Dating back to the early 1900s, Clorox has been a household name in cleaning products for decades.
Clorox Bleach is the company’s staple product, but they’ve ventured out to make many other cleaning products as well throughout the years, including wipes, sprays, laundry products, and bleach pens.
Clorox bleach pens were popular travel-size sticks people used on the go or at home for a quick and precise clean-up.
Bleach pens were great for spot treatments on newly stained clothes, for cleaning mildew and mold in bathroom tile grout, for other small cleanup jobs, and many more things.
Are Clorox Bleach Pens Discontinued?
Yes, Clorox bleach pens were discontinued on October 1, 2018.
Once advertised for their precise and “no splash” application, there’s no clear answer on why these beloved pens were discontinued.
@Newb0ld Justin, thanks for asking about our Bleach Pens. While they're discontinued, we don't currently have plans to bring them back. We're sorry if this is disappointing news, and we're happy to let our team know you'd like to see them again. Best wishes. -Ashlee
— Clorox (@Clorox) February 22, 2022
Some people speculate that their non-reusable plastic cartridges had something to do with it.
The cartridges were not refillable and tended to create a large amount of plastic waste when used frequently.
Though many Clorox customers and fans of the bleach pen were left disappointed, there are other alternatives to this specific product.
Plus, Clorox still has a long list of available products that act in much the same way.
What Are Other Similar Products That Are Still Manufactured Today?
It’s hard to find exact generic replicas of the Clorox Bleach Pen, as the bleach pen was so versatile and could be used on anything from clothes to grout.
Depending on how you need to use a bleach pen, there are some good alternatives, such as OxiClean On-The-Go stain remover pens for clothes and fabric, Pen portable stain removers, OxiClean Max Force Stain Remover Sticks, and Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover Pens.
Of course, most of those options pertain to clothing.
When it comes to cleaning grout, kitchen areas, or bathroom tiles, some people have recommended using Clorox toilet bowl cleaner with bleach.
It has the same gel consistency found in the bleach pens and acts in much the same way.
For cleaning kitchen sinks, countertops, or even tough mildew or rust bathtub stains, Bar Keepers Friend is a great alternative.
Besides their traditional cleanser powder formula, Bar Keepers Friend now comes in sprays, polishes, foams, and soft cleansers.
They even sell toilet bowl cleaner now.
Though the consistency of Bar Keepers Friend isn’t the same as that of a Clorox bleach pen, depending on what you’re cleaning, it can still get the job done.
Another great alternative for cleaning bathroom and kitchen areas is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Magic Erasers are simple to use.
You just add water, and they can get rid of tough stains.
Besides the original Magic Eraser, they are now editions made specifically for kitchens and bathrooms that team up with other cleaning brands, such as Dawn, Gain, and Febreze.
Can You Still Find Clorox Bleach Pens Anywhere?
However, sellers have taken complete advantage of Clorox Bleach Pen’s discontinuation and raised prices for the pens many times over.
Clorox Bleach Pens now sell for upwards of $25 – $55 and more on these sites, for one 2 oz pen.
It’s up to the individual how much they want that elusive and discontinued bleach pen and how much this cleaning product is worth to them.
Do Clorox Bleach Pens Expire?
Although many people store giant bottles of bleach under their kitchen sinks for years at a time, bleach does expire and starts to lose its effectiveness.
Bleach is a combination of sodium and hypochlorite, which breaks down into salt water after a while.
Clorox bleach pens are said to have a shelf life of one year.
However, that date starts from the date of manufacture, which is typically encoded on the box.
Regular bottled bleach has a shelf life of around six months, but, if stored properly, can last up to a year.
After that, bleach reportedly loses its effectiveness by 20% each year it sits.
If bleach is combined with water, as people often do to create safer home cleaning solutions, the bleach loses its effectiveness rapidly.
A 1:4, bleach to water, ratio formula will only be effective for about a week after creating the mixture.
To get the longest shelf-life out of bleach products, it’s best to store the product at room temperature, as extreme temperatures will quicken the breakdown rate.
Light also greatly affects the rate of bleach breakdown, which is why it’s often sold in opaque containers to keep light out.
Storing bleach products in a dark place will lengthen their effectiveness.
How Do you Figure Out The Manufactured Date On Bleach Products?
Instead of printing expiration dates on bleach products, many manufacturers, including Clorox, print a manufactured date to help with proper distribution and stocking.
Although, it should be noted that some bleach manufacturers do t print the expiration or “best by” date on their products.
To the untrained eye, the manufacturer code can look like just a bunch of random numbers and letters, but it’s not that difficult to decipher.
If you examine the bottle, box, container, or product, there will be two lines of code.
The digits in the first line represent the production plant and the date of production.
The second line represents an environmental protection agency (EPA) registration code and a state identification code.
For instance, the first line will read something like A420109.
In this case, A4 is the plant number.
20 represents the year it was manufactured, so this would be 2020.
1 is the day of the year it was made, so this product happened to be made on January 1, and 09 is a shift identification code that can be ignored by the consumer.
Using basic math, you can figure out that it’s best to use this product by June 1, 2020, six months after it was made.
Even though bleach becomes less hazardous as it breaks down, it’s still important to dispose of expired bleach properly.
If your home is connected to a municipal sewer system, it’s safe to pour up to five gallons of bleach down your drains or into your toilets.
It’s best if you run warm water afterward or along with the pouring process to help break down the sodium hypochlorite.
Are There Any DIY Alternatives To The Clorox Bleach Pen?
Some people have decided to make their own Clorox bleach pens since finding their favorite product discontinued.
One such recipe involves 5 tablespoons of regular bleach, 5 tablespoons of corn starch, and 1 cup of cold water.
Mix the cold water and cornstarch in a medium-sized saucepan.
The cold water ensures the cornstarch doesn’t cause lumps in the gel.
Then, stir the mixture continuously over medium-high heat, until it is thick with a gel-like consistency.
Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool down completely.
Once the mixture is cool, pour in the bleach and stir thoroughly.
Then, pour the gel into a container that suits your needs.
If you like the precision of the tipped Clorox bleach pen, it’s best to opt for a plastic bottle with a fine tip, such as an empty condiment bottle or an empty glue container.
It’s easiest to use a funnel to transport the gel mixture from the saucepan into the container to avoid any spillage.
It’s also important to remember to wear safety gloves when creating a DIY bleach pen to avoid chemical burns or skin irritation from the bleach.
It’s also recommended that you wear white clothing or clothes that you don’t mind ruining, as bleach can easily remove color or stain clothing.
Using a plastic drop cloth around your work area can also protect against any unwanted stains on countertops or other home areas from bleach splashes.
What Exactly Did Clorox Bleach Pens Do?
Clorox bleach pens contain concentrated amounts of bleach in a gel-like mixture that allowed for equal bleach distribution.
The gel mixture keeps the bleach from spreading and keeps it working in one small area where it’s spread, avoiding spillover into other areas, as normal bleach would.
This is why it was great to use especially on fabrics, such as clothes, as the gel would stay put on one stained area of fabric without bleeding into other areas and causing unwanted or unintentional fabric bleaching or discoloration.
Clorox bleach pens came in handy for small spot treatments to avoid imminent stains.
What Are Other Ways To Clean Bathroom Surfaces Without A Bleach Pen?
Clorox recommends several other ways to clean bathroom surfaces without the aid of a bleach pen.
For showers, bathtubs, and tiles, just Pour 1/3 cup of Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach with CLOROMAX® into 1 gallon of water and wipe the shower, tub, and walls with the solution.
Let the solution sit for 6 minutes to disinfect before rinsing.
After thoroughly rinsing, the surfaces will be sanitized and disinfected.
Clorox also sells a whole line of specialty bathroom cleaners, such as the original Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner, Clorox® Disinfecting ToiletWand® Disposable Toilet Cleaning System Kit, Clorox® Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Bleach & Blue, Bathroom Foamer Refillable Cleaner Kit, Clorox® Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Clorox® Toilet Bowl Cleaner – Lime & Rust Destroyer, and Toilet Bowl Cleaner – Clinging Bleach Gel.
In addition to bathroom specialty products, Clorox also sells Clorox® Plus Tilex® Mold & Mildew Remover, as a good replacement for the Clorox Bleach Pen, in more environmentally friendly packaging.
This product does not require any scrubbing.
Simply spray on mold or mildew surface, wait for the stains to disappear, and then rinse.
What Other Clorox Products Can Be Used On Clothes?
One of the Clorox Bleach Pen’s biggest appeals was its ability to be used on white clothes and fabric safely.
Fortunately, Clorox still creates many products that can be used safely on clothing when used correctly.
These products include Clorox® Concentrated Bleach Powder, which doesn’t splash and dissolves in water.
Clorox® Zero Splash™ Bleach Packs are also convenient bleach pen replacements because they contain pods that can be safely dropped into your laundry without worrying about splashing.
If you’re worried about damaging the color of your clothes, Clorox sells laundry products that do not contain bleach at all, such as Clorox® Laundry Sanitizer, which is safe to use on all clothes and fabrics, kills 99.9% germs, and leaves clothes smelling great.
There are also Clorox Stain Remover & Color Brightener Packs and Clorox 2® for Colors Stain Remover & Color Brightener Powder, which are both specifically designed for treating harsh stains in color clothing.
Clorox® ColorLoad® Non-Chlorine Bleach is also a great replacement product, as it’s safe to use on both white and color clothes.