Clorox Clean-Up

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Clorox Clean-Up ~ Horrible Experience

Sep 15, 2004
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Cleans well, disinfects, deodorizes

Cons:Fumes extremely noxious, hazardous and irritating, bleach can ruin fabric color

The Bottom Line: Cleans well and disinfects, but the fumes are terrible and I believe harmful, even when used as directed.


This summer we've had a string of house guests, so I've been on a bit of a cleaning binge. One of my tasks was to thoroughly clean our kitchen counter top, which is a textured tile. Looks great, but does take some scrubbing to get clean. I thought I'd give Clorox Clean-Up a try for this job, because I wanted to really make sure the counters were disinfected.

~ Product Description

Clorox Clean-Up is a spray cleaner that comes in a plastic one-quart bottle, with a trigger sprayer. It does contain bleach, which helps with the disinfecting aspect. Clorox tells us on the bottle that this cleaner removes tough stains, grease and dirt. Further, it kills 99.9% of bacteria in 30 seconds. It deodorizes and has a clean, fresh scent. It will clean hard, nonporous surfaces, like sinks, tubs, refrigerators, appliances, and fiberglass.

Important Note: Prolonged contact with metal, old porcelain or worn plastic laminate may cause discoloration! There is another caution, in very tiny lettering, that cautions us to avoid contact of this cleaner with fabrics, wood, rubber, painted and paper surfaces. Wood and painted surfaces are usually prevalent in most households - so watch out if you use this!

Directions for Use: To clean and disinfect, spray 4-6 inches from surface until completely wet. Let stand for 30 seconds. Then rinse or wipe clean. For more heavily soiled areas, pre-clean before disinfecting.

To remove stains, spray directly onto surface. Rinse or wipe clean.

~ Other Cautions and Warnings

There is a warning in large lettering - and believe me, they mean this - "Eye And Skin Irritant. Vapors may irritate. Harmful if swallowed, Do not get in eyes or on clothing. For sensitive skin or prolonged use wear gloves. Avoid prolonged breathing of vapors. Use only in well-ventilated areas. Not recommended for use by persons with heart conditions or chronic respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema or obstructive lung disease.

There are also cautions not to use or mix this cleaner with other household chemicals such as ammonia, toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers or acid.

There are also the usual instructions to flush with water if you get it in your eyes, wash your skin if it feels irritated. If breathing is affected, get fresh air immediately!

~ My Experience

As I mentioned, I wanted to really clean my tile kitchen countertops thoroughly. So I started there. I thoroughly sprayed a section of the countertop with Clorox Clean-Up, let it set for a few seconds, then began scrubbing with a brush. The scent of this cleaner is okay, kind of a bleachy-clean scent. The actual smell itself isn't overpowering. The trigger sprayer worked great and was easy to use. There is only a "Spray" and "Off" option for the sprayer, which you choose by twisting. Fine and dandy, the tile was getting sparkly clean.

Now please keep in mind that I am not ordinarily sensitive to anything. My skin is not sensitive, I don't have any lung or breathing problems. I've used household cleaners for decades with no problems. I use bleach around the home often, and other products with bleach. I did open the windows in the kitchen - there are two. Although my kitchen is small. I wasn't using gloves, because I've never noticed any skin sensitivity to cleaners before.

After cleaning about half the kitchen tile I noticed my nose and throat were becoming irritated. Soon my eyes became extremely irritated. In a minute or two the skin on my face actually began to have a burning feeling. The skin on my hands, oddly enough, was not irritated at all. It wasn't the contact of the cleaner itself, but it was the vapors that were doing me in.

I stopped cleaning, washed my face, and went outside to breathe in some fresh air. My eyes still burned, my nose and throat hurt very badly, and the skin on my face still felt like it was burning! I waited a while, opened up even more windows in the house, and quickly finished cleaning the tile. But I'm telling you - this was the absolute worst experience I've ever had using a cleaner. And I'm NOT a sensitive person that way. I was seriously concerned I had been damaged there for a while.

Well, my kitchen tile looked great anyway. Thank goodness for that at least. After probably 1-2 hours I felt okay again. But since then I've been hesitant to use Clorox Clean-Up for anything else because I was frankly frightened of it. I did try it in the toilet bowl, just a couple of sprays, a quick swipe with the brush, flush - and yep! eyes and throat were burning already. And yes, the window right over the toilet was fully open. How do they expect you to avoid the fumes? Can't be done. I won't use this ever again.

~ Final Thoughts

Clorox Clean-Up cleans well and disinfects, but the fumes are unbearable. I'm not a sensitive person, but this stuff almost put me out of commission, even when used exactly as directed. There are plenty of other household cleaners that clean well, deodorize, and disinfect without noxious, harmful vapors. I can't recommend this.



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