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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Cleaning with Clorox in Cold Water

By Dr. Laundry 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 first question: YES, Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 will disinfect laundry in hot, warm or cold water.

A couple of follow-up points:

  • Remember, as you drop the wash temperature the cleaning performance of the detergent is reduced. So use the recommended amount of all laundry products, don’t overpack the washer, and run shorter wash cycle times. All these things can lead to further reductions in cleaning.
  • What is causing the browning in hot water? Is there rust in your water heater or incoming water supply? If so, you probably should get that corrected as it can negatively affect a lot of other cleaning situations in your home.