Potassium hypochlorite

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Structural formula
K + ion     Hypochlorite
Surname Potassium hypochlorite
other names

Javel water (aqueous solution)

Molecular formula KClO
Brief description

only stable in aqueous solution

External identifiers / databases
CAS number 7778-66-7
EC number 231-909-2
ECHA InfoCard 100.029.008
PubChem 23665762
Wikidata Q1722304
Molar mass 90.55 g mol −1

miscible with water

safety instructions
GHS labeling of hazardous substances

for the aqueous KClO solution

05 - Corrosive 09 - Dangerous for the environment


H and P phrases H: 314-400
EUH: 031
P: ?
As far as possible and customary, SI units are used. Unless otherwise noted, the data given apply to standard conditions .

Potassium hypochlorite ( KClO ) is the potassium salt of hypochlorous acid (hypochlorous acid).

Extraction and presentation

It is produced by introducing chlorine gas into potassium hydroxide solution or by electrolysis of a potassium chloride solution.

When the concentrated solution cools to −10 ° C, crystalline hydrate separates out, which is very reactive and has a fire-promoting effect.


Potassium hypochlorite can only be stored in an aqueous solution and in this form has a yellow-green color. The aqueous solution has a strongly alkaline reaction. The compound decomposes on heating, liberating chlorine compounds such as hydrogen chloride.


Diluted solutions are sold as Eau de Javel ( Javel water ). These are used for bleaching , oxidizing or, because of its antimicrobial effect, for disinfecting . It is also used to detoxify wastewater containing cyanide.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Entry on potassium hypochlorite solution with active chlorine in the GESTIS substance database of the IFA , accessed on September 11, 2015 (JavaScript required)