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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Your Questions: Benzoyl Perioxide and Towels

By Dr. Laundry September 11, 2007

Q: I recently purchased some white towels from LL Bean, & on the washing label it states not to use any product that contains … benzoyl peroxide. Does the Clorox 2 bleach for colors contain this ingredient? Do any of the Clorox products contain it? Thanks for any input you can give me, I just don’t want to use the wrong product on my new towels, & I want to learn more as to what benzoyl peroxide is.

A: You are ok to use Clorox2. The liquid Clorox 2 contains hydrogen peroxide and the powder contains sodium perborate which forms hydrogen peroxide when dissolved in wash water. Hydrogen peroxide is a mild oxygen bleach that makes it safe for use on most washable colors. On the other hand, benzoyl peroxide is found in a number of acne medications and is a very aggressive bleaching agent. You could also use sodium hypochlorite on those whites. A milder form of Clorox Regular- Bleach is the new Clorox UltimateCare Bleach. It’s thicker, has a lower bleach level and has a terrific SoftCotton scent.