DIY Color SAFE “Bleach” (aka DIY Clorox 2)

If you’ve ready my introduction/welcome page, you know that I have 3 little boys.  And, if you know even a little about little boys, you know that I am sharing this cleaning series with you FROM THE TRENCHES of laundering and cleaning house!  Now that we’ve all been reminded that I do a lot of laundry, it goes without saying that I use a lot of laundry soap, spray cleaner, and color safe bleach.  A few months ago, I ran out of color safe bleach and went to the store to buy more.  I was shocked to find that it was $4-7 a bottle (depending on the brand).   At this point, I was making most of my other cleaning solutions, so I scoured the labels on the different brands of color safe bleach, looking for any clues I could find about its ingredients.  Then, I came home and looked up color safe bleach recipes online.  To my surprise, color safe bleach is simply diluted hydrogen peroxide with fragrance added to it…and, perhaps, a little dish soap (which the label will call “surfactants”)!  Do you know how inexpensive this stuff is?!  I’ve been using this for about 6 months now and I don’t notice any difference between this homemade color safe bleach and store-bought varieties.


3 cups water

3 cups hydrogen peroxide

a little (1-2 Tbsp.) dishwashing liquid (like Dawn, which is my preference), optional

Preparation and Use

Mix the ingredients together in a dark, opaque bottle.  Remember that using a dark, opaque bottle is important because hydrogen peroxide is sensitive to temperature and light.  And, the hydrogen peroxide will break down into water and oxygen if it’s exposed to too much heat or light.  Use your homemade color safe bleach the same way you would the store bought variety (this translates to about 1/3 cup per load in my machine).


Dishwashing detergent and soaps are used for cleaning because pure water can’t remove oily, organic soiling. Soap cleans by acting as an emulsifier, allowing oil and water to mix so that oily grime can be removed during rinsing.  Detergents are primarily surfactants, which lower the surface tension of water, making it ‘wetter’ so that it is less likely to stick to itself and more likely to interact with oil and grease. Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer, making it useful as a color safe bleach or cleaning agent.  Hydrogen peroxide is also safe for the environment because it simply breaks down into water and oxygen!  Hydrogen peroxide is a great natural cleaning agent due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-mold and anti-mildew properties.


The cheapest store-bought color safe bleach costs about $4-6 for 45 ounces ($0.09-0.13 per ounce).  The stain remover presented here costs about $0.81 for 48 ounces ($0.017 per ounce…$0.75 for 24 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, $0.06 for 1 ounce of dishwashing liquid)!  And, it doesn’t contain any mystery “fragrances”!


18 thoughts on “DIY Color SAFE “Bleach” (aka DIY Clorox 2)

  1. Thank you thank you thank you! I am looking for ways to save money and this is definitely going to do just that! Thanks again!!

  2. So you suggest to store in a dark bottle cus the hydrogen peroxide breaks down in heat and light. Where do you suggestto store the finished product?


    • I mix the ingredients AND store them in an opaque bottle. I used an old Clorox 2 bottle here. If you mix them relatively quickly, it’s probably not a big deal combine the ingredients in pitcher or mixing bowl before transferring them to an opaque storage bottle. If you don’t have an old Clorox 2 bottle, you could also use an old/empty hydrogen peroxide bottle. I hope this helps!

  3. I found other recipes for diy clorox 2. The others used much less peroxide. Just wondering why your recipe is equal amounts of water to hydrogen peroxide while the others say half cup of peroxide to about 32 ounces of water. I’m looking forward to trying this out and also sharing this tip with my daughter.
    Thanks, Lynn

  4. My wife had just put the name brand color safe bleach on the shopping list and I decided to do a search on a home made alternative, hoping we might be able to add to the savings of the home made laundry soap we recently started using. Sure glad I found your site! The name brand stuff has been removed from the list…


    • I add it in the bleach compartment, but I think it would be fine either way. The ingredients here are the same as in the laundry stain remover recipe I outline elsewhere on this blog, so it’s not going to hurt your clothes. I hope this helps!

  5. I love this so much! We will def have to try!! You didn’t mention anything about soaking garments though. How much do you use to a couple gallons of water?

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