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I ordered Sodium Chlorite in the mail and received Chlorine Dioxide. Can they be used interchangeably, or are they different? My background in chemistry is limited so laymen's terms would be appreciated. I appreciate any responses or feedback.

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    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorine_dioxide I find it hard to believe someone delivered ClO2 It would be very dangerous, especially if you don't know much about it. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jan 18 '18 at 21:56
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    $\begingroup$ If you are 100 % sure it's ClO2 you received, then claim for refund and blacklist this supplier. If they cannot tell a difference between sodium chlorite and chlorine dioxide, they are not worth your time and money. $\endgroup$ – andselisk Jan 18 '18 at 22:01
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Sodium Chlorite is a white powder, which dissolves in water.

Chlorine Dioxide is a gas. This gas also dissolves in water to some degree and gives a yellow color.

Sodium Chlorite is used to make Chlorine Dioxide in the laboratory.

I strongly doubt, that someone has sent you Chlorine Dioxide, as it is to dangerous to store and to send.

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  • $\begingroup$ Chlorine dioxide also tends to explode. $\endgroup$ – blacksmith37 Jan 19 '18 at 19:46
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Warning: Both sodium chlorite and chlorine dioxide are toxic. There are numerous reports of nausea, diarrhea, severe vomiting, and life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration as a result of chlorite poisoning. Sodium chlorite is a strong oxidizing agent and upon slight contamination would lead to explosion.


Chlorine dioxide is the product formed from the action of chlorine on sodium chlorite (laboratory process of making chlorine dioxide). This reaction is relatively safe. The reverse reaction of converting chlorine dioxide to sodium chlorite is dangerous and I highly recommend against it. This reaction is a highly oxidizing one and may ignite or explode if something goes wrong.

Chlorine dioxide can be revert back to sodium chloride by reacting it with sodium peroxide.

$$\ce{Na2O2 + 2ClO2 → O2 + 2NaClO2}$$

But sodium peroxide can enhance combustion if contact with any combustible substance. Also, it causes redness of skin and pain. Don't try this.

Other preparation include reacting with sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide but it tends to form a mixture of sodium chlorite and sodium chlorate.

So my opinion would be to return the chlorine dioxide. Don't try to store it or convert it to sodium chlorite as the reactions are dangerous.

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