Oxidizers Found in the Household

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Oxidisers are compounds which are capable of reacting with and oxidising other materials. An example of this is the reaction of metals to oxygen to form the metal oxides we refer to as rust.

Oxidisers can also contain other chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, sodium bicarbonate or baking soda and can be found in both solid and liquid forms in our homes.


Bleach is a combination of chlorine and oxygen compounds and it has several uses around the home. It can be diluted with water for use as a disinfectant for cleaning kitchen counters, toilets, bathtubs and removing stains from walls. When it is used on white fabric, it has the ability to remove stains making the fabric cleaner and whiter. Use gloves to protect your hands when handling bleach.


One of the chemicals used to kill bacteria in our swimming pools is chlorine. Because chlorine releases vapours that can be toxic, it is classified as an oxidiser. Chlorine gas may also cause the corrosion of piping or other metal equipment in areas where there is insufficient ventilation. Proper storage and handling of this product is extremely important and extreme caution should be used when cleaning your swimming pool.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide, also known by its scientific name H2O2, can be found in the medicine cabinet in many homes. It is a powerful oxidiser used as a disinfectant to sanitise and kill bacteria, viruses and fungi on bathroom and kitchen surfaces. It is also used in many hair dyes.

Toilet Bowl Cleaners With Bleach

Toilet bowl cleaners with bleach contain either hydrochloric acid or sodium acid sulphate and are classified as oxidisers. These cleaners are noted for sanitising, removing dirt and grime and deodorising. They can burn the skin or damage your eyes if accidentally splashed on your skin or in your eyes. Extreme care should be taken when using these cleaners and they should always be stored away from young children or pets.