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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Sanitizing Properties

By Dr. Laundry April 22, 2010

Q. I have a HE machine, and I use bleach several times a week on our household whites. My questions are:


  • 1. Is the disinfecting/sanitizing quality the same as Regular bleach when using HE Bleach?

  • 2. Is the bacteria fighting/killing quality the same in Clorox’s scented bleach products as with regular bleach?

  • 3. Do I have to use HE bleach in an HE machine? Clorox Regular bleach is less expensive and comes in larger containers.


P.S. My friends call me Clorox, because I clean everything.

A. Thanks for your question. How do you like the HE washer? Thanks for being a loyal fan and using our bleaches!

Let’s address your questions below:


  • We formulated the Clorox Plus® HE Bleach to have slightly higher bleach active, to be thicker for easier pouring and provide at least as good whitening as Clorox® Regular-Bleach. By law we must register with the EPA any product that claims disinfecting properties. Clorox had chosen to only register Clorox® Regular-Bleach due to the cost and restrictions that this places on our formula development and marketing. So while some bleach products have the same or higher bleach active level, we cannot claim that they disinfect without risking fines from the EPA.

  • It is slightly different with the scented products. These have a lower bleach active level than Clorox® Regular-Bleach and are not registered with the EPA.

  • No, you do not have to use Clorox Plus® HE Bleach. Clorox® Regular-Bleach can be substituted if you like. Just be a little more careful in pouring, as those bleach dispensers can be in hard, out-of-the-way areas of the washer. Always fill the bleach dispenser to the top for best performance and if you’re also using our Clorox2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster, make sure it is added in the DETERGENT dispenser rather than the bleach dispenser to avoid oversudsing.