Sodium hypochlorite

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Description

Light green crystals that react with carbon dioxide in the air. Sodium chlorite is used industrially for bleaching paper pulp and textiles. Household bleach is a 5% aqueous solution of sodium hypochlorite (Clorox®, Dazzle, eau de Labarraque, etc.). Commercially, bleach is commonly used as a disinfectant and fungicide. Sodium hypochlorite is rarely used in conservation, however, because it can leave residual chlorine compounds.

Synonyms and Related Terms

sodium oxychloride; sodium chloride oxide; chlorinated soda; soda bleach; Clorox; Dazzle; eau de Labarraque; sodium hypochloride (sp)

Chemical structure

Sodium hypochlorite.jpg


Other Properties

Soluble in cold water. Decomposes in hot water.

Composition NaOCl - 5H2O
CAS 7681-52-9
Melting Point 18
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 74.4

Hazards and Safety

Toxic by ingestion. Strongly irritating to skin and lungs. Toxic chlorine gas forms when mixed with ammonia. Very strong oxidizing agent. Fire risk in contact with dry organic materials.

LINK: International Chemical Safety Card

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • The Dictionary of Paper, American Paper Institute, New York, Fourth Edition, 1980
  • A Glossary of Paper Conservation Terms, Margaret Ellis (ed.), Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York City, 1998
  • The Merck Index, Susan Budavari (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 12th Edition, 1996 Comment: entry 8773
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Book and Paper Group, Paper Conservation Catalog, AIC, 1984, 1989
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 681
  • G.Caneva, M.P.Nugari, O.Salvadori, Biology in the Conservation of Works of Art, ICCROM, Rome, 1991
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993

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