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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Chlorine vs. Non-Chlorine Bleach

By Dr. Laundry August 20, 2009

Q. What is the difference between non-chlorine and chlorine bleach?

A. This chlorine and non-chlorine terminology is very old, and I feel, misleading. It is an attempt to classify product actives and is then intended for product usage.

Our Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster has hydrogen peroxide as its active ingredient and is in the class of oxygen, color-safe or non-chlorine bleach. Compare this to our Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 which uses sodium hypochlorite as its active ingredient and is in the class of chlorine bleach. It is wrong to call Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 chlorine bleach because it has entirely different chemistry. It is derived from table salt, sodium chloride, and after manufacturing it is converted to sodium hypochlorite, there is no free chlorine in any bottle of liquid bleach.

Finally, non-chlorine bleach products are to be used for colors, since it is a much weaker bleach unlike chlorine bleach products which are intended for whites.