Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

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Dr. Laundry

Removing Yellow Splotches from a White Silk Blouse

April 20, 2017

Q. I have a white silk blouse that got bleach on it and now has yellow splotches all over. Is there any way to get this out? —Claudia A. Hi Claudia; I wish I had better news for you, but the discoloration is permanent. Silk (along with wool, mohair, leather… Read More

Removing Tough Stains from Dish Towels

April 20, 2017

Q. My dish towels and cloths can become quite stained from cooking, etc. What can I use to get them really clean? I have been using other detergents, but they do not come spot-free. —Romain A. Hi Romain; Dish towels definitely are a cleaning and whitening challenge given all the… Read More

Removing Crayon from Colored Clothing

April 20, 2017

Q. I still don’t know how to remove crayon from colored clothes. Help! —Jayvon A. Hi There; That’s a really old post-written 10 years ago by the first Dr. Laundry, who retired in 2010. Did you try any of his suggestions? I take a little different approach with crayon stains… Read More

Removing Dried, Set-In Ink Stains from a White Comforter

April 14, 2017

Q: I washed my bedding and went to dry it. Little did I know there was a pen in the dryer! The pen melted and got ink all over my bedding. My pillowcases came out unharmed, but my sheets and comforter did not, unfortunately. My comforter is white, so I… Read More

Removing an Already-Washed Sloppy Joe Stain

April 14, 2017

Q: How do I get a Sloppy Joe stain out of my shirt that’s already been washed? Lindsay A: Hi Lindsay; This is a great question, and very timely given how many Sloppy Joes get eaten while people watch football playoff games and the Super Bowl! It sounds like you’ve… 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

A Denim State of Mind

January 25, 2017

If you love denim as much as I do, 2017 is off to a great start now that denim is the Official State Fabric of California! It all started when AB501 (hmmm… “501,” that’s clever) was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in… 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

Is There Another Way to Sanitize Linens?

August 11, 2016

Q: I would like to sanitize some sheets & blankets that are multi-colored. I was thinking of using bleach in my HE washer with regular detergent, but I don’t want to ruin them. How can I test them first to make sure they won’t be ruined? It’s not a question… Read More

How To Remove Food Oil From White Shirts?

April 30, 2016

Q: How to remove food oil from white shirts? A: Sure, I can help you with getting food oil stains off your white shirts!  One of the best things to use for cooking oil is actually liquid dishwashing detergent (the kind you use for hand washing dishes) because it is… 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

Tips to Get The Best Benefits From Bleach

October 29, 2015

Q: Clorox bleach turned some of my white clothes yellow. Is there a way to revert them back to white? A: There are so many good reasons to add Clorox® Regular-Bleach to a load of bleachable whites: sanitization, and better cleaning and whitening than you… Read More

How To Wash Jeans and Help Prevent Fading

January 23, 2015

Have you been thinking that the New Year is the perfect excuse to shop for a new pair of denim blue jeans? Sure, you probably love your new jeans, at least until you’ve worn them a few times and need to wash them. Then it’s the same old problem: getting… Read More

Issues with your washer’s bleach dispenser?

November 18, 2014

Q:  My washing machine has a bleach dispenser and I washed all of my whites and put in about ½ of a cup. They came out fine, but I had a load of towels to wash afterwards. They came out with bleach stains all over them. So my question is,… Read More

How to remove stains from polyester garments

October 20, 2014

  Q: My hubby gets food stains on these shirts, and I have been using “De Solv It” spray.  I have now noticed that his two white shirts have picked up all-over shadowy like stains.  How can I get rid of these?     A:  To restore shirts if they… Read More

College Laundry Tips

July 22, 2014

Chances are lots of college-bound freshmen are asking for a new computer to take to school this Fall.  But there’s something even more important than a new lap top for back-to-school–a laundry basket full of all the essential supplies a student will need to do the laundry at college, of… Read More

Using Vinegar in Laundry

December 20, 2013

When should I use white vinegar on laundry? To remove stains? On towels? Should I ever use it?   I generally limit recommending vinegar for use in laundry to using it as a soak to remove crusty build-up on towels. This problem is usually experienced by people who have hard… Read More

The Difference Between Color Safe and Non-Color Safe Bleach

November 20, 2013

Can you tell me the difference between color safe and non-color safe bleach?   The bleach active in Clorox® Regular-Bleach is sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl). This is the bleach that people sometimes refer to as “chlorine bleach” (even though the active is hypochlorite, not chlorine). It can be safely used… Read More

Bleaching Small Items

October 4, 2013

How do I bleach shoestrings?? To whiten shoelaces like the cotton ones on athletic shoes and sneakers, you can try soaking them in a solution of 3 tablespoons Clorox® Regular-Bleach added to 1 gallon of water. Start by putting the shoelaces in a lingerie bag. This will prevent… Read More

Using Bleach for the First Time

September 30, 2013

I am new to using bleach as it makes me really nervous. If anything in the laundry is off-white or colored, is it still OK to use bleach? People are often surprised to learn that many colored items can be safely laundered with Clorox® Regular-Bleach when used as directed. Read More

Making sure you dilute bleach

August 7, 2013

My bleach is leaving lined white residue when left on surfaces. What can I do to solve it? It sounds like you may be pouring undiluted bleach directly onto a surface, which we actually recommend against. Bleach should always be diluted with water first before use—it should never be… Read More

Using high efficiency bleach

February 4, 2013

Do I have to use Clorox® High Efficiency Bleach in my HE washer or can I also use Clorox® Regular-Bleach? This is a great question! How long have you had your HE washer? It’s great that you are making sure whatever laundry products you use in it are appropriate. You… Read More

Clorox2® in Bleach Dispenser

January 9, 2013

Can I put Clorox2® in my LG washing machine bleach dispenser?The bleach dispenser on your clothes washer should only be used for regular household bleach (i.e. Clorox® Regular-Bleach). That’s because the clothes washer will delay flushing the compartment into the washer until later in the cycle. For best results, Clorox2®… Read More

How to wash dark denim

October 5, 2012

How do I wash out excess dye from denim so that it doesn’t rub off on everything? It’s always a good idea with new denim to wash the item separately for the first few washes since denim tends to bleed into wash water. Even after several washes, always be sure… Read More

Separating whites, mediums and darks

October 3, 2012

I am a clothes hound college student that is just now learning I need to take better care of these clothes! I ALWAYS separate my colors; whites, mediums, & darks, but I was wondering should I be dividing my mediums? My medium colors consist of anything and everything that isn’t… Read More

Removing melted crayons

September 5, 2012

It doesn’t matter whether a crayon melted in the pocket of a sweatshirt left in the hot car or accidentally went through a hot dryer—you have quite a problem to deal with. Crayons have a waxy component that doesn’t break up in a detergent and water solution–that’s why these stains… Read More

Summer time is coming to a close…

August 27, 2012

With summer coming to a close, not only is it time to put away your summer whites, it’s also back to school season! During the next few weeks, we will feature some tips on how to best prepare for the end of summer and some of those pesky back-to-school stains. Read More

Best times to use bleach in the wash

August 15, 2012

Generally, if your machine has a bleach dispenser, it is a good idea to use it. On some models, the dispenser automatically delays the addition of bleach, which is our “for best results” addition method. Dispensers that do not delay addition, conveniently add the bleach in a method that avoids direct… Read More

What is the “bleachability” test?

August 3, 2012

Many people don’t know, but you may actually be able to use Clorox® Regular-Bleach to safely wash some colored clothes provided they are colorfast to bleach and don’t contain any spandex. To check if clothes can be bleached, we have our “bleachability” test. Test clothes as follows: • Mix… Read More

Clorox Bleach and water temperature

June 14, 2012

Does Clorox work in cold water?Yes, Clorox® Regular-Bleach is effective in all different temperatures of wash water, including cold. Reducing wash temperature is a great way to save energy and important for protecting our planet, but it’s important to note that there is also a performance trade off. Lower… Read More

Keeping White Shirts White

March 9, 2012

Q:  Many of my white button-down shirts within time tend to turn slightly off-white, yellowish.  I’ve tried washing with bleach but it doesn’t help.  What should I do?A:  This is a question I get a lot, and it deserves a long answer.  I wish I knew a little more about… Read More

What Does “Non-Chlorine Bleach Only” Mean?

February 10, 2012

Q:  My white t-shirt tag recommends the use of non-chlorine bleach only. I have Clorox® Regular-Bleach, do I need Clorox2® instead?A:  That’s good you are looking at the care label in your shirt! It should also contain information on what the shirt is made of, but sometimes that information is… Read More

“Killing” Scabies

February 8, 2012

Q:  Does disinfecting with Clorox® Regular-Bleach “kill” scabies?A:  Clorox® Regular-Bleach is an EPA registered disinfectant, and any bacteria, fungus, or virus that we can state efficacy for (aka the ability to kill it when the product is used as directed) must be listed as part of the EPA registration. … Read More

Don’t Stress the Smears and Smudges This Valentine’s Day

February 7, 2012

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, and when I looked at the calendar this morning I realized it really is right around the corner! However you spend it, your Valentine’s Day is bound to be full of love, smooches and boxes of chocolate. But we all know that… Read More

Adding Extra Bleach in Rinse Cycle

February 3, 2012

Q:  Are there any health/fire/safety risks associated with adding bleach to the rinse cycle (when already used in the wash cycle) to whiten dingy cleaning rags?A:  Thanks for sending in your question — it’s a very interesting one!  There’s no fire risk with Clorox® Regular-Bleach.  From the product’s Material… Read More

Ammonia and Bleach

December 26, 2011

Q:  I regularly use ammonia in my laundry, but when the whites won’t come clean I use bleach.  Should I be worried about the ammonia and bleach interacting?A:  Bleach and ammonia should NEVER be mixed since when the two combine, toxic gas is formed that could be fatal.  And it’s… Read More

Clorox2 in Bleach Dispenser

December 7, 2011

Q:  Can I put Clorox2® in my LG washing machine bleach dispenser?A:  The bleach dispenser on your clothes washer should only be used for regular household bleach (i.e. Clorox® Regular-Bleach).  That’s because the clothes washer will delay flushing the compartment into the washer until later in the cycle.  For best… Read More

Sanitizing Colored Laundry

November 23, 2011

Q:  I use bleach to sanitize, as well as whiten, my whites.  How can I sanitize bedding, towels, and underwear that are bright or dark colors?A:  Unfortunately, there are currently no products that disinfect all colored laundry.  Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster contains hydrogen peroxide as its active… Read More

Adding Bleach to Rinse Water

November 18, 2011

Q:  Can I add bleach to the rinse cycle?A: The short answer:  it depends!  If your clothes washer is a traditional top loading deep-fill washer with one rinse cycle, then no, you do not want to add bleach to the rinse cycle because there will be residual bleach left over that… Read More

Soaking a Knitted Shirt

November 14, 2011

Q: I have a knitted shirt that has some stains, how long should I let it soak with out damage?A:  Here’s a quick guide to help:A pre-soak with Clorox® Regular-Bleach:  Use 1/4 cup bleach per gallon of water; fully submerge for 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.  (Note: never use… Read More

H.E. Bleach

November 11, 2011

Q: is it ok to use the high efficiency bleach for H.E. machines in a standard washing machine? I purchased the wrong bleach and want to know if I can use it in my regular machine?A: Good news, you can definitely use HE bleach in a standard washer!  There are… Read More

Neutralizing Rinse

October 17, 2011

Q:  How do I make a neutralizing rinse?A: This is an interesting question – what do you want to rinse?  In general, the rinse cycle that follows the wash cycle, will effectively neutralize a laundry load with bleach.  However, there are times when people are working on fabric projects where… Read More

Ultimate Care Bleach

September 23, 2011

Q:  I would like to wash my fine washables with Clorox® Ultimate Care® Bleach. Do I use it full strength or do I mix it with something so it is not as strong?A:  How you use Clorox® Ultimate Care Bleach depends on your needs for the items you are… Read More

Hurricane Irene: Water Damaged Clothes & Disaster Preparedness

September 2, 2011

Q:  I need some help with clothes flooded in Hurricane Irene, in particular items that cannot go in hot water (delicate fabrics).  How do I handle them?  There is not a lot of mud, but water came reached them and wicked into the fabric.A:  Watching the images on TV of… Read More

Removing Fish Smell from Clothes

August 31, 2011

Q:  How do I get the smell of bait out of my boyfriends’ clothes? A:  Wow—I could really get into this question given that I go fishing every summer.  I would need some more information, though.  What type of fishing does he do—salt or fresh water?  What type of bait… Read More

Cleaning White Spandex

August 19, 2011

Q:  I have a white spandex camisole that’s gotten dingy over the months, how do I wash it? Should I bleach it? Every time I try washing it, it stays just as dingy as when I put it in the washer.A:  White items with spandex are great to wear, but… Read More

Bleach and Colored Clothing

July 27, 2011

Q:  How much Clorox® Regular-Bleach should I use when it comes to colored clothes? And should I add my dark clothes before or after adding Clorox® Regular-Bleach to the water?A:  To bleach colored items, it’s important to check their colorfastness to bleach first, and you can do this easily with… Read More

Using Clorox2® in the Bleach Dispenser

July 11, 2011

Q: My wife put Clorox2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster in the bleach dispenser.  Will that hurt my washer?  If so, what can I do to fix the problem?A: No, Clorox2® will not damage your washer if added in the bleach dispenser.  Your wife, however, should not do this… Read More

Using Washing Machine Cleaner

July 8, 2011

Q:   How should one use Clorox ® Washing Machine Cleaner in a washing machine without a bleach dispenser?A: I am assuming you have a standard deep-fill washer since you don’t have a bleach dispenser.  Begin by selecting a hot water cycle, and start the washer (be sure it is empty). … Read More

Silica in Water plus Bleach

July 6, 2011

Q: We have well water that has high amounts of silica.  This can etch most surfaces.  Is there any special care I should use when using Clorox® Regular-Bleach in my HE machine?A: Regarding the silica in your well water, I think you mean silicate that is dissolved – silica… Read More

When to Add Bleach

June 29, 2011

Q: Is it better to put the bleach in the water with the detergent prior to loading the clothes, or is it better to put the bleach in the designated dispenser? A:  Generally, if your machine has a bleach dispenser, it is a good idea to use it.  On some models,… Read More

Eliminating Bleach Smell from Clothing

June 20, 2011

Q:  How do I get the Clorox® Bleach smell out of my blouse which is made of rayon?A:  To remove a lingering bleach smell from a garment, try a pre-soak with liquid Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster.  Just fill the cap to line 1 and add it to… Read More

Eradicating Underarm Stains

June 17, 2011

Q:   My husband and I recently purchased our first washer and dryer.  With them came some tips on stain removal; however the application instructions were vague.  My husband has some shirts that are stained in the armpit area, I believe due to the combination of his deodorant and perspiration.  The… Read More

Discoloration from Daycare Disinfecting

June 15, 2011

Q:  My children occasionally come home from daycare with discoloration on their clothing.  To disinfect the toys, changing table, etc the daycare uses a gallon jug to 1/4 cup of Clorox® Regular Bleach.  I have questioned the daycare on how they are mixing the solution as it clearly causes a… Read More

White Items with Colored Writing

May 17, 2011

Q:  How do I bleach a mostly white shirt that has colored writing on the breast and back? A:  How the writing is applied to the shirt is important to determine how comfortable you may be bleaching the shirt.  The two most common application methods are either screen print or… Read More

Adding Bleach to a Wash Cycle

April 27, 2011

Q:  Why is it best to add the bleach after the wash cycle begins?  Wouldn’t it be better to add before the wash cycle to let the clothes soak?A: For a typical load of whites, such as lightly soiled undershirts, socks, dress shirts, tablecloths, sheets,  and any… Read More

Washing Clothes In Soft Water

April 12, 2011

Q: I have a water softener, and know that I can use less detergent to clean my clothes than when washing in hard water. Should I also use less Clorox® Regular-Bleach and Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster?A: Using a water softener to treat hard… 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

Laundry Resolutions

January 20, 2011

As the New Year begins, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on the past year and make some resolutions for 2011. By the time our last box of Christmas decorations is packed away, I’ve had plenty of time to look around the house and figure out my to-do list. It… Read More

Colored Loads in a HE Washer

January 6, 2011

Q. I have read about chlorine bleach in a HE washer. But what about bleach for colored clothes? Is it safe and is there a special way of using it?A. For colored loads in a HE washer, I recommend Clorox2 Stain Remover and Color Booster. It contains color-safe bleach,… Read More

Bleach and Hot Water

January 4, 2011

Q. I learned from my mother, who was in the textile business for years, to never wash my whites in bleach and hot water due to the yellowing effect. I have to say that I have done my own bit of research on this over the years and have found… Read More

Clorox® Ultimate Care and Clorox®2 with HE Machines

December 30, 2010

Q. After inheriting LG front loaders in our new house that came with a horrendous odor I have been perplexed about laundry. I have been doing laundry for over 18 years and used Whirlpool Front loaders for 4 years with never any issue. I got rid of the LG machines… Read More

Thanksgiving Stain Solutions

November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday. What’s not to like about counting your blessings and expressing gratitude, not to mention eating a wonderful meal made up of so many different side dishes? And of course I am thankful for leftovers!My Thanksgiving menu has evolved over the years so that it… Read More

Clorox® UltimateCare® Bleach Use in HE Machines

November 9, 2010

Q. I recently purchased a front-loading, high efficiency washing machine, and I’m wondering if I can use Clorox® UltimateCare® Bleach in this machine.(Two options I’ve tried without good results – adding UltimateCare® to the laundry dispenser as you would Clorox 2, and diluting UltimateCare® in water – 1 part water,… Read More

Chlorine Bleach

October 28, 2010

Q. I have a pair of white linen pants and want to launder and bleach them. The label reads “do not use chlorine bleach;” can I or can I not use Clorox® Regular-Bleach on fabrics with a similar label. I am really confused.A. This is a really interesting question. While… Read More

Removing Odor from Colored Clothing

October 21, 2010

Q. I recently purchased an HE machine and was wondering if I could use a little bleach in the dispenser for my dark clothes. There was some odor on a few of my darks that I needed to get out, and I was looking for some advice on how to… Read More

White Towels and Bleach

October 12, 2010

Q. My husband likes to wash our whites with Clorox. I have heard that long term use of Clorox will cause holes in the towels and clothing. Is this true? Our towels and some clothing have acquired these holes and yes, we’ve had these for a few years so I… Read More

Bleach Instructions for an LG Machine

September 21, 2010

We recently purchased an LG front-load machine. After getting it home we found that it had no instructions. How much bleach do you put in a normal size load?A. The User’s Guide for your washer should have been inside it. I would go back to the store where you bought… Read More

Bleach Usage in HE Washers

September 9, 2010

I purchased a HE washer and dryer last year. Not long after I bought them, I had two different colored loads that had bleach stains (or lack of color) as if the bleach had been held in the washer. It ruined a comforter. I only use a very small amount… Read More

HE Washers and Bleach

August 19, 2010

Q. Your website says to use 3/4 of a cup of Clorox to disinfect laundry, but my HE machine is marked “1/3 cup max” in the plastic dispenser drawer for bleach. How can I properly disinfect?A. Our recommendation is always/has been 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach for disinfecting clothes. This was… Read More

Well Water and Bleach Usage

August 17, 2010

Q. I have well water and know there is iron in it. So, when I bleach my whites, they turn yellowish. What can I use, either with bleach to prevent this, or instead of bleach? I have a brand new HE frontA. Well water and liquid bleach are just not… Read More

Bleach Usage During Pregnancy

August 10, 2010

Q. I recently bought Clorox- Regular Bleach. I wanted to use this to wash my clothes. I was watching your video – Laundry 101 video. Thanks for the nice information. My questions: 1) My wife is pregnant, and I was wondering if I can use this product to clean… Read More

Laundering Micro-Cotton with Bleach

August 5, 2010

Q. We just bought new white towels from the “Biltmore for your Home” line at Belk. They are the Micro Cotton style. The care label says do not bleach. Can they be bleached anyway?You can absolutely bleach your white Micro Cotton towels with Clorox® Regular-Bleach. I checked out the… Read More

Regular Bleach in HE Machines

July 29, 2010

Q. Is it ok to use “Regular” bleach in an HE machine?A. Thank you for your question. Yes, not only is it OK to use Clorox® Regular-Bleach in your HE clothes washer, it is really important to do so! Any water left behind inside the works of a HE… Read More

Bleach Usage in HE Machines

July 27, 2010

Q. I just purchased a GE Top-Loading Infusion HE washer. I normally use Clorox bleach with my white towels, but I am confused as to how much bleach to use. With the smaller amount of water used in the wash cycle, how much bleach should I add?A. Good for you… Read More

Gray-Brown Stains on Whites

July 22, 2010

Q. I have a 1 1/2 yr old Maytag Epic HE washer & dryer. I wash all whites together (socks, t-shirts, pants, shorts, etc.). The last load came out of the dryer with grayish-brownish stains on them. This has happened in the past, but only a couple of times (since… Read More

Washing Towels in an HE Machine

July 1, 2010

Q. I have an HE Washer and I have all white towels that get really nasty throughout the week. I pour bleach into the dispenser and put my detergent into the other dispenser, but my towels still do not look clean. I have only had the towels about 4 ½… Read More

Fabric Differences: Cotton and Cotton Blends

June 1, 2010

Q. I’m in the market of buying a large quantity of polo shirts and noticed that one style that I was considering was made out of 100% cotton, and the other 60% cotton and 40% polyester. Which is the better fabric, and which would most likely fade more quickly?A. Great… 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

Dingy Whites and Fabric Softener Buildup

May 20, 2010

Q. I have a Maytag Bravo washing machine that is not quite 2 years old. Up until recently I have had white whites. For some reason, my whites are slowing getting this gray, dingy color. I have used the same detergent for years with no problem: Tide for the detergent… Read More

Cleaning Shirts with Colored Patches

May 18, 2010

Q. I just purchased 5 white uniform shirts with colored shoulder patches. I do not want to send them to the dry cleaners. How do you suggest I wash them? I am concerned that if I bleach the entire wash load, the color patches might bleed into my white shirt. Read More

Sanitizing Properties

April 22, 2010

Q. I have a HE machine, and I use bleach several times a week on our household whites. My questions are:1. Is the disinfecting/sanitizing quality the same as Regular bleach when using HE Bleach? 2. Is the bacteria fighting/killing quality the same in Clorox’s scented bleach products as with regular… Read More

Smelly Reaction to Detergent

April 19, 2010

Q. When I was younger, my mother used Gain as our detergent and had to switch because when everyone in the family would sweat, the clothes gave off a bad odor. I have been using Tide and for some reason that same situation is coming back, but only for me. Read More

Bleach Usage Differences Between Regular and HE Machines

April 15, 2010

Q. It seems by reading the manual that comes with the Kenmore Elite HE washer that the bleach actually disperses only in the rinse cycle as opposed to the wash cycle. Is this a correct interpretation for all front loading machines? This is a big departure from having the bleach… Read More

St. Patrick’s Day Tips

March 17, 2010

Top of the morning, and happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! Hopefully you have plenty of fun plans for the day ahead – don’t forget to wear green! However, even with the luck of the Irish on your side, remember that stains can still happen, which is why I’ve included… Read More

Removing Transferred Dye

February 16, 2010

Q. I am writing this from the UAE. Last time I put my color clothes together for washing, unfortunately one item got a stain (blue). Can you recommend a remedy? A. Not quite sure from your description whether the clothes that were made blue were white or colored. This would… Read More

Removing Yellow Stains from Washing

February 4, 2010

Q. I’ve used Clorox bleach to clean my white t-shirts, but I’ve noticed yellow stains after washing them. I do my laundry at a neighborhood laundry that has front-loading machines. I dilute the bleach with a gallon of water and add it after the water has gone into the machine… Read More

Using Bleach on White Wool

January 19, 2010

Q. I used Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 on a white wool item and it became a yellowish color. Is there anything that I can use to restore its original color? A. Bad news. On the back label of all our liquid bleach products is a statement: “Avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair,… Read More

HE Washer & Bleach

January 12, 2010

Q. The manual for my HE washer says “Warning. DO NOT use chlorine bleach in this washing machine.” Is there a reason for this? A. Bummer. Europeans are not big on liquid bleach, and even eliminate the possibility of using it in some of their washers, like Bosch. I believe… Read More

Laundering Silk

December 24, 2009

Q. I have a light gray silk outfit and the washing instructions for the top shell say wash by hand. (It is 100% silk).The instruction on the pants, however, say to dry clean. (Pants are 97% silk, 3% spandex.) The fabric in both seems to be the same. I am… Read More

Pre-Treatment Product Usage

December 10, 2009

Q. When I use Wisk directly on stains and let it sit for a while before going into the laundry, often it bleaches my colors where I put the Wisk. What is the cause of this? A. I suspect that a couple of things may have happened here. A common… Read More

Removing Lint From T-Shirts

August 25, 2009

Q. I dried my son’s dark blue sleeveless polyester workout shirt with dark towels, and now it has lint all over it. I tried washing the shirt again, but no difference. How do I get the lint off? A. One of the keys to good laundry practices is to sort… Read More

Bleaching Down Comforters

July 30, 2009

Q. Can I use bleach when laundering a down comforter? Generally the advice when laundering such items is to use a mild detergent, since the down otherwise may lose its natural oils and dry out quicker. Does the bleach strip the down of its oils? Does bleach cut grease in… Read More

Disinfecting Colored Clothing and Lavender Scented Products

July 23, 2009

Q. First, for laundry, I was wondering: do you have a disinfectant for colors? I have an old box of Clorox 2®, but it doesn’t say anything about disinfecting my clothes — only making them brighter. Second, for surfaces, is there any such thing as a lavender disinfectant? I want… Read More

How Much Bleach Is Too Much?

June 18, 2009

Q. I would like to ask if you can use too much bleach in a wash load? Let me explain: My husband is a chef. His chef coats are 100% cotton. He will soak them over night in up to 3 cups of bleach, hot water, dish detergent and laundry… Read More

Brown Water

June 16, 2009

Q. I use Clorox bleach for my whites. I recently moved and since then when I add bleach to the water in my washer, it turns brown and turns all of my white clothes brown. Is there anything I can do or add to stop this from happening? A. Sounds… Read More

Cleaning White Sheets With Bleach

May 28, 2009

Q. I have been using Clorox bleach for more years than I care to recount. However, it seems that now most 100% cotton products (including my white bed linens) are marked “Do Not Bleach.” Not “no chlorine bleach”; just “No Bleach.” Laundering (good detergent, either hot water or cold), just… Read More

Storing Bleachability Test Solution

May 19, 2009

Q. I really liked your video in which you mentioned using 1/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 to 1 gallon of water to soak clothes for 5 minutes before washing. Worked like a charm! All that aside, I also liked your advice to add 2 teaspoons Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 to 1/4… Read More

Residual Bleach after Washing

May 7, 2009

Q. What is the probability of having a problem with the load of laundry done after the load of whites due to residual water containing bleach retained in the machine? A. This shouldn’t be a problem if you add the bleach directly to the load as the water is filling… Read More

Laundry Tips for Asthma Sufferers

May 5, 2009

Q. I wash my whites in hot water because I have asthma, and hot water is recommended to kill dust mites. Does this cause any significant problems since my T-shirts recommend warm water, or are they just being overly careful in the same as they are by recommending that bleach… Read More

Washing White T-Shirts with Bleach

April 30, 2009

Q. I have viewed your videos regarding Clorox® Regular-Bleach1, and they are very helpful. My 100% white cotton T-shirts instruct me to wash them in warm water with non-chlorine bleach. According to your video, you mention that “almost all cotton whites and most synthetic whites” can be bleached. My… Read More

Refreshing Your Spring Wardrobe

April 16, 2009

As temperatures rise, there’s no better time to unearth all your favorite spring and summer fashions that have been hibernating in the back of your closet. But first, you need to make room by cleaning and storing what’s already in there! Here are several tips for getting your clothing in… Read More

St. Patrick’s Day Tips

March 12, 2009

Top of the morning, and happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! Hopefully you have plenty of fun plans for the day ahead — don’t forget to wear green! However, even with the luck of the Irish on your side, remember that stains can still happen, which is why I’ve included… Read More

Cleaning Black Socks

March 3, 2009

Q. Due to the nature of my job and the uniform I wear, the majority of my sock laundry is black. Is there any hope for me to get the same cleaning success you can get with Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 and whites? What is the best method for laundering black… Read More

Using Bleach with Detergents Containing Hydrogen Peroxide

February 12, 2009

Q. I’m using Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 containing sodium hypochlorite and a detergent for whites containing hydrogen peroxide. I have heard that hydrogen peroxide and sodium hypochlorite react with each other, and that it’s best to choose one and not to use both together. So what do you recommend about the… Read More

Disinfecting with Bleach

February 10, 2009

Q. Does Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster kill 99.99% of bacteria like the Clorox® Regular-Bleach1? A. The simple answer to your question is “no.” Unfortunately, there currently is not a product for disinfecting colored clothes. Our Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster contains hydrogen… Read More

Washing Darks After Bleaching Whites

February 5, 2009

Q. Is it okay to do a dark load after I bleach my white load, or will there be bleach still in the machine that can damage the darks? A. It should be OK to do the darks after you have completed the bleached white load. I’m curious why you… Read More

Clorox/Tide Reaction

January 8, 2009

Q. I notice that when adding Clorox to wash water, which already has Tide in it, the water turns a rusty/orange color. (This color does not spread to my clothes). But when Clorox is added to the water without Tide, there is no change. What’s the cause? A. Directly mixing… Read More

Using Clorox in Front-Loading Washing Machines

January 6, 2009

Q. What’s the right way to use Clorox bleach in my Frigidaire front-loading washing machine? The dispenser drawer has separate compartments for detergent, bleach and fabric softener. How much bleach should I be using? Are there any other points to remember when adding bleach to my machine? A. The simple… 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

Cleaning with Clorox in Cold Water

December 11, 2008

Q. Does Clorox disinfect laundry as well in cold water as it does in hot? I cannot use Clorox in hot water as my laundry turns brown if I do. I am, therefore, forced to use cold water for things I want to bleach. A. I can easily answer your… Read More

Lightening Sheets

December 11, 2008

Q. I purchased a set of 100% Italian cotton sheets that are very yellow. I want to make them as pale cream as possible. Should I use Clorox with hot or cold water? A. Not sure that I have enough info to properly answer your question. It depends on what… Read More

Removing Scorch Marks

November 13, 2008

Q. I scorched a jacket that I just finished making. The fabric is cotton, soft, not really brushed but it has that look. It is bright blue. I scorched the back just below the top of the shoulder. I tried lightly washing it using Clorox 2® Stain Remover &… Read More

Bleach and Detergent

November 11, 2008

Q. I had heard that bleach should be used before adding detergent because detergent neutralizes the actions of bleach, but the Clorox instructions direct users to add at the same time. Should I separate these phases? A. There are several ways to add bleach to your washload. Our standard directions… Read More

Pre-soak Time for Ultimate Care

November 7, 2008

Q. I always presoak my whites in hot water with Clorox® UltimateCare® Bleach. Is there an optimal amount of time for this phase? A. Generally, with presoaking, we recommend a limited exposure time prior to washing (1/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 in a gallon of warm water for 5–10… Read More

Cotton-Spandex Clothing: Your Questions

October 22, 2008

Q. I have four blouses with varying cotton to spandex combinations. They are in various “shades of white,” and I would like to rejuvenate them for additional wearing life. Instructions call for a cold water wash. Can you help? A. I’m not quite sure from your description if the “various… 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

Water Damage Stains on Sheets: Your Questions

September 3, 2008

Q: I have a white 100 % cotton sheet that has been water damaged leaving brownish spots in several places. I’m hoping bleach will remove stains such as this, but what concentration of bleach and should I soak for a length of time? The sheet is fairly new… Read More

Dispelling Bleach Myths for Cloth Diapers

August 19, 2008

Q: When washing cloth diapers, I use a very small amount of bleach to sanitize along with hot water (I own a diaper service). As long as people do what I ask them to do with the diapers, I have no problem removing stains with my organic detergent… Read More

Lessons from Canada

July 3, 2008

I just returned from my second trip to Canada to help promote the Ultra Javex® Bleach by Clorox introduction. I made several appearances in Ottawa and Kingston this trip and in Toronto before. I really enjoyed the friendly people North of the Border. I found that as the laundry category… Read More

Your Questions: Disinfecting Laundry

June 10, 2008

Q: My physician just recommended to me that I use regular bleach in my wash to disinfect my whites to kill any bacteria or yeast that may be present. He said that normal detergent doesn’t always kill them. My question for you is concerning color safe bleach. Does… Read More

Your Questions: Killing Germs in Laundry

May 27, 2008

Q: Do you make or know of a laundry additive (Clorox 2) which is safe for colors but also kills germs like regular Clorox does? A: This is a great question and one I hear a lot. Unfortunately, there currently is NOT a product for disinfecting colored clothes. Read More

Cold Water Laundry Results

February 1, 2008

In my last post, I discussed basics cold water laundry facts. Today, let’s talk about some performance and end-result differences you’re likely to encounter and some tips on how to deal with washing in cold water.COLD WATER LAUNDRY RESULTS and TIPSThings Dissolve SLOWER in Cold Water The biggest dissolving issue… Read More

Cold Water Laundry Challenges

January 30, 2008

Last time I talked about some of the basics behind cold water usage. Today, I want to focus on the challenges that washing in cold water presents to the consumer. With a little better understanding, you should be better prepared to make the plunge into cold water laundering.Many people are… Read More

Cold Water Basics

January 28, 2008

It’s January, there’s lots of snow, its winter and it’s COLD!! Larger energy bills are due to show up in your mailbox. What are some options for helping to keep these in check?Many people are looking for ways to cut energy costs, save dollars and help the environment. Also, many… Read More

Your Questions: Getting Rid of Yellowing Whites

January 14, 2008

Q: I have a lot of white clothes that look a bit yellow. I always add bleach to water and pour in after washer is full. I even add a bit of bluing the same way. But they continue to look dingy or yellowed. Can you help me?A:… 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

Recipes for Starch

April 27, 2007

I recently received questions about how to make starch. “My husband loves to have his shirts cleaned at the cleaners because he likes to have them heavy starched. Can you please tell me how to make a good starch I can put in the laundry at home? These cleaning bills… Read More

Happy New Year!!!

January 8, 2007

Ok, I’m baaack in the office and ready to roll for 2007! Since a lot of my colleagues are still away this week, it is relatively quiet at work, making this a great time to reflect on the past year and gaze into the future.Here are some random thoughts on… Read More

Post holiday laundry problems and advice

December 26, 2006

Turn out the lights… the party’s over! Great, now the cleanup begins!! Tell me again why having that party was such a GREAT idea.Now that the guests are gone and the flurry of holiday activities have officially concluded, hosts and hostesses are often left wondering what hit them. There are… Read More

“The Good Ole Days?”

December 18, 2006

I received the following from my boss (thanks, Adrianne) and it really made me stop and think how far we have come. I remember my grandmother detailing her washing process and parts of the following were included.Maybe “the good ole days” were not really “the good ole days”.Washing Clothes Recipe… Read More

Washing clothes in coldwater

September 20, 2006

I received a smart question from a reader this week and thought I’d address it. Thanks for sending Sean!The question was in response to my last entry on body soil. With the coldwater detergents on the market these days, there’s often a balance between energy savings vs. cleaning power since… Read More

Myth Part 2: Only using detergent gets my clothes clean

September 15, 2006

A quick review of body soil: Everybody has it and everybody is going to deposit it onto a lot of the things you use everydayHow much you deposit can vary but an average person produces ~50grams of body soil/dayThis stuff can be a real feast for bacteria, germs and… Read More

College Prep – Laundry 101!

August 31, 2006

Enthusiastic parents like me who are sending away their child(ren) to college may feel the urge to provide great pearls of wisdom about forthcoming new experiences, study habits and life experiences. There is a good probability those pearls might fall on skeptical ears or seen as being outdated. One key… Read More

Keeping Dark Clothes Looking Good

July 21, 2006

Dr. Laundry is away on a special assignment – he asked that I post this response for him today.CJ wrote in asking about getting lint on black capris and how to avoid it. Thought I would take this time to talk about caring for dark clothes, overall.Dark clothes certainly are… Read More

The Great Laundry Debate: Top Loaders vs. Front Loaders

July 21, 2006

The process of purchasing a new washer/dryer is becoming about as complicated as selecting a new car, given all the various options and upgrades. Front-loading machines or top-loading, high-efficiency or conventional, stackable or side-by-side units – the decisions are many, but each is very important.Following are a few tips to… Read More

Busting Bleach Myths, continued

July 10, 2006

In my previous posting, I offered some “real deal” information on when it’s OK to bleach and when it’s not. I’m going to continue on that train of thought now as well.MYTH: Laundry detergent alone is enough to clean your laundry. TRUTH: Nope, detergent alone leaves behind unseen “body soil” made… Read More

Bleach Myth Busting 101: Fabric Safety & Bleach

July 7, 2006

Throughout my years, I’ve answered many questions about bleach and the safety of using it. Despite what you may be thinking, properly bleaching fabrics will not destroy them. There, I said it! And it’s not just because I work for Clorox. We’ve done what seems like a ton of fabric… Read More

The “White” Stuff

June 27, 2006

Calling all fashionistas: white pants, blouses and handbags are all the fashion rage –  even after Labor Day. I’m not kidding! The archaic “rule” prohibiting white to be worn other than between Memorial Day and Labor Day has been largely brushed aside. According to legend, wearing white after Labor Day… Read More

Summer Stain Blunders

June 23, 2006

With summer now in full swing, it is a good time to start discussing some common summer stain blunders that are going to happen during this season’s activities.Speaking of summertime activities – check out photos of the stuff we’ve been doing with several Minor League Baseball teams this year. Everyone… Read More

Tips on Mixing Grays with Whites

June 8, 2006

I wanted to address RB’s question from last week on mixing grays with the whites.I think it’s great that you have the sweaty clothes (exercise is great!!). And I know just what you mean about wanting to make sure they get clean and disinfected. Nothing better than detergent and… Read More

Choosing the Tools and Finishing the Job

June 5, 2006

Step 2: ProductsYou wouldn’t try to bake a cake or fix a car without the proper tools – laundry should be seen in the same way. A lot of us just use the products our mom or last roommate used for doing our laundry. However, there are many options out… Read More

Basics of Laundry—Laundry 101

May 31, 2006

I know – you do laundry two, three times a week. But sometimes we don’t even realize that we could be making little changes to our technique that might extend the life of our items, or make the process smoother.Step 1: SortingEveryone is a different kind of sorter. Do you… Read More