I was wondering if there is a way to detect for presence or residue of bleach using household items.

I am curious about either chlorine-based or peroxide-based. It can be any sort of reaction that shows the presence of it. Well, as long as the reaction doesn't produce a lot of heat or is somehow toxic.


1 Answer 1


What immediately comes to mind is something rather obvious, don't use ammonia on any surface that could possibly be contaminated with bleach.

A search revealed a video showing red cabbage juice used as an indicator. I do not believe the limit of detection would be anything to write home about. However, this got me thinking about a homemade pH paper. This would allow you to dampen the surface with a very small amount of neutral water, apply the paper, and possibly get an accurate reading on whether something acidic or basic is present on the spot you tested.

Fortunately, someone else has already put together a procedure on how to make these strips, found here. With another source showing the expected colors using this indicator. Since bleach aka sodium hypochlorite is a base, I would expect the color of the test strips to be in the blue to green range.

This could also be a cool home science project. The strips will be more effective at detection for lower concentrations of bleach than a liquid solution of the indicator. (pH is concentration dependent).

Good luck!

P.S. I linked many articles to fill in some relevant information but I was limited to 2 links. If you have questions please feel free to ask!


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