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VERIFY: Yes, Clorox Regular Splash-less Bleach does disinfect

The product was marketed for laundry and could not be labeled as disinfecting but since the outbreak, that's changed.

WASHINGTON — QUESTION: 

Does Regular Clorox Splash-less Bleach disinfect?

ANSWER:

Yes.

SOURCES:

The Environmental Protection Agency

The Clorox Company

PROCESS:

There a claims on social media stating "Important to know! Splashless does NOT disinfect," and that Splash-less is different from regular bleach and “only whitens, brightens and deodorizes.”

Our Verify researchers checked with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clorox company for the answer.

First, we should point out there are regular and scented versions of Clorox Splash-Less bleach.

For this question, we're specifically talking about Clorox Regular Splash-Less Bleach.

According to EPA guidelines, before a product can add “disinfectant” on the label, it has to go through EPA testing and be approved by state regulators.

 A Clorox Company Spokesperson told WUSA9 when the product was first introduced into the market it was developed for laundry and couldn’t be labeled as a disinfectant because it hadn’t gone through the EPA-approval process.

But with the pandemic, they pushed to get it done.

A Clorox spokesperson says, “We have now completed the EPA registration process and are able to claim Clorox Regular Splash-less Bleach as a disinfecting bleach.” 

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Clorox says consumers can expect Regular Splash-Less Bleach with updated disinfecting instructions on store shelves later this summer. 

Our Verify Team checked the EPA’s website and found Regular Clorox Splash-Less bleach was added to the list of approved surface disinfectants on May 20th, of this year.

Click here to see the complete EPA's List N: Products with Emerging Viral Pathogens AND Human Coronavirus claims for use against SARS-CoV-2 

Credit: WUSA9
EPA Registration Number for Clorox Splash-less Bleach is 5813-122

So, we can Verify, yes, Regular Clorox Splash-less bleach is registered as a disinfecting bleach. 

Some online content claims that by adding the ingredients needed to achieve the higher viscosity for its Splash-Less formula, Clorox altered the concentration of sodium hypochlorite to a variable 1%-5%, which is not strong enough to sanitize and disinfect.

A Clorox Company Representative told WUSA9, “We would also like to correct some misinformation around the product formulation. While we did add ingredients to achieve the higher viscosity for our Splash-Less formula the concentration of sodium hypochlorite is not the only factor in a products ability to disinfect.'

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"Since bleach is a dilutable product, it is that ratio of Regular Splash-Less Bleach to water that must be evaluated determine if the solution can properly disinfect. Therefore, even at a lower sodium hypochlorite concentration a solution can still be disinfecting as long as the right amount of water is added to make disinfecting solution.  Always review the product label for the appropriate dilution directions for use." the company said.

The Clorox Company representative said the concentration of sodium hypochlorite in the EPA Approved Regular Clorox Splash-less bleach is 4.5%.

According to the National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, sodium hypochlorite is a chlorine compound often used as a disinfectant or a bleaching agent. Sodium hypochlorite in 0.5% w/v solution is called Dakin's solution, and is used as an antiseptic to clean infected topical wounds.

You can read more about the structure and properties of sodium hypochlorite from NLM here.