The rest of the time, “bleach” does not qualify as a pure substance.
Is Bleach A Mixture?
It depends on what kind of “bleach” we are talking about.
If the bleach we are talking about is pure sodium hypochlorite, then the answer is no, bleach is not a mixture.
But if the bleach we are talking about is commercial bleach (meaning composed of multiple substances that are not bonded to each other), then yes, bleach would be considered a mixture.
Is Bleach A Compound?
It depends again upon what kind of “bleach” we are talking about.
If the bleach we are talking about is pure sodium hypochlorite, then the answer is yes, bleach is a compound.
After all, pure sodium hypochlorite is composed of elements bonded to each other.
There are no other materials or substances necessary.
But if the bleach we are talking about is commercial bleach composed of multiple substances that are not bonded to each other, then the answer is no.
Is Bleach An Element?
No, bleach is not an element.
An element is a substance which cannot be broken down or apart into simpler substances.
In the case of commercial bleach, the substance is made up of many substances and compounds which can be broken apart into simpler compounds or element.
In the case of pure bleach, sodium hypochlorite can be broken down and apart into the elements that make up the compound.
This is why bleach is not an element.