Bleach and disinfectants are toxic products that need to be kept safe not only from children, but should be safely handled by adults as well. The labels often state keeping the product away from direct heat and sunlight. This often leads us to question what happens if you don’t? Will bleach explode? Is bleach flammable and start a massive fire when left under the sun? Here’s all that you need to know.
Bleach is classified as a non-flammable product and will not ignite a fire when put near the ignition. They will burn, but only at a temperature above their working temperatures. The problem with bleach, however, is the oxidizing properties that can make the fire burn more intensely and cause it to spread vigorously. It means that although it is not flammable, it is still hazardous in case of fire.
Since we have established that bleach is not flammable, here are other things you need to know about this chemical stain remover.
Is Bleach Flammable?
No. Bleach, both chlorine and non-chlorine types (hydrogen peroxide), are not flammable. Flammable products are those that have flashpoints. Flashpoint is the minimum temperature needed for vapor to form above the liquid and ignite. Bleach does not have this flashpoint, so it will not risk starting a fire.
What Happens if You Light Bleach on Fire?
If you set bleach on fire, it will cause a little fire. If you light it near a combustible product, it may cause a sizable flame. The big problem with lighting bleach is the reaction that will take place. At a temperature above 35°C, it will release toxic chlorine gas into the atmosphere. Chlorine is a non-flammable chemical, but it can jeopardize health when inhaled.
Is the Bleach Container Flammable?
Bleach often comes in a plastic container that is also not flammable, whether it has contents or is empty. But, it is important to note that you cannot recycle a bleach container to accommodate other liquids other than bleach itself. Products like cleaners that contain ammonia will create toxic gases. These gases are corrosive and may irritate the eyes and respiratory system.
Will A Bleach Container Explode if Left in the Sun?
A bleach container exploding after being left in the sun is a rare but possible occurrence. Under the very strong heat of the sun, bleach will create chlorine gas. When the container is inadequately vented, it will become pressurized. These instances will eventually cause the chlorine to burst out and the bottle to explode. So, store bleach properly in a cool place, allowing a slight vent in the cap to avoid this mishap.
Is Burning Bleach Bad for the Environment?
When burned, bleach will release chorine and other harmful gases in the form of fume. It is a bad thing not only for the environment but also for people’s health. Bleach, even when unburned, is enough to harm the environment since its spillage is toxic to aquatic life.
Is it Dangerous to Inhale Burning Bleach?
Exposure to chlorine-containing cleaning products is already harmful by itself. Inhaling a large amount of chlorine may lead to shortness of breath, lung fluid build-up, or even death. A burning bleach doubles the risks when exposed to its smoke. Thermal decomposition will increase its release of irritating gases and vapors, prompting more hazards to humans.
Is it Safe to Heat Bleach?
No, heating will not render the bleach flammable but it is as dangerous as burning it. Toxic vapors evaporating from the solution can create breathing problems and triggers asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD.)
Hot water is not recommended for diluting bleach since it will decompose all active ingredients. The bleach will reduce its cleaning efficiency and make it ineffective in cleaning.
Is Bleach Explosive?
Bleach is explosive when exposed to extreme heat. Mixing bleach with other products and chemicals can also release the chlorine gas that may trigger an explosion. Thus, it is explicitly stipulated in bleach labels never to mix it with other cleaning ingredients, including vinegar.
Why Doesn’t Bleach Catch on Fire?
There are two types of bleach: chlorine and non-chlorine based. Chlorine bleach contains ingredients that release chlorine gas when used. Non-chlorine bleach uses hydrogen peroxide and is inferior to the other in cleaning and disinfecting capability. Either of these types will not catch fire by itself. But these products have oxidizing properties that will help spread fire and make it burn intensely.
Clorox is a brand offering several chemical and cleaning products. The brand is also well-known for its bleach product. In fact, saying Clorox can be synonymous with saying bleach. Clorox bleach is non-flammable, but other products under the brand can be flammable depending on what they are and the ingredients they have.
Is Chlorine Flammable?
Surprisingly, chlorine gas is reactive and oxidizing, but it is non-flammable. It has a chemistry similar to oxygen, so it does not react with it. It will only take the place of oxygen (oxidize) or double the oxygen’s action. It cannot burst into flame unless there is the presence of fuel to start a fire.
The hazard bleach poses often leads people to ask whether bleach is flammable or not. Though bleach is toxic, it is not classified as flammable. However, bleach can increase the combustibility of nearby products when it meets an open flame. Heat excites its chemical composition and creates chlorine gas that may trigger explosions under strong heat. While it cannot ignite a fire, it is still imperative to store bleach in a cool and safe place. You should also use it with caution and only as directed in its label.
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.