However, if diluted with tap or other water, the stable commercial products will hydrolize and decompose rapidly. Decomposition will be accelerated by higher temperatures and impurities, especially by heavy metals such as iron, copper and manganese. It is, therefore, advisable to store peracetic acid under cool conditions and, if dilution is necessary, to dilute it with appropriate water only immediately before the application. During decomposition oxygen gas is formed. Often this reaction is responsible for the loss in content of insufficiently stabilized peracetic acid.
The hydrolysis of peracetic acid occurs whenever peracetic acid solutions are diluted. Acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide are the products of this hydrolysis. With any dilution of commercially available peracetic acid, a new equilibrium between peracetic acid, acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide and water will be established. Those products are neither storable nor transportable.