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Is clorox for colors safe on white clothes?

Doing laundry can be a tedious task, especially when it comes to keeping white clothes looking bright and new. Many people wonder if using a color-safe bleach like Clorox 2 can be used on white clothes or if it will cause discoloration. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss whether or not Clorox 2 is safe for white clothes, alternative color-safe bleaches, and tips for keeping whites their brightest.

What is Clorox 2?

Clorox 2 is a household bleach made by the Clorox Company intended for use on color-fast washables. It is differentiated from original Clorox bleach by containing only 1-4% sodium hypochlorite rather than 5-10% in the original formula.

Here are some key facts about Clorox 2:

Active Ingredient Sodium hypochlorite (1-4%)
Use Whitening and brightening clothes, removing stains
Scent Clean cotton, floral, lavender
Packaging Plastic jug or bottle

The main difference between Clorox 2 and original Clorox bleach is the decreased level of sodium hypochlorite. This allows it to be used on colorfast washables without bleaching or discoloring the fabrics. However, it is still a powerful whitening agent.

Is Clorox 2 Safe for White Clothes?

The short answer is yes, Clorox 2 color-safe bleach is generally safe to use on white clothes. Here are a few key points:

  • It is designed to brighten and remove stains from colorfast white fabrics.
  • The lower 1-4% sodium hypochlorite content is less harsh than original Clorox.
  • It should not damage or discolor white clothes when used properly.
  • As with any bleach, you’ll want to check fabric care instructions first.

Many people have safely used Clorox 2 or generic color-safe bleaches on white clothes for years. It can help restore dingy whites and get rid of tough stains like grass, sweat, and food spills.

How to Use Clorox 2 on Whites

If you decide to use Clorox 2 on your white laundry, follow these tips:

  • Check labels: Confirm the fabric care instructions allow bleach.
  • Stick to the dosage: Don’t exceed the recommended amount of bleach per wash load.
  • Don’t mix chemicals: Don’t combine with other cleaning agents like vinegar or ammonia.
  • Use cool water: Hot water can increase fading when using bleach.
  • Test first: If concerned, try Clorox 2 on an inconspicuous area first.

The standard Clorox 2 dosage for a medium to large load is 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Always measure it carefully using the cap or pour lines. Too much bleach can damage fabrics over time.

Evidence Clorox 2 is Safe for Whites

Here is some evidence that Clorox 2 can safely be used on white laundry:

  • According to Clorox, their color-safe bleach can be used on colorfast white fabrics.
  • Consumer product testing sites like The Sweet Home recommend Clorox 2 for whitening whites.
  • The Good Housekeeping Institute says this type of bleach is safe for most white clothes.
  • According to Consumer Reports, Clorox 2 will not damage sturdy white fabrics.

When used correctly on colorfast materials, Clorox 2 should not cause white clothes to become discolored or yellowed. Always check fabric care instructions first.

Alternatives to Clorox 2 for Whites

If you want to play it extra safe, here are some alternatives to Clorox 2 you can use on white clothes:

Oxygen Bleach

Oxygen bleach uses sodium percarbonate as the active ingredient instead of chlorine-based bleach. Brands like OxiClean and Vanish are oxygen bleach products that can boost whites.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Using hydrogen peroxide to soak whites can lift stains and brighten clothing. Dilute to a 3% solution for laundry use and allow to soak for up to 8 hours before washing.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a natural whitening option. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar to wash water or use it in the rinse cycle to brighten whites.


For a DIY whitening booster, boil lemon peels and juice in water to make a solution. Soak whites in this lemon water for 30 minutes before washing.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can scrub away dingy buildup on white clothes. Add 1/2 cup to the wash cycle for a boost.

Risks of Using Too Much Bleach on Whites

When used according to package directions, Clorox 2 should not damage white clothing. However, using too much bleach repeatedly over time can cause problems like these:

  • Fading of colors and prints
  • Accelerated wear and thinning of fabric
  • Holes or tears in clothes
  • Yellowing or discoloration

Heavily bleached areas may become transparent and weakened. This is especially a risk with lower-quality materials. So be sure to measure bleach carefully and not go overboard.

How to Keep White Clothes White

Here are some handy tips to keep your white clothes looking their best between washes:

Tip Description
Wash in hot water The heat helps break down stains and soils.
Use bleach sparingly An occasional boost of Clorox 2 can remove stains without damaging fabrics.
Air dry in sunlight The sun’s UV rays help naturally disinfect and brighten whites.
Sort properly Wash whites separately from darks to prevent transfer of dyes.
Pre-treat stains Use a stain remover stick or spray to target stains before washing.

With proper laundry habits, you can keep your white clothes looking like new for longer. An occasional boost from Clorox 2 or other color-safe bleach can also revive dingy whites.

The Takeaway on Clorox 2 for Whites

Clorox 2 color-safe bleach is generally considered safe for use on white clothes and laundry. When used properly according to fabric care instructions, it should not cause damage or discoloration.

To be safe, always check labels, follow dosing directions carefully, and don’t mix with other chemical products. Limit bleach use to occasional boosting rather than every load.

For an extra margin of safety, opt for oxygen bleaches, vinegar, or other natural whitening alternatives. With the right laundry habits and targeted use of color-safe bleach, you can keep your white clothes looking their absolute best.