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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Outdoor Bleach

By Dr. Laundry September 28, 2011

Q:  Can I use outdoor bleach for laundry?

A:  This is an interesting question!  In general, for your ongoing laundry bleaching needs, I would stick with Clorox® Regular-Bleach.  I am guessing you have a bottle of Clorox® Concentrated Outdoor Bleach that you would like to use up. In that case, it would probably be fine to use it for laundry as long as you have a top loading deep-fill clothes washer.  If you have an HE washer, you have a greater chance of having high sudsing (the outdoor bleach includes surfactants) depending on the soil level of what you are washing , which could actually cushion the clothes as they tumble through the wash water and reduce cleaning.  If this is the case, then you might want to use up the Clorox® Concentrated Outdoor Bleach to clean your toilets. 

Note that even with a standard washer, I would still monitor the cycle for oversudsing. Also remember that the same instructions for using regular bleach apply–avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, leather, spandex, and non-bleachfast colors.  Never apply the product full strength to anything, but instead be sure to always dilute it.  Adding it to the clothes washer along with the detergent as the machine is filling, but before the clothes are added, is a great way to safely launder with bleach.

Have any readers used outdoor bleach for their laundry?  I’d love to hear about it!