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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Using Clorox 2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster in Japan

By Dr. Laundry August 22, 2011

Using Clorox 2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster in Japan

Q:  I just bought some Clorox2® at Costco in Japan.  As you probably know, our washers here are cold water and most Japanese don’t have dryers.  I didn’t know you had a cold water formula. My kids’ school uniform has a white shirt that they are always getting mud on.  The playground is, in fact, made of dirt.   Should I soak in plain hot water first then pre-treat with Clorox2®?  Should I just try and hunt down some regular Clorox®?  If I wash and then there are still mud stains, is my approach different?

A:  I’m curious as to how long you will be in Japan—what a great experience!  I have never been to Japan, which makes it more difficult to dispense laundry advice, but I will do my best.  I have some general suggestions that will hopefully help improve your results.  

Cold water washing is always a challenge, but probably more common in Japan given the national interest in conserving energy.  That said; pre-soaking with Clorox2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster in hot water will be very helpful.  You just need a plastic dishpan, and then you can proceed as follows with your child’s muddy white shirt:


  1. Rinse garments in warm water to remove any loose soil.

  2. Measure a scoop or capful and add it to 2 gallons of hot water—make sure the powder dissolves completely.

  3. Fully submerge the shirt in the pre-soak solution for up to 8 hours or overnight.

  4. Drain the pre-soak solution.

  5. Apply Clorox2® (if it’s the liquid) directly to any remaining stain, and then wash in your clothes washer with detergent. 


For improved cleaning of your colored items, proceed as above, but limit the Clorox2® presoak time to 30 minutes.  Also, for your white items, I would definitely try to track down Clorox® Regular-Bleach, or if you can’t find that, the local brand of sodium hypochlorite bleach.  If language is an issue, you might want to try bringing a printout of the translation of what you want. 

If your clothes washer has a dispenser for Clorox® Regular-Bleach then I would use it.  You can also pre-soak white items with ¼ cup bleach diluted in 1 gallon of water for 5-10 minutes.

Readers – have you had trouble using Clorox2® while in Japan?  Any suggestions?