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Can You Pour Bleach Down the Sink?

Updated February 21, 2017

Bleach is a cleaning solution that combines water, chlorine and sodium chloride, also known as salt. The cleaning solution removes dirt and grime as well as the colour from garments and other fabrics. Bleach is also a powerful disinfectant and can react negatively with other cleaning products including ammonia, glass cleaner and carpet cleaners.

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It is safe to pour bleach down a sink in your home including a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room sink. Bleach will not affect your home's pipes; it will help keep the sink's pipes clear and clean. Bleach is also safe to introduce to your city or county's sewage system. Run cold or hot water down the drain to flush the bleach down, if desired.

Septic Systems

If your home's sewage system is a septic system, do not pour an excessive amount of bleach down your home's sinks. Excessive bleach can interfere with the bacteria present in the septic tank, which works to break down solids. Use baking soda or vinegar as an alternative instead if you need to use an excessive amount of bleach.

Mixing With Other Chemicals

Do not pour another cleaner along with bleach and down any sink. This can cause a dangerous chemical reaction that can boil back up your sink and into your face or send toxic fumes into your home. Even mixing bleach in a bucket with another chemical is dangerous to do because of the toxic fumes the mixture can release.

Personal Dangers

When pouring bleach down your home's sinks, do not pour it quickly and splash it onto your skin, into your eyes or mucous membranes. Bleach is corrosive to your eyes, mucous membranes and any open wounds you may have. The chemical is also harmful to swallow. Bleach has an odour and can irritate your lungs if you inhale too much of it.

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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.

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