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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Regular Bleach Usage on Fabric

By Dr. Laundry December 9, 2011

Q: Does regular use of bleach damage the fabric?

A:  Fabrics naturally deteriorate just from wearing, washing, and drying; using bleach doesn’t accelerate this effect.  We have examined this extensively, evaluating a wide variety of white items commonly bleached:  socks, underwear, t-shirts, towels, bed sheets, dress shirts, and even baseball pants.  Items were washed and dried 50 times, and we found no significant difference in fabric strength between items washed with detergent and those washed in detergent and bleach.  So as long as your whites are safe for bleach (always avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, leather and spandex, even if they are white) you can use Clorox® Regular-Bleach in every load for the cleanest, whitest whites.