Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

myStain™ iPhone App

myStain app

myStain™ iPhone App

With the Clorox® myStain™ App you'll have a library of tips and tricks to eliminate stains at home and on-the-go.


Got a tough stain?

Ask Dr. Laundry A Question

* indicates required fields

Dr. Laundry

Using Bleach to Remove Dark Urine Stains on Carpet

April 20, 2017

Q. When we removed carpet pet urine stains, they were dark in places. Wonder if bleach can be used? —Sherry A. Hi Sherry; Do you know if your carpet is a synthetic (nylon, olefin/polypropylene, polyester) or if it is wool? If it is wool, call a carpet cleaning service sooner… Read More

Can I Add Clorox to the Steam Cleaner I Rented?

April 20, 2017

Q. Can I add Clorox to the steam cleaner I rented? —Anonymous A. Hi There! I know you can mix up a bleach and water solution for a power washer, but I am not so sure about steam cleaners. I have never tried it. It would be especially problematic if… Read More

Removing Lemon Water Spots Out of Drinking Glasses

April 20, 2017

Q. How do I get lemon water spots out of drinking glasses? —Roderick A. Hi Roderick; This is something I haven’t heard of before. Usually people ask about residue left behind by automatic dishwashing detergents. They tend to leave more spots on glassware because the formulations no longer include phosphates. Read More

Removing Cheese Puff Dust on White Shirt and Suede Shoes

April 14, 2017

Q: I got some puke stains of a certain cheese puff snack on a white shirt and suede leather shoes the other night when I drank too much vodka. Any advice on how to clean them? Thanks, Sami A: Hi Sami; Typically, vomit stains that are predominantly stomach acid are… Read More

Nail Polish Stains on Corduroy Pants

January 25, 2017

Q: How do I get nail polish out of my corduroy pants? —Susan A: Hi Susan, I wish I had a solid recommendation for you, but in my experience, nail polish stains on fabric are generally permanent. Lots of websites recommend using nail polish remover to blot away nail polish… Read More

Removing Bled Dye from White Cotton Terrycloth Robe

January 25, 2017

Q: I washed plaid cotton blend (navy blue and white) with white cotton terrycloth robe. Now have pale blue blotches on robe. Thx for any help you can give me? —April UPDATE: Hi Dr. Laundry, I tried your remedy for my blue splotched bathrobe. Worked perfectly, didn’t have to repeat. Read More

Can I Use Clorox2 On Silk?

November 1, 2015

Q: Can I use Clorox2 on silk?   A: This is a simple question that actually benefits from a somewhat involved answer.  Usually, any garment or fabric that can be safely washed with detergent can also be washed with Clorox2®.  But I hesitate to say that this applies to… Read More

Outdoor Mold & Mildew

April 22, 2015

We love our home, a 95 year old bungalow with a stucco exterior and beautiful old-glass windows.  What I don’t love is how every winter the north-facing front of the house gets no sun!  It’s the perfect environment for mold and mildew to develop, especially the areas with no protection… Read More

Sanitizing the Washing Machine

November 1, 2013

How can I sanitize my washing machine?    To sanitize your clothes washer, you can run a clean-out cycle while the washer is empty.  If your washer doesn’t have a specific clean-out cycle, you may perform this function manually. Remember: do not put laundry in the washer. Use hot… Read More

Removing Stains from the Washing Machine

October 2, 2013

I washed my colored clothing together and now a few items have black color patches on them. Is there any way to remove those black patches? When the color is only in a few places, it usually means the black color bled directly onto the other items, probably while… Read More

Sanitizing Dishes Using Bleach

August 30, 2013

How do I sanitize my dishes using bleach?  This is a great question.  The correct procedure for sanitizing dishes with Clorox® Regular-Bleach is to first wash and rinse dishes, glassware, and utensils. After washing, soak for at least 2 minutes in a solution of 2 teaspoons of bleach per 1… Read More

Using bleach to sanitize sippy cups

January 18, 2013

Is it safe to use bleach to sanitize sippy cups and straws?You CAN safely use a bleach solution to sanitize sippy cups! To make the bleach solution, add 1 Tablespoon Clorox® Regular-Bleach to 1 gallon of water. To sanitize the sippy cups, disassemble all the different parts (mouthpiece, lid,straws,… Read More

Mopping Floors with Bleach

January 4, 2013

Q: Bleach sometimes affects my asthma when I clean with it; how much liquid bleach do you recommend when mopping floors? A: You probably know this, but it’s always good to clarify: Clorox® Regular-Bleach should always be diluted when used—we never recommend using it full strength for cleaning any hard… Read More

Clorox® Washing Machine Cleaner with a septic tank

October 26, 2012

Can using Clorox® Washing Machine Cleaner affect my septic system? I have good news for you: Clorox® Washing Machine Cleaner can be safely used to clean clothes washers that drain into septic systems–septic tank operation is not affected by regular home use of the product. Additionally, when used as directed,… Read More

Sanitizing clothing and bedding after the flu

August 20, 2012

My son has just recovered from the flu. Is it important to sanitize his bedding to prevent spreading the germs around the house or if a generic wash with detergent alone will do the trick? After the flu, it is important to take the time to sanitize sheets, pillowcases, towels… Read More

Happy Leap Second Day!

June 30, 2012

Did you know that today, June 30, 2012, we get an extra second in our day? Really! Today everyone gets an extra second to do anything they want. Check out the video below for some ideas on how to put the extra second to use. If after watching the video… Read More

How to disinfect canine parvovirus on hard wood floors

May 23, 2012

My puppy came down with parvo. Can I use Clorox® on pine wood floors?Regarding your wood floor, as long as it has a finish (in good condition) on it that effectively makes it a hard non-porous surface, a singular bleach treatment should be OK.  Even so, you should still test… Read More

Disinfecting After Ring Worm

March 14, 2012

Q:  How do I treat laundry after a ring worm infestation?A:  That’s too bad about the ringworm!  To disinfect white or safely bleachable colored laundry, wash in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach. For extra-large or heavily soiled laundry, use… Read More

Bleachable Moments by the Numbers

March 13, 2012

I’m sure you have seen or heard about our Bleachable Moments contest where mess survivors like you and me shared more than 21,670 Bleachable Moments stories. I loved seeing that I was not alone in messy moments like potty training toddlers, sick kids, clogged toilets and… well the list goes… Read More

Cleaning an Old Washing Machine

January 25, 2012

Q:  Can I use Clorox® Regular-Bleach in my old washing machine to clean it?A:  This is an interesting question!  My first thought is yes, but your washer is old so it depends on the condition of your machine.  If enamel or metal surfaces inside the washer have been chipped or… Read More

Disinfecting for Pets

January 9, 2012

Q:  Our cat had a nasty virus. After it was resolved I went through and cleaned his litter box area with a Clorox® Regular-Bleach and water solution to get rid of the germs. Once this dries, is it safe for pets? Or should I make an effort to clean any… Read More

Hepatitis A

December 19, 2011

Q:  Will using a Clorox ® Regular-Bleach solution destroy the hepatitis A virus on toilet seats?A: Yes, you can disinfect hard non-porous surfaces (like a plastic toilet seat) with a Clorox Regular-Bleach disinfecting solution as follows:Add 3/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon water.Wipe the surface clean, and then apply the… Read More

Cleaning Heaters with Bleach

December 5, 2011

Q: Why I smell aluminum when I clean my heaters with Clorox® Regular-Bleach?A:  I’m actually not sure!  Are these radiant heaters in an older home, or the registers on the floor or wall of a forced air heating system, or a portable electrical heater?  I suspect that there is some… Read More

Sanitizing Pet Bowls

November 30, 2011

Q:  How much Clorox® Regular-Bleach is needed to sanitize pet bowls?A:  Here’s how to use Clorox® Regular-Bleach to sanitize food and water dishes for pets:Wash the bowl with soap and water.Prepare a bleach solution:  add 1 Tablespoon bleach to 1 gallon of water.Fill the pet dish and wipe down… Read More

Clorox® Washing Machine Cleaner

November 28, 2011

Q:  Can I do laundry after using Clorox® Washing Machine Cleaner?A:  When using Clorox® Washing Machine Cleaner, be sure to always select an extra rinse when you are setting up the cycle.  If your washing machine doesn’t have an optional extra rinse cycle, then you can do this manually by … Read More

Cleaning an In-ground Pool

October 19, 2011

Q:  I have an in-ground pool and was told that putting Clorox® Regular-Bleach in the water would help prevent algae during the winter. Is this true, and if so, how much would I need if my pool holds 33,000 gallons of water?A: There’s a protocol when using Clorox® Regular-Bleach… Read More

Mopping Floors with Bleach

July 18, 2011

Q: Bleach sometimes affects my asthma when I clean with it; how much liquid bleach do you recommend when mopping floors? A: You probably know this, but it’s always good to clarify:  Clorox® Regular-Bleach should always be diluted when used—we never recommend using it full strength for cleaning any hard… Read More

MRSA Prevention

May 26, 2011

When you are cheering for your kids during their soccer matches, gymnastics meets, volleyball games – or whatever sport they love – you are hoping they have a blast and can maybe bring home that special trophy!  However, with all that celebration, and sometimes disappointment, I doubt you are thinking… Read More

Ammonia as a Sanitizing Alternative

May 24, 2011

Q:  I know that bleach will sanitize laundry and washing machines, but I was wondering if household ammonia would also serve this purpose for non-bleachable fabrics. If it can be used as a sanitizing alternative, how much ammonia would I need? I know there are other options like Quats and such,… Read More

National Pet Month

May 11, 2011

Whether you are a pet owner or an animal lover, May is National Pet Month and is a great time to reflect on the special bond people have with their pets.  Three years ago we adopted our yellow lab, Bella, from the local Humane Society and ever since, she has… Read More

Proper Water Temperature for Disinfecting

April 27, 2011

Q: I work for an ambulatory care center and we currently do our own laundry. Our hot water cannot reach 160°F but we use the hottest water possible, and add bleach to all loads. During a recent survey we were told that depending on the temperature of the… Read More

Disinfecting After a Cold or Flu

April 19, 2011

Q: My son has just recovered from the flu, and I was wondering if it is important to disinfect his bedding to prevent spreading the germs around the house or if a generic wash with detergent alone will do the trick.A: After the flu, it is important… Read More

Sanitizing Food Contact Surfaces and Equipment

April 14, 2011

Q: I am working at a facility that is using Clorox® Splash-Less Liquid Gel Bleach as their sanitizer for food contact surfaces & equipment. Why does it appear more sudsy than Clorox® Regular-Bleach?A: While Clorox® Regular-Bleach and Clorox® Splash-Less Liquid Gel Bleach both… Read More

Disinfecting with Non-EPA Certified Products

April 5, 2011

Q: In searching for a method to safely disinfect baby clothes that do not pass the bleachability test, I came across a product online that claims to disinfect and be “safe” to use on colored clothes. However, there is no information regarding this product on the EPA site. Read More

Disinfecting Wooden Floors and Colored Fabrics

March 31, 2011

Q: How do I disinfect my black couch and wooden floors without damaging them?A: As long as the wood flooring has a finish that effectively makes it a hard surface, a singular bleach treatment of a disinfecting solution should not damage the wood; although I would suggest… Read More

Disinfecting Parvovirus from Surfaces

March 18, 2011

Q: I had a dog die from the parvovirus and I was told to bleach everywhere my puppy had been. How many times should I bleach before the virus is gone?A: I am so sorry to hear that your puppy died – how very sad. To kill canine parvovirus on… Read More

Disinfecting Clothing and HE Washer

February 1, 2011

Q. I’m looking for something to run in my HE washer with colors so that any germs are compromised. What do I use? Can’t I just use your regular bleach for HE machines on my colors? I heard I could add it ten minutes into the cycle or something; does… Read More

Cleaning Floors with Bleach

December 2, 2010

Q. I know that you have a lot of replies but I’m really hoping you can help me with this. My father decided to try to clean our floors (marble) with Clorox and water, but I think the mixture might have been slightly too strong. Since the marble floors were… Read More

Shelf Life of Bleach/Water Solutions

November 4, 2010

Q. I found your videos to be a great wealth of information and much appreciated. I was glad to learn that hot water helps disinfect. The CBS program was terrible to not check their facts first. I think I have watched and read every video and/or article, but how long… Read More

Disinfecting Desks with Bleach

August 26, 2010

My boss at the school where I am the janitor wants to use a mild bleach solution to disinfect the children’s’ desks after lunch. She believes that the health organization, which monitors our cleaning, requires that this be done with “Ultra” Clorox. Does Ultra Clorox exist? I cannot find it… Read More

Septic Tanks and Bleach

August 25, 2010

Q. I use bleach in my white wash, but also have a septic tank. I need to be careful about how much bleach I use, so as not to kill the bacteria in the tank. We are a family of four adults, but have occasional invasions of germy little grandchildren. Read More

Water Temperature and Bleach

August 12, 2010

Recently my family was cleaning my grandma’s house. I was using hot water with bleach to wipe things down, thinking I was disinfecting the surfaces. My sister-in-law informed me that when you use hot water with bleach, you deactivate the bleach. I have never heard this before, is this true?… Read More

How to Clean Marble

August 3, 2010

Q. We have tumbled marble tile in our newly renovated master bathroom shower. Can we use Clorox to control the mold/mildew in the shower without damaging the tile? A. Congratulations on surviving a remodel; your bathroom sounds beautiful. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a recommendation for bleach usage on tumbled… Read More

Sanitizing Washing Machines

June 22, 2010

Q. A friend of mine threw up all over a towel of mine and a small rug in the bathroom. In a state of panic, I threw it into the washer not even thinking about the disgusting germs. I have an LG washer with the sanitizing function. I wound up… Read More

myStain: Now there’s an app for that

May 21, 2010

I’m so excited for all you iPhone and iPod Touch owners. Clorox has just released the FREE downloadable myStain mobile app available from the iTunes store. I developed this as both an on-the-go and when-you-get-home stain removal guide and game. In mid-June, Clorox will be introducing myStain for the Android… Read More

Removing Crystallized Bleach

April 6, 2010

Q. Our washing machine has a special port for liquid bleach. Unknown to us, the plastic port cracked, allowing some bleach to enter the housing of the washing machine. Over time, this bleach has rusted portions of the machines housing, as well as crystallizing within the machines. We did not… Read More

Disinfecting Pool Water

February 18, 2010

Q. Knowing the ratio of bleach to cold water that is safe to spray on children’s toys, I thought it would be a good solution for our child’s pool. We have a blow-up pool that holds a little more than 50 gallons. In the summer in Washington, we have two… Read More

Bleaching Bottles

December 31, 2009

Q. I work in a nursery where we soak our bottles in a bleach/water solution after washing them with soap, as per the instructions on the bleach container. What I would like to know is how long can this bleach solution continue to be used before it’s too degraded? A. Read More

Disinfecting Water Fountains

November 18, 2009

Q. I would like to keep the germ content down on desktop fountains. How much Clorox would you recommend I add to a gallon of water which would be used to fill the fountains? A. For the situation that you described, I would try the following: You need to… Read More

Cleaning Your Washer With Bleach

November 3, 2009

Hello there, As I’ve said many times before on this blog, one of the reasons to use liquid bleach in your white loads is to get the best cleaning, whitest whites and kill unwanted germs so they can’t be transferred to other clothes. I came across a clip recently that… Read More

Sanitizing With Bleach

October 1, 2009

Q. I use Clorox to sanitize surfaces in a sick person’s room—mostly items that she will touch, such as the toilet, the rails on the bed, door handles etc. We are trying to use the bleach in a spray bottle mixed with water. The purpose is to kill C. Diff… Read More

Sanitizing Pet Food and Water Bowls

September 22, 2009

Q. I travel a lot for my job, so I have automatic feeders for my cats, along with an automatic water dispenser that I keep filled for them outside. The problem is that by the time I get back home, the inside of their water jug and bowl that it… Read More

Several Clorox Products Effective Against h1n1 (Swine) Flu

May 4, 2009

The Clorox Company is working closely with public health organizations to support their efforts to educate people about protecting themselves from swine flu and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has advised Clorox that disinfectants effective against Influenza A are also effective against the 2009 H1N1 flu virus (swine flu). The… Read More

Cleaning Your Washer With Bleach

April 14, 2009

Q. My frontload washer recommends cleaning the rubber tubing, as well as the inside of the washer, with chlorine bleach. Is this different from Clorox® Regular-Bleach1? A. The new HE frontloaders are wonderful for saving energy/dollars, but can develop an odor problem from unremoved water that settles in the… Read More

Disinfecting the Home with Bleach

April 2, 2009

Q. I would like to know if your Clorox cleaner with bleach would kill C. Diff (Clostridium difficile)? My mother-in-law was diagnosed with C. Diff, and the family wants to know what to use to clean the house. I have read that only bleach will kill the germs. Could you… Read More

Holiday Stains, Part 1

December 23, 2008

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! I am taking the next week-plus off, so I wanted to personally express my thanks for your helping to make the Dr. Laundry blog a sought out resource for laundry questions and answers. Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful Holiday Season. With all the bad news and hard times,… Read More

Holiday Stains, Part 2

December 23, 2008

Continuing with my Holiday Stain solutions… COFFEE MAY HAVE A GREAT AROMA, BUT COFFEE STAINS HAVE… Extra cream and sugar that make it a complex stain to successfully treat. Do not use bar soap as it may set the stain and make it much more difficult to remove. FROM… Read More

“Mouthwash” for High-Efficiency Washers

October 8, 2008

Greetings Stainers, Dr. Laundry here with a question for you. When was the last time you used bleach in the laundry? If it’s been a while, there’s a good chance your washing machine is emitting a musty or stale odor, especially if you have a high-efficiency machine. As many of… Read More

How to Clean Granite Countertops

September 17, 2008

Q: I’m still not sure if any of your products are safe for granite kitchen countertops. While our granite was sealed upon installation (as all granite is!), it has not been done in four years — and our granite expert tells us it’s still fine. We do not… Read More

To Bleach or Not To Bleach: Colored vs. White Sheets

September 4, 2008

Q: I am in college to become a Massage Therapist. One of my instructors said that we could not use colored sheets and towels because color safe bleach did not disinfect them. Please let me no if this is true or not. I will pass this info on… Read More

Your Questions: Bleach for Dishes

March 20, 2008

Q: I work at a restaurant sometimes doing dishes. The health department says that the dishes should be washed in hot soapy water, then rinsed in hot water, then rinsed in a cold water solution with 1 tablespoon of bleach per 3 gal water. I’ve heard that too… Read More

Handbags Beware

December 15, 2007

So in keeping with things to avoid for the holidays, I’ve talked about those tough holiday stains and how you can find some great solutions on my toll-free Holiday Stain Hotline: 1-877-STAIN-411 (877-782-4641). Then, I talked about avoiding cold and flu germs. Today, it’s another thought provoking item that came… Read More

Your Questions: Bleach and Septic Tanks

September 14, 2007

Q: I just built a mountain house which has a septic tank – my first – so I’m not knowledgeable about what to and not to use. I use Clorox Ultimate Care – about ¼ capful. Is this dangerous to break down otherwise needed septic bacteria?A: Congrats on… Read More

My Summer Stain Hotline

May 17, 2007

The days are getting longer; the temperature is rising, cherries are ready to pick and I find myself spending more time gazing out the window at work. It must mean summer is just around the corner.Summertime and the staining is way to EASY!!!Summertime means a whole new set of stains… Read More

Top 5 Germ Hot Spots in the Home

December 7, 2006

As we’re in full swing of holiday season, it is tough to find the time to clean house! You should be all caught up from the Thanksgiving laundry. Luckily, doing a top-to-bottom home cleaning may not be needed but you should always concentrate on a handful of spots that contain… Read More

Germs in the Laundry

November 7, 2006

With the cold and flu season starting up, everyone starts asking germ questions. A familiar one is about germs in the laundry; what’s killed and what’s left. So I pulled out some published research that I thought would be helpful.The best was a study conducted by Dr Chuck Gerba at… Read More

Preparing for Flu Season

October 17, 2006

Autumn is here; a season of cooler weather and falling leaves (some parts of the country more than others, of course). In fact, I was up in Lake Tahoe last weekend and even encountered the first snow of the season!As we are all acutely aware, autumn is unfortunately also the… Read More