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Sodium Hypochlorite Formula

Last updated date: 29th May 2024
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Sodium Hypochlorite Chemical Formula

Sodium hypochlorite is a commonly used chemical compound, the most common use of the compound is its use as a bleaching agent and disinfectant. Sodium hypochlorite is also known as sodium oxychloride. The chemical compound can be described as a salt of sodium that has hypochlorite as a counterion. The sodium hypochlorite formula is the same as the sodium oxychloride formula. 

The sodium hypochlorite formula can be represented as NaClO or the alternative way of representation of sodium hypochlorite formula is NaOCl. This article focuses on the chemical formula, preparation, and structural formula of the compound, the article also describes the chemical properties as well as physical properties of the compound.

Sodium Oxychloride Formula

Sodium oxychloride is the alternative name of sodium hypochlorite. The compound is defined as the sodium salt of hypochlorous acid. The compound contains cation Na+ that is bonded with the hypochlorite anion, the hypochlorite chemical formula is (CLO-). The sodium chlorite formula is written as  NaClO. The other way of representation of the sodium hypochlorite chemical formula is  NaOCl. The IUPAC name of sodium oxychloride is sodium hypochlorite. The structural sodium hypochlorite formula is represented in the following way.

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The chemical compound is commonly known as the bleaching agent and disinfecting agent. The compound readily decomposes into chlorine and the chlorine is liberated. This reaction is the basic principle for the compound to be used as a bleaching agent.

Preparative Method

There are various preparative methods of sodium oxychloride. The first commercial production of sodium hypochlorite was observed in 1798, the compound was first synthesized by Claude Louis Berthollet of France. The process was based on the passing of the chlorine gas through the solution of potash lye. The chemical compound is industrially synthesized using Hooker’s process. They are the various preparative method of the compound some of the processes are listed below

  1. Chlorination of soda was the process utilized by Claude Louis Berthollet of France. He passed the chlorine gas through potash lye. The chemical reaction taking place is known as the disproportionation reaction. In this reaction simultaneous oxidation and reduction reaction. 

  2. Sodium hypochlorite is prepared from calcium hypochlorite, the reaction involves sodium carbonate with a mixture of calcium hypochlorite Ca(OCl)2, calcium chloride CaCl2, and calcium hydroxide Ca(OH)2.

  3. Electrolysis of brine, the chemical reaction involves electrolysis of brine to produce sodium hydroxide and chlorine gas. The products are then mixed to form sodium hypochlorite.

  4. The production of sodium hypochlorite can also be produced from hypochlorous acid and soda.

Common Names of the Compound

The IUPAC name of the compound is sodium hypochlorite, some of the other common names of the compound include the following,

  • Sodium oxychloride

  • Sodium hypochloride (sodium hypochloride formula is the same as the sodium hypochlorite)

  • Antiformin

  • Bleach

  • Chloride of soda

  • In dilution:

  • Carrel-Dakin solution

  • Modified Dakin's solution

  • Surgical chlorinated soda solution

Chemical Properties of the Compound

The chemical properties of the compound include the sodium hypochlorite solution formula, sodium hypochlorite molecular weight, reactions, hydrogen bond donor and acceptor, the complexity of the compound. The common chemical properties of the compounds are mentioned as follows,

  1. sodium hypochlorite chemical formula is NaClO

  2. sodium hypochlorite molecular weight is 74.442 g/mol

  3. sodium hypochlorite solution formula is also represented as NaClO

  4. The compound is characterized as a highly unstable compound.

  5. Upon decomposition, the chemical compound releases chlorine thus making the base for chlorine-based disinfectant.

  6. The hydrogen bond donor count is 0 whereas the hydrogen bond acceptor count for the compound is 1.

  7. The complexity of the compound is 4.8

  8. The acidity or pKa value of the compound is 7.5185

  9. The basicity or the pKb value of the compound is 6.4815.

Physical Properties of Sodium Hypochlorite

The physical properties of the compound include melting point, boiling point, density and physical appearance of the compound. Some of the properties of the compound are mentioned below.

  1. The melting point of sodium hypochlorite is 18 °C

  2. The boiling point of the compound is 101 °C

  3. The density of the compound is 1.11 g/cm3

  4. The physical appearance of the compound can be described as a greenish-yellow colour crystal

  5. The smell of the compound can be described as a sweetish, chlorine-like smell.

  6. The density of the compound is 1.11 g/cm3

  7. The solubility of the compound in water 29.3 g/100mL.

Use and Risk

The main use of the chemical compound is as a bleaching agent. Several diluted formulae are used as a disinfecting agent, apart from these common uses sodium hypochlorite is also used in the following,

  1. They are used as a deodorizing agent

  2. It is used in wastewater treatment

  3. It is used in Endodontics

  4. It is used as a nerve agent neutraliser

There are various risks associated with the compound due to the unstable nature of the compound. At high concentrations, the compound is toxic and may severely damage the area of contact. Exposure to the chemical compound can also result in the formation of blisters, skin damage, rashes and irritation.


Sodium hypochlorite or sodium oxychloride is a salt of hypochlorous acid. It is more commonly known as Antiformin. The chemical compound is commercially important because of its decomposition reaction which releases chlorine. It is widely used as a bleaching agent. The compound is industrially produced by Hooker’s method. Apart from the use as a bleaching agent, the compound is an important chemical for wastewater treatment.

FAQs on Sodium Hypochlorite Formula

1.  What is the NaClO Compound Name?

Ans- NaClO is the chemical formula for sodium hypochlorite.

2. What is the Common Name of Sodium Hypochlorite?

Ans- The common name of sodium hypochlorite is antiformin.

3. What is the Acidity or pKa Value of the Compound Sodium Hypochlorite?

Ans- The acidity or pKa value of the compound is 7.5185.