Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl): What’s That Smell?

When using our MEDI+KURIN HOCl products, the faint chlorine scent actually means the solution is working!

A spritz from a HOCl-based disinfectant will bring you back to days spent splashing in a swimming pool– but that doesn’t mean what you’re smelling is anything harmful.

A natural by-product: chloramines

When a Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) disinfectant is sprayed onto a surface, a chemical reaction between HOCl and the proteins in a germ’s cell membrane will form chloramines. This chemical by-product releases a smell similar to a swimming pool or bleach. Overtime, as the acid breaks down more and more proteins of cell membranes, this harmless smell will wear off.

Which means, the more frequently you use the disinfectant, the less germs will exist on surfaces, and less chlorine smell will be produced.

And, no, it’s not chlorine gas.

ChloramineChlorine gas
How is it formed? When MEDI+KURIN’s Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) solution reacts with protein in germ cell membranes.Produced as a gas in the electrolysis of sodium chloride. 
Is it harmful to be inhaled? NoYes

So, worry not!

MEDI+KURIN’s Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) products are safe to be inhaled, as the faint chlorine scent you smell is just a harmless chemical by-product, called chloramine. It is NOT a result of bleach. So, rest assured, the more you use it, the less of the smell will come out as there will be less germs to react with HOCl.


“It’s Elemental.” It’s Elemental – The Element Chlorine. Accessed July 6, 2020. https://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele017.html.