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Making sure you dilute bleach

Advice from Dr. Laundry

My bleach is leaving lined white residue when left on surfaces. What can I do to solve it?


It sounds like you may be pouring undiluted bleach directly onto a surface, which we actually recommend against. Bleach should always be diluted with water first before use—it should never be applied full strength to anything! The residue you see is salt. That’s because the sodium hypochlorite active in Concentrated Clorox® Regular Bleach2 naturally breaks down in salt and water, a big part of what makes the product so environmentally friendly. Following label instructions is important to make sure the product is used safely and performs as promised. Here are some instructions on how to properly dilute bleach for common disinfecting uses:

  1. Disinfecting Bleach Solution (use for disinfecting hard, non-porous surfaces like sinks, showers, bathtubs, countertops, glazed tile, vinyl, floors)—Wash, wipe, or rinse surface to be disinfected with water. Add ½ cup Concentrated Clorox® Regular Bleach2 to 1 gallon water; apply bleach solution to surface; let stand 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.
  2. Sanitizing Bleach Solution (use for sanitizing hard, non-porous items like dishes, plastic ware, glassware, stainless steel flatware, and pet’s food and water dishes, to name a few)—Wash items thoroughly with detergent and rinse. Add 2 teaspoons Concentrated Clorox® Regular Bleach2 to 1 gallon cool water; soak items for 2 minutes, then drain and air dry (note that with this application there is no rinsing!).

These are two of our more commonly used applications. Rinsing thoroughly after using the disinfecting bleach solution should prevent any residue from being left behind. The sanitizing solution for dishes and the like, on the other hand, is dilute enough that residue is not an issue—air drying is actually an important part of the process.

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