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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Fungal Infections and Bleach

By Dr. Laundry October 31, 2011

Q:  I was told that if you use diluted Clorox® Regular-Bleach it will help fungal infections go away.  Is this true?

A:  Clorox® Regular-Bleach is NOT recommended for personal hygiene of any kind–consumers should always avoid direct skin and eye contact with both undiluted bleach, as well as the various bleach solutions we recommend for household cleaning and laundry.  Perhaps the person who made the recommendation is familiar with the instructions for using bleach for emergency treatment of drinking water.  That’s an entirely different situation.  For that, the bleach to water ratio is 1/8 teaspoon bleach per gallon of clear water, and the treated water has to stand for 30 minutes before drinking. During this time, the bleach kills any bacteria in the water before breaking down into salt and water.  While this solution is safe to drink, using a bleach and water solution to kill a fungal infection on a person’s skin is not approved by the EPA and should not be done.  I would check your pharmacy for a good anti-fungal product.