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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Using the Proper Amount of Bleach

By Dr. Laundry October 6, 2009

Q. We have a family friend living with us. When he washes his white clothes, he always adds too much bleach. It makes the house smell, and has given me headaches on more than one occasion. He only washes a small load of whites. I don’t always use bleach, and when I do I probably don’t use enough.

What is the correct amount of bleach to use in any situation?

A. You weren’t specific about the washing process (for example, whether this in a washing machine or sink, etc.).

Check out my blog ( and view the “How to Use Bleach” video for more details on the 3 different ways to add Clorox® Regular-Bleach to your washer. General rules are 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach for normal loads in a toploader washer, and up to 1 1/4 cups Clorox® Regular-Bleach for extra large loads. For smaller loads, one would adjust down the usage to ~ 2oz or 4 Tbspoons per 5gallons of water.

You definitely don’t want to make the solution too concentrated as this is not good for the clothes.