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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Storing Bleachability Test Solution

By Dr. Laundry May 19, 2009

Q. I really liked your video in which you mentioned using 1/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 to 1 gallon of water to soak clothes for 5 minutes before washing. Worked like a charm!

All that aside, I also liked your advice to add 2 teaspoons Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 to 1/4 cup water to use as a bleaching solution for testing colorfastness on clothes in a hidden seam on the garment. My question is, how long is the solution viable in a tightly covered glass jar? I would use it only occasionally, and because my laundry equipment is in the basement, I wouldn’t want to mix up the solution each time I need to use it. If it’s good for only 3–6 months, I would just put it in the washer when it had expired.

A. Thanks for your kind words, and I’m glad you found the videos helpful. As for your question on the bleach solution:

  • The Bleachability Test was designed to be quick, easy and predictive to encourage consumers to be sure of their next step.
  • If you want to keep the solution, it should be good for at least 2–3 weeks. Diluted liquid bleach solutions are susceptible to degradation from a variety of sources. Increased temperatures, contamination and even light (that’s why we sell it in opaque bottles) cause the liquid bleach active to degrade into salt and water. So I would not recommend long-term storage. Hopefully this isn’t too much of an inconvenience to your continued usage. 

Watch the Bleachability Test video here.