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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Your Questions: Disinfecting Laundry

By Dr. Laundry June 10, 2008

Q: My physician just recommended to me that I use regular bleach in my wash to disinfect my whites to kill any bacteria or yeast that may be present. He said that normal detergent doesn’t always kill them. My question for you is concerning color safe bleach. Does Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster have the same disinfection and sanitization capabilities as Clorox® Regular-Bleach1?

A: Your doctor is correct that regular detergent washing is not sufficient to control yeast. 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 added with your detergent and washed in warm/hot water should provide the result you are looking for.

Unfortunately Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster has hydrogen peroxide as its active ingredient and this is NOT sufficient to provide any sanitizing or disinfecting benefit.

I also find a lot of garments including colored ones that can be safely bleached. You might want to try the Bleachability Test on a hidden part of these garments (2 tspn liquid Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 in 1/4 cup water; apply a drop on a hidden color section area like inside seam, hemline or cuff; wait 1 minute and then blot with towel); no color change means it is safe to use bleach on the item. If the item is bleach fast, you can use the instructions for hot water wash in detergent and Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 mentioned above.