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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Infant Clothing & Bleach

By Dr. Laundry October 5, 2011

Q:  Can you use Clorox Regular-Bleach® on a newborn’s clothes?


A:  I have good news – you can definitely use Clorox® Regular-Bleach to launder newborn clothing, bedding, car seat liners…you name it!  However, the items do need to be made of fibers that can be safely bleached.  Start by checking the labels and don’t use bleach on any items containing wool, spandex, silk, mohair, and leather.  For any colored items, you need to check their colorfastness to bleach via a bleachability test:



  • Dilute 2 teaspoons bleach in ¼ cup water.

  • Apply a drop of this solution to a hidden part of the items.  Inside hems, cuffs, under collars, and seams work well.  For multicolored items be sure to check each color.

  • Wait 1 minute then blot dry.  No color change means the item can be safely bleached.


I expect that you will have good luck with items made of polyester fleece and items where the color is printed onto the fabric, plus some denim clothing.  It comes down to what dye is used and how it is applied. 


Wash the items that pass the bleachability test in detergent + ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach.  Your clothes washer should adequately rinse the bleach from the clothes, but you can also select an extra rinse cycle if you prefer.  Hopefully this is helpful!


Are any other readers first time parents?