Does bleach react with aluminum foil?

“Yes, bleach reacts with aluminum foil. The aluminum foil gets corroded by bleach.”

Have you ever accidentally washed aluminum utensils or equipment with bleach? If yes, you might have noticed that the surface of aluminum utensil turns black or get darken. This is due to the corrosion of aluminum because of bleach.

Let’s first understand the properties of bleach and aluminum.

What is bleach and its properties?

Bleach is a bleaching agent extensively used in detergents for whitening. Bleach mainly consists of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl). The bleach used for domestic purpose contains 5% sodium hypochlorite due to which it has pH around 12. Therefore, it is a strong base.

What is aluminum and its properties?

Aluminum is a silvery-white material commonly used to making cooking utensils. Aluminum is not stable at a high pH level. They react with alkalis to form aluminates along with hydrogen gas. For example, aluminum reacts with sodium hydroxide to form sodium tetrahydroxoaluminate and hydrogen gas.

2Al (s) + 2NaOH (aq) + 6H2O → 2Na(aq) + 2[Al(OH)4] + 3H(g)

Reaction of aluminum with bleach

Whenever aluminum comes in contact with bleach, it starts to corrode. This is not an instantaneous reaction but after sometime bleach will change the color of the aluminum. The aluminum surface will get darken. Due to the high pH value of bleach, the aluminum oxide layer present on the utensil surface gets damaged and it loses its silvery shine and turns black.

Here is an interesting video that shows the corrosion of aluminum foil in bleach.

Therefore, in order to prevent the damage of aluminium utensils, avoid the usage of bleach. To clean aluminum utensils. You can refer to this article for natural aluminium cleaners.

Professor Atom

View posts by Professor Atom
Professor Atom is a science enthusiast and alumni of IIT Bombay. According to him, every question can be solved with curiosity and mind mapping. ( Curiosity = Asking Questions = Learning )

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