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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Bleach & Expiration Dates

By Dr. Laundry February 2, 2010

Q. I work at a hospital. They are very strict on expired products. The powers that be say that the date stamped on the bottles is an expiration date.
A. It is always good to have fresh product available, especially in hospital settings.

On the Clorox® Regular-Bleach bottle shoulder there is a 2 line ink-jet code. The topline has a letter followed by a 7 digit code. The letter and first number are producing plant identification; the next 4 digits are a Julian production code and the final 2 digits are a shift identification. The second line is the EPA registration number (5813) followed by a state identification code. Thus, a code A8809507 would be Clorox® Regular-Bleach made in plant A8 on 8095 (8 for 2008 and 095 for the 95th day or April 4th).

So “the powers that be” are not correct and you can now provide them with the correct information. Clorox® Regular-Bleach will maintain its effectiveness for about 1 year when stored at room temperature, and this could be used as guidance for whether to consider replacing the current supply.