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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Disinfecting Desks with Bleach

By Dr. Laundry August 26, 2010

My boss at the school where I am the janitor wants to use a mild bleach solution to disinfect the children’s’ desks after lunch. She believes that the health organization, which monitors our cleaning, requires that this be done with “Ultra” Clorox. Does Ultra Clorox exist? I cannot find it on the shelves.

A. Let’s clear up the confusion. Your boss is correct in using a disinfecting bleach solution to wipe down the desks after lunch as a way to help control the spread of germs and viruses. The only EPA registered liquid bleach sold by The Clorox Company is Clorox® Regular-Bleach, the familiar blue label product. When Clorox moved from the old 5.25% sodium hypochlorite active to the more concentrated 6.0% active, we introduced the product as Ultra Clorox® Bleach to be consistent with the detergents that were introducing more concentrated formulas at that time. After a couple of years, the Ultra adjective was dropped as the consumer became familiar with the concentrated products. It was replaced with Clorox® Regular-Bleach which is the same product as Ultra Clorox.

Here’s the directions from our EPA Master Label for making the Clorox® Regular -Bleach standard disinfecting solution (mix 3/4 cup Clorox Bleach in 1 gallon of cool water), preclean any major dirt, etc., then apply solution to surface, wait at least 5 minutes, then rinse and air dry.