How to purify water with household bleach

After a natural disaster, water may not be safe to drink. Adding some bleach helps make water safe to use. There are other ways of purifying water but the plus side of using bleach is it’s easy to get, not expensive, very effective at killing germs, and it doesn’t make the water taste funny to most of us because it’s basically what many city water supplies do. We often get asked what the recipe for treating drinking water with bleach is. Well, we have it for you here. Try it out before you really have to use it. To make your practice interesting we threw in our favorite recipe for what we like to call disaster punch.

When Picking Out Your Bleach: Don’t use scented bleaches, color safe bleaches, powdered bleaches, or bleaches with added cleaners. You want the good old fashion stuff that smells like chlorine and burns holes in your clothes if you pour it right on them. Look for bottles that have 5.25 percent or 6 percent chlorine bleach.

A visual practice guide on purifying drinking water


Adjusting Recipe Amounts:
1 quart bottle  use 4 drops of bleach
2 liter soda bottle use 10 drops of bleach
1 gallon jug use 16 drops of bleach (1/8 tsp)
2 gallon cooler use 32 drops of bleach (1/4 tsp)
5 gallon bottle use 1 teaspoon of bleach


  1. says

    Excellent advice. I want to point out that Iodine is another option to purify water, since it is less toxic to the system than Chlorine. But Iodine shouldn’t be used if pregnant, or if you have a thyroid condition.

    • says

      HotPrepper. I was on vacation but I want to say awesome advice. Iodine tablets are available at most drug stores and are very affordable. Just follow the instructions on the packaging.

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