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Scientific Explanation help

Shouden

When in doubt: C4
This is here, because I'm mostly just curious but:

I was thinking back to a Mythbusters episode where they ended up putting Bleach into the oil of an engine and pretty much fried it. I am thinking that the main reason why this would happen is that the bleach would simply render the oil ineffective in keeping the engine parts from rubbing, and thus would generate a lot of heat and friction and you'd get a first hand lesson in why oil is there in the first place.

I would assume that the Bleach would make the oil very runny and it would also burn the oil off pretty fast (as bleach is an oxidizer)

Anyways, just wondering if my explanation is correct.
 

Smelge

Hey, Assbutt
Failing that, I would have thought the bleach would seperate the components of the oil, making it pretty much useless, as well as the bleach itself gumming the engine up and burning.
 

Shouden

When in doubt: C4
lol Well, at least we all agree that bleach is bad for an engine. But, I would agree with Void as to why: simply making the oil useless.
 

Smelge

Hey, Assbutt
Well, not just making the oil useless. I'm pretty sure that as bleach dries it goes all crusty, so that in the moving parts would cause upset, so it'll be a combination. A tag-team effort. Sloppy seconds.
 

Roose Hurro

Lovable Curmudgeon
Banned
Pure and simple, bleach is not a lubricant... it's a corrosive. So, you are not only diluting the oil, you are doing direct corrosive damage to lubricated engine parts, due to the clorine in bleach. Oh, little experiment? Get yourself some bleach and some motor oil, and mix the two. Then, you'll see what happens when bleach and oil mix...
 

Smelge

Hey, Assbutt
No. No explosions.

I had to add fertiliser and Potassium Nitrate to get it to explode.
 

blackfuredfox

is a Gunnery Sergeant now.
god this reminds me of something so funny that happened at my former place of employment. so one day this aircraft pilot comes in with his Aveo after some over the phone advice from a few of my superiors. his car had either antifreeze or washer fluid mixed with the oil, and at least a few gallons inside the engine. needless to say it wouldn't work but this idiot tried to drive it anyway and did. when he got to the shop he was pissed and wanted us to give him a new car. he said my boss told him to do it when he didn't. of all places though really, we got the oil out and the shit looked like melted cheese burned around the edges with the density of milk.
 

Kommodore

well what is it?
Bleach is nasty stuff, awesome stuff, but nasty still. AFAIK it probably oxidized the shit out of the engine, corroding and completely destroying it. Not to mention the reaction with the oil already there probably made hypochlorous acid, which obviously wouldn't be so good for the engine.

On a separate note I remember reading on the back of a bleach container once on how to properly clean up an area contaminated with HIV infested blood. Anything than needs to be diluted first before disinfecting an area by denaturing the proteins is made of win and awesome in my book.
 

dietrc70

Active Member
bleach is usually 3-6% NaOCl (sodium hypochlorite) dissolved in water.

It sounds like a very dumb thing to put in an engine. There is so much hydrocarbon junk in oil that I can't begin to imagine all the stuff it would wind up reacting with. I would expect that it would do a good job of ruining the piston rings and corroding everything.
 

lilEmber

Small Dragon
Wow, good job everybody on using the basics of wiki.

The real reason isn't because of what bleach is, it's what it isn't; it's not a lubricant, and it's not combustible, putting it in a combustion engine isn't going to work, just like if you put anything in there that isn't a lubricant or combustible, such as too much water or milk.

It's not the bleach, its the absence of oil (if put in the oil); if it's put in the fuel then its the absence of a vapor because unlike fuel it doesn't turn into one, as well it keeps it form combustion and getting the proper air mixture.
 

CaptainCool

Lady of the lake
Wow, good job everybody on using the basics of wiki.

The real reason isn't because of what bleach is, it's what it isn't; it's not a lubricant, and it's not combustible, putting it in a combustion engine isn't going to work, just like if you put anything in there that isn't a lubricant or combustible, such as too much water or milk.

It's not the bleach, its the absence of oil (if put in the oil); if it's put in the fuel then its the absence of a vapor because unlike fuel it doesn't turn into one, as well it keeps it form combustion and getting the proper air mixture.

pretty much this + the wiki basics^^
bleach fucks up everything. the oil and the engine itself. combine that with the fact that its not combustible and you have one F'ed up engine :p
 

Roose Hurro

Lovable Curmudgeon
Banned
Mythbusters quote:

Bleach: car eventually cut out. The bleach also rusted up the gas tank.

plausible

Well, this was bleach in the gas tank, not bleach in the crankcase... couldn't find anything on the effects of bleach on motor oil.

Might want to ask these people:

http://www.performanceoiltechnology.com/


Ahhh! did a little more digging, and found this Mythbusters quote:

Car Caper 6: Bleach in Oil

Will putting bleach in the motor ruin the engine? After placing bleach in with the motor oil, the engine smokes and overheats much to the twisted joy of the Mythbusters.


Myth Confirmed.
 
T

Tycho

Guest
Destroying the ability of the oil to lubricate is the only thing I remember them saying about that "bleach in the crankcase" myth.

Pure and simple, bleach is not a lubricant... it's a corrosive. So, you are not only diluting the oil, you are doing direct corrosive damage to lubricated engine parts, due to the clorine in bleach. Oh, little experiment? Get yourself some bleach and some motor oil, and mix the two. Then, you'll see what happens when bleach and oil mix...

Bleach and motor oil?

I think you're thinking of bleach and brake fluid.
 
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