Explain this 12% SH thing

I did the math, a case of four 12% pool shock cost me 3.65/gallon today. I can get a gallon of 6% from the dollar store for about $1.70. Used it with my Xjet, works fine.

I guess if you don’t want to carry around gallons of bleach around it makes sense, but frankly I don’t see the savings, especially if downstreamers have to dilute with water anyway.

You can get 12.5% much cheaper. I’ve heard as cheap as $1.50 although $2-$2.50 is more realistic. Lower concentration is fine its just inefficient as your volume grows.


[insert eyeroll gif here]

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If you think your time is worth that little then go ahead

What happened to this being a place for professional cleaners. Am I missing something here? Is this why Will and Brodie left. I see the craziest stuff on here lately.


Is my question crazy or the replies? I posted this in the ‘newbie’ section because…I’m new. Just not the cleaning profession in general.

Where are you guys getting it for $2/gallon? I got the case today from a local pool supply. Seems I’m not the only one, she said another established company comes in once a month and buys 20 cases.

In middle TN I can get bleach from the power wash store for 2.73 per gallon (Very bad, but its TN). Are you buying by the bottle for both or are you filling your tank from a larger supply with 12%? One of the main reasons for buying 12% past getting a hotter mix is the bleach tends to be fresher, therefore it’s more powerful and it lasts longer. Dollar stores are not well known for keeping items on the shelf up to date so your real SH % might be far lower.

Id recommend mixing a 50/50 mix with the dollar store bleach then a 1:4 with the 12.5% and then testing side by side on a house. I’m willing to bet the 12.5 will out preform the 6% by a very large margin.

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Ok that makes sense, fresher SH. I’ll try it with the ‘beige’ proportioner on my Xjet and go from there.

I apologize for the sarcasm last night. I was just surprised that you haven’t figured this out already; seems like you’ve been here for a little while now. That’s a compliment, not a dig, btw.

As others have mentioned: freshness, strength, convenience, overall cost.

You can buy it in bulk as opposed to gallon jugs.

If you find the right supplier, it will work out much cheaper in the long run than buying at the dollar store.

You can carry more of it and do more with less chemical. This means space, weight, and time savings.

If you downstream instead of xjet, you will get better, quicker results. Some dollar store bleach isn’t strong enough to downstream effectively, especially with a larger machine that has a lower draw ratio. I know that fresh 6% downstreamed straight with my 5.5 gpm machine and hi-draw injector is just barely adequate for housewashing, and provides slower than desired results for me.


I think your just seeing the results of a huge grown in this field nation wide. Pressure washing companies are becoming as common as lawn services


Look for a chemical supplier, not a pool supplier. I pay 1.68 plus tax for 12.5%

That’s ok, I appreciate all the info you guys give me.

lets say I wanted to do a roof and complete house wash. I’m going to use about 25-30 gallons of 12%. that is 50-60 gallons of 6% needed on hand. You are getting by using 6% but at twice the draw rate that Im using 12%.

That will work fine if you have an easy job and all day to do it. If you have some nasty stucco, you need a stronger mix. Your recipe won’t work. And you’ll need ten times as much SH, so the small differences become more significant.

Moreover, the added hassle of the Xjet is going to make the whole job take longer. You could be spending that time doing another job, so you are losing money. If you are doing 3 houses a month, who cares if you spend an extra half hour dragging around an xjet hose? If you are doing 3 houses a day, that becomes very real.

And, as you mentioned, there are logistical problems. If you need 4 gallons of bleach from the dollar store it will be heavy and kind of annoying. If you need 40 gallons of bleach, you’ll have to go to 3 different stores and bring a hand truck. Then you have to pour out 40 bottles. And figure out what to do with the 40 empty bottles.

And @Dans_Pressure is right about the 6% not really being 6%.

There’s nothing wrong with dollar store bleach if that is what works best for your business. But as you get busy, it becomes less practical.

You sound like you are defending dollar store bleach. Why are you reluctant to use the good stuff?


I’m not defending it at all, I was trying to determine the economics of it as 12% here is $3.60 a bottle. As you all pointed out, household bleach may not be as effective.

Keep in mind too, if I’m asking questions like this, just assume I don’t have the $15,000 washing setup with belt drive 5.5, downstreamer, hose reels and chem tank.

Similar to the gun boards, if a guy asks which Uncle Mike’s holster to use, we naturally assume he doesn’t have a $6,000 race gun.:+1:

I pay $3.60 per gal, but i buy enough to get me through the week ahead. I could get it for $1 less if i bought in bulk but it would take me too long to run through it at times.

Normal house wash im using between 2-3 gal of SH… that is roughly $9 per house.

Wal Mart doesnt carry 8.25% anymore, that 6% is about $2.00. There is no way id spend less than $15 per house.

At least try and find it somewhere that sells in 2.5 or 5 gallon jugs. That’s way more convenient than the gallon bottles.

That’s my misery, up here in VT. I would need to drive at least 45 minutes to get larger quantities at a somewhat reasonable price. When I start needing 25+ gallons per week, then that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.

Which raises the question that should’ve been asked from the start: where are you located?

Fresh 12.5 is likely to be higher percentage. You definitely can find it cheaper than $3.60 a gallon. You need to find a chemical supply house. You don’t need to do this to start but as you build volume it’ll save you money!


Home Depot has 8.25 bleach. That’s what I’m using now. Once spring gets here I’ll start buying drum 12 1/2 bleach. It’s $215.00 per drum here but still makes more sense than having jugs every where plus when I cut it it still winds up costing less

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Ding ding ding… we have a winner.