Chlorine VS Bleach: Are They The Same?


When talking about bleach, what comes into mind is its whitening properties. We know that bleach is often used to do laundry especially when it comes to making sure that your whites will stay stain-free. Bleaching agents for teeth and hair are also what comes into mind when talking about bleach.

Chlorine on the other hand is very different. In most cases, it is used for pools and for cleaning or disinfecting different surfaces. In some cases, chlorine is also used for laundry. Chlorine is actually present in some water supplies since it acts as antiseptic and it can help keep the water safe.

Although these two have a lot of similarities, you need to keep in mind that they are both very different. You might be able to use them interchangeably in some instances, but you should know that each has its own unique properties that must be specifically taken into consideration depending on the use.

What Is Chlorine?


Also known as elemental chlorine, chlorine is heavier than air and it is actually a yellowish or greenish gas. Its gas is actually toxic even in small concentrations but it can readily combine with other elements in order to produce chemical compounds for different products. It is also used to make bleaches.

In most cases, bleach manufacturers will use chlorine in order to make sodium hypochlorite which will then be used to make laundry bleach. Large amounts of chlorine can also be used in the production of different materials. This includes plastic, paper, textiles as well as paints.

chlorine dispenser

Chlorine can also be combined with other elements to help remove microbes from our drinking water. As a matter of fact, its addition in our drinking water is a significant health advancement in modern times. Many people consume it on a daily basis and billions of lives have been kept safe by chlorine.

When used to make bleach, chlorine primarily breaks down proteins. It is made into a chemical compound and in very small amounts, it is used to clean medical equipment and even to disinfect food preparation areas. It eliminates bacteria in swimming pools and it is what burns your eyes in the pool.

What Is Bleach?

clorox bleach

Bleach on the other hand, is a chemical substance and not an element. It can be used to remove color in many materials and it can also be used to disinfect different materials and surfaces depending on its chemical composition. Bleach can also be used to make different materials and surfaces white.

Bleach acts on the chromophores. Chromophores are a group of atoms that join together in order to create color. In most cases, the bleach will do this by the use of reduction or oxidation, this means that it will try to remove atoms in order to kill microbes or to remove the structure that creates color.

Bleaches can be made with or without chlorine. Bleaches without chlorine will need to use other oxidizing agents to help remove color. Without chlorine, it will typically contain hydrogen peroxide instead. Non-chlorine bleaches are used to decolorize hair, teeth as well as colored fabrics.

What’s The Difference Between Chlorine VS Bleach?

Basically, their primary difference is that Chlorine is an element while bleach is a chemical solution that may or may not contain any chlorine. Although these two substances can be used to disinfect surfaces and to decolorize, you cannot use bleach to keep drinking water and swimming pools safe.

When used properly, chlorine is not toxic. However, when it comes to bleach, the chemicals used to make it can cause irritations and they can be harmful to your health. You can only use bleach for the swimming pool if you are trying to shock the pool or if you are using it under the guidance of an expert.



When it comes to Chlorine VS Bleach, you need to know that they are both very different especially when it comes to their chemical composition. Chlorine is basically a gas that is toxic, but it can be combined with other elements to make it safe and more effective in sanitizing and removing color.

Bleach on the other hand is made up of different chemicals and it can contain either chlorine or other chemicals as its oxidizing agent. When used for teeth or hair, bleaches contain hydrogen peroxide because you will need to use high concentrations and chlorine in huge doses can dissolve enamel.

Chlorine also acts on different stains or materials by targeting the protein structure. On the other hand, bleaches are known to either reduce or oxidize substances by targeting the atoms or the electrons that will produce color. It can also disinfect by damaging the internal structures of microbes.

Do you use chlorine or bleach at home? Tell us more about how you specifically use these two different substances in the comment section.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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