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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Sanitizing Food Contact Surfaces and Equipment

By Dr. Laundry April 14, 2011

Q: I am working at a facility that is using Clorox® Splash-Less Liquid Gel Bleach as their sanitizer for food contact surfaces & equipment. Why does it appear more sudsy than Clorox ® Regular-Bleach?

A: While Clorox® Regular-Bleach and Clorox® Splash-Less Liquid Gel Bleach both have sodium hypochlorite as the bleach active, they are different products with different formulas. The surfactants used to thicken the Splash-Less Bleach, making it easier to pour and control, also make the bleach solution sudsy. Therefore, for sanitizing food contact surfaces, the facility should use Clorox® Regular-Bleach, our EPA-registered disinfectant. From our EPA master label, the instructions for sanitizing food contact surfaces and equipment, such as dishes, pots and pans, glasses, utensils, refrigerators, freezers and more, are as follows:


  • Wash surfaces and equipment thoroughly; then soak two minutes in a 200 ppm available chlorine solution made with hot water. Use chlorine test strips to adjust to 200 ppm available chlorine. Drain dry. (Do not use on steel, aluminum, silver, or chipped enamel. Disinfect these by scalding.) To mix a 200 ppm available chlorine solution, dilute 1 Tbsp. Clorox® Regular-Bleach per 1 gallon of water. Note that you don’t rinse the items once you apply the bleach solution—they are simply allowed to air dry.

    You may also want to sanitize mops, brushes, and rags—this requires a longer contact time with a more concentrated solution made by mixing ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach in 1 gallon of water. From the EPA master label:

  • After using brushes, mops and brooms, wash thoroughly; then soak for 5 minutes in a 2700 ppm available chlorine solution made with warm water. Rinse with clear water; dry. Not recommended for cellulose sponge mops.
    Note that you do need to rinse brushes, mops, and brooms following soaking, before they air dry. There is also a nice chart on the Master Label that lists typical quantities of bleach solution that are mixed up for the different applications.