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Sodium hypochlorite is an unstable compound composed of sodium and hypochlorite ions. It is stable in solution, though. It is light green and has the chemical formula NaClO (or NaOCl). It is a strong oxidizing agent. It is used to disinfect (kill bacteria) and as a bleach to remove stains from clothing. It is not good for cotton because the sodium hydroxide normally contained eats away the clothing fibers. It reacts with acids to produce chlorine.