Does Bleach Kill Ringworm on Fabric and Surfaces?

Had a ringworm infestation? Find out if bleach kills ringworm and how to wash clothes with ringworm so you can disinfect your house as soon as possible.


How do I treat laundry after a ring worm infestation?


That’s too bad about the ringworm!  To disinfect white or safely bleachable colored laundry, wash in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and 3/4 cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach. For extra-large or heavily soiled laundry, use up to 1 ¼ cups.  Note that you should avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, spandex, and leather.

Unfortunately there is no product to disinfect any and all colored laundry. For any product to make this claim it must have an EPA registration which is obtained by successfully completing required tests to demonstrate efficacy. It’s good to know there are definitely some colored fabrics than can be safely bleached with Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach, and this primarily depends on which type of dye was used to color the fabric. You can easily test bleachability as follows:

  1. Mix a test solution by diluting 2 tsp Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach in ¼ cup water.

  2. Apply a drop to a hidden part of the item such as an inside hem, cuff, or seam and then blot dry.

  3. No color change means the item can be safely bleached.

I have had success safely bleaching many different colored items: light colored linens and towels, cotton boxer shorts, and 100% polyester fleece, just to name a few.  Assuming your items pass, you can wash them in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and ¾ cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach as directed above. For items that don’t pass the bleachability test, you can try the following techniques to at least reduce the germ count.

  • Wash in the hottest water recommended on the item’s care label

  • Wash any items of particular concern separately from other items to avoid germ transfer, and consider washing them twice

  • Use the hottest dryer setting recommended on the care label, and dry items separately from other loads; or at least with some white towels so the underwear tumbles properly in the dryer.

  • Finally, consider following up with a washer clean-out cycle with ¾ cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach to be sure the clothes washer is disinfected and germs don’t transfer to other loads. In fact, clothes washer manufacturers recommend doing this!

Does anyone else need disinfecting advice?