I live in the Midwest. Sometimes I clean things with a bleach solution (probably about 12:1 to 24:1 water:bleach), and end up with a bucket of solution. Now I have about 1/2 gallon of water+bleach+dirt. Let's assume that I already have the bucket of solution.

Is there an amount of time that I can leave it out before it becomes close to "harmless" to dump it down my shower drain? I am concerned about my fixtures but more for the environment.

I have heard people say that it breaks down eventually into harmless chemicals, but I have also heard that it never does.


  • 3
    Septic tank or sewer? Septic tank you might have a reason for concern (but quite limited with only 1/2 gallon). Sewer, none, just dump it. It will be diluted and neutralized before it's halfway down the street. – Ecnerwal Feb 13 '18 at 2:22
  • 1
    People use bleach to wash clothes, some people do so incessantly. I never really gave it any thought that bleach water would hurt your plumbing. In a quick google search which seems somewhat of a business sense, it touches on all of the topics you inquire, here ya go: clorox.com/dr-laundry/bleach-101 apparently you'd have to try real hard to cause an issue. I believe it indicates 1 year. – noybman Feb 13 '18 at 5:20
  • Thanks @Ecnerwal and @noybman! I will also add this (home.howstuffworks.com/bleach4.htm)[link] from howstuffworks which mostly agrees with the idea that it is usually harmless but also states that "[w]hen sodium hypochlorite gets into water or soil, it breaks down into the ions sodium, calcium, and hypochlorite; these ions can potentially react with other substances in water, but the possible effects are not known." – capet Feb 18 '18 at 21:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.