Home Essentials Water How to Purify Water with Bleach Safely

How to Purify Water with Bleach Safely

If boiling your water is not possible, then Purifying water with bleach is a good solution.

Purifying water with bleach

Maybe you have a pond or river close and neglected to store drinking water. Do not start drinking bacteria-laden water straight from the river or pond. You need to clean it first.

Dip the water into a container, with a piece of cloth over the opening to filter out the larger sediment. Then boil the water for five minutes to clear out all the nasty bugs that would have a negative impact on your digestive system.

Once you boil it, you may still want to add a little bleach. Yes, normal household bleach can be used to purify water, when used correctly.

Standard household bleach is typically between 5 percent and 6 percent chlorine and can be used to purify water.

  1. Place the water (filtered, if necessary) in a clean container. You can use coffee filters, or towels/shirts to filter the water prior to treating it with bleach.
  2. Add the amount of bleach according to the table below.
  3. Mix thoroughly and allow the water to stand for at least 30 minutes before using (60 minutes if the water is cloudy or very cold).
Treating Water with a 5-6 Percent Liquid Chlorine Bleach Solution
Volume of Water Bleach Solution to Add
Clear  water)
Bleach Solution to Add (Cloudy, Very Cold)
1 quart/1 liter 3 drops5 drops
1/2 gallon/2 quarts/2 liters 5 drops10 drops
1 gallon 1/8 teaspoon1/4 teaspoon
5 gallons  1/2 teaspoon1 teaspoon
10 gallons1 teaspoon2 teaspoons

Purifying water with bleach is safe if you follow the proper guidelines and use the correct type of bleach. Only use Calcium Hypochlorite bleach, and avoid using bleaches that contain perfumes, clarifiers, dyes and other additives. Be sure to read the ingredients on the label.

You can always buy water purification, if you fear the “do it yourself” method. If you need a portable solution there is the LifeStraw, which can filter up to 1000 liters (264.172 gallons) of water and the Sawyer Mini, which can filter up to 378,541 liters (100,000 gallons).

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  1. I just bought calcium hypochlorite on amazon. bottled bleach from the grocery store only lasts 4 months. with the powder, I can mix only the amount I need for household cleaning and purifying water as I store it. thanks for the chart with the correct measurements.


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