Is Cleaning Bleach The Same as Laundry Bleach? (In Detail)


Bleach works great for disinfecting surfaces and clothes. But using the wrong kind can misshape with your intended work. To avoid that hazard, you should know, “Is cleaning bleach the same as laundry bleach?”

The answer is no. The chemical composition of the cleaning bleach and laundry bleach is different. Mainly, the cleaning bleach is chlorine-based, and the laundry bleach is oxygen-based. Using cleaning bleach helps to disinfect, which is not the case with laundry bleach.

No matter what bleach you are using, it needs to be diluted with water or other solvents. To know more about the usage of cleaning and laundry bleach, read through this post.

Types Of Bleach

There are mainly three types of bleach depending on the chemical formation:

  1.  Chlorine Bleach
  2.  Oxygen Bleach
  3. Hydrogen Peroxide

Chlorine Bleach

The main formulation of Chlorine bleach is sodium hypochlorite. This kind of bleach primarily comes in the form of liquid. Sodium hypochlorite is diluted in water. Still, the chlorine bleach is high in power.

This is not the form of bleach you would like to use in your laundry. The primary use case is to disinfect your housing area. Using chlorine bleach in your laundry can damage your clothes. Some fabrics prohibit using chlorine bleach. You can end up severely damaging clothes with color and pattern if you use chlorine bleach to clean them.

Oxygen Bleach

Oxygen bleach is good for clothes. The composition is mainly color-safe and pattern-safe. Some delicate clothing can still get damaged, but it is not as harsh as chlorine bleach.

The primary purpose of oxygen bleach is to use it in the laundry. It helps to remove stains from clothing, and you can use it to disinfect your clothes. Therefore, oxygen bleach is also known as laundry bleach.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another type of bleach that you can use in place of chlorine bleach. It might not be as strong as the chlorine bleach, but it is not as diluted as the oxygen bleach either.

You can use this bleach in your laundry but only for white clothes. It’s still more potent than oxygen bleach. So, it might hurt or damage the color or pattern of clothes. 

Laundry Bleach Vs. Cleaning Bleach

For a long time, Clorox was used as the laundry bleach, which is a form of chlorine bleach. But later on, considering the harshness of the chlorine bleach in laundry, oxygen bleach was invented.

As of now, chlorine bleach is used mainly for disinfecting and cleaning areas. Below are some of the similarities and differences between cleaning bleach and laundry bleach that you should be aware of.

Chemical Formulation

The formulation for Chlorine bleach or cleaning bleach is a 5% concentration of sodium chloride with water. It’s prepared by heating Sodium Hydroxide or Calcium Hydroxide under chlorine gas. After that, water is added to the correct concentration.

Cleaning bleach is highly caustic. It can burn or discolor the fabric. Though it is in liquid form in the presence of water, you need to dilute it before using it for cleaning or disinfecting.

On the other hand, oxygen bleach consists of hydrogen peroxide in the presence of sodium. Sometimes carbon is added so that it releases the hydrogen peroxide when you mix it with water.

Oxygen bleach, which is known as laundry bleach, mainly comes in dry powder form. To activate, you need to mix it with water. Laundry bleach also goes by the name of all-fabric bleach or color-safe bleach.


Cleaning bleach or chlorine bleach has lesser longevity than laundry bleach or oxygen bleach. The formulation is an unstable product that starts to lose its effectiveness right after manufacturing. It becomes ineffective over a certain period which is not very long. You need to preserve the chemicals in a cool dark place, preferably in a hard plastic container.

On the other hand, laundry bleach or oxygen bleach is a very stable product. If appropriately preserved, its effectiveness will not change for a year. But you need to remember that oxygen bleach should not be kept in metallic or organic containers.

This is because the oxygen in the bleach will eat up the metallic or organic container materials over time. Therefore, it’s better to preserve it in plastic containers as well.


Oxygen bleach is used in laundry in place of chlorine bleach because the chlorine bleach cannot differentiate between the color molecule and microbes. Thus, the chlorine bleach treats the color molecule as microbes and ends up destroying the color. It also eats up the fabric.

If you use cleaning bleach in the presence of ammonia, it will produce poisonous chlorine gas. The cleaning bleach is perfect for cleaning your home or home space. It efficiently kills the infectious microbes and helps to disinfect. However, using it without proper caution can harm your skin and health severely.

The oxygen bleach or the laundry bleach cannot help to disinfect harsh microbes. Instead, it helps to remove tough stains from the clothes. Using this with detergent can boost up the working process and save some time. In addition, as it turns to water and oxygen after breaking up, it’s not harmful to the environment either.

Can Both Types Of Bleach Disinfect?

Yes, both laundry bleach and cleaning bleach work as disinfecting ingredients. However, the primary purpose of chlorine bleach, or cleaning bleach, is to disinfect any area or your household.

And it has been said that oxygen bleach is not perfect for disinfecting surfaces. But you have to remember that it’s a viable option for disinfecting your clothing.

Both the cleaning and the laundry bleach work through oxidation methods. They lift the stain and the microbes to clean and disinfect your clothes or any surface. After using these bleaches, make sure to rinse the fabric or surface with adequate water.

The Sodium Peroxide present in laundry bleach can turn into hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate. This will help clean the bacteria and fungus present in your clothing. In addition, diluting the proper amount of water can activate the necessary ingredients to clean the more potent bacteria and fungus present in your dress.

However, not all laundry bleach comes with sodium peroxide in them. If you are looking for one to disinfect your clothes, check the chemical label. Using too potent chlorine bleach to disinfect your child’s clothing can be detrimental to their skin.

Precautions Before Using Bleach

Before using any kind of bleach, make sure to follow these precautions:

  • Please read the instructions labeled in the bleach container properly and follow them cautiously.
  • Do not touch bleach with your bare hands.
  • Make sure not to mix any kind of bleach with ammonia.
  • Before using bleach on your clothes, make sure that the fabric is bleach-proof.
  • Use an adequate amount of water after using chlorine bleach to clean or disinfect.
  • Be careful while using bleach on silk, wool, or leather fabrics.
  • Check the manufacturing date cautiously before using the bleach. Expired bleach can be deadly.
  • Never mix two types of bleach.

Final Words

I hope this article on “Is cleaning bleach the same as laundry beach?” was able to answer all the questions you had regarding this issue. Hopefully, this article will help you to choose the bleach that best fits your demands!

Remember, bleach is a powerful chemical compound. So make sure to be safe while using it and keep it away from the reach of children!

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