Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs? Is Clorox Effective?

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

If you have just discovered a bed bug infestation, you are probably scrambling to find a solution to get rid of these pesky creatures. Everyone knows how difficult it is to kill bed bugs and it can often be an expensive problem. This is probably why you are looking for a more affordable solution and considering the use of bleach.

Bleach is a great option for cleaning your bathrooms, kitchens, etc. But, does bleach work on bed bugs and will Clorox be an effective solution?

Technically, the answer is yes. Bleach is a harsh chemical that will kill bed bugs if it is sprayed directly on them. This means that you can try using Clorox to get rid of any bed bug infestation. However, you should consider a few things before you resort to using bleach on your bedding or anything that has bed bugs.

How Does Bleach Work on Bed Bugs?

Bleach is a solution of sodium hypochlorite and water. The combination of the two creates hypochlorous acid. This acidic solution is commonly used for killing bacteria and for cleaning floors, bathrooms, and such areas. Similarly, this acid can also be used for killing bed bugs.

When bleach is poured directly over bed bugs, it oxidizes the shell or outer body of the bugs. However, this will only work if there is direct contact with the bed bugs and it is absorbed by their outer shell. Bleach will kill eggs, nymphs, or bed bugs at any stage of life.

Will Clorox Be Effective?

Since Clorox is a bleach product, it will be effective in killing bed bugs. Clorox contains ingredients like sodium hypochlorite, sodium chloride, sodium chlorate, water, and sodium carbonate. The sodium hypochlorite in Clorox is the active ingredient that can kill bed bugs.

How to Use Clorox for Killing Bed Bugs?

If you are planning to use Clorox (which you can easily get hold of), you should first isolate the infested mattress and other items. Bed bugs move very fast and can quickly spread around. If you know exactly where the bed bugs are, you can focus on using the Clorox there. Any other furniture, clothes, rugs, etc. should be moved outside that room.

If your mattress has bed bugs, throw your bedding into the wash on the highest heat setting. Heat is the most effective way to kill bed bugs. You can do the same for any clothes or other materials that might have bed bugs on them.

Now you can start using Clorox for killing the bed bugs on your mattress. Undiluted bleach is the most effective solution but, it can lead to respiratory problems. Straight bleach would also damage the mattress itself.

Mix equal parts of Clorox with equal parts of water in a spray bottle. Wear gloves while you handle the bleach and also wear a face mask. Spray the solution over your mattress and box spring. The Clorox will kill any bed bugs that it comes in contact with. However, you should not use this mattress for the next 2-3 weeks.

Wet a washcloth with this solution and wipe down all the surfaces in that room. Go between any nooks and corners that the bed bugs might be hiding in as well. Once you tackle every possible surface in the room, you can be assured that the Clorox will do its job and rid you of the bed bug infestation.

Keep this room closed off for a few days since the toxic chemicals from the bleach are harmful.


Although bleach is a possible solution, it is not usually recommended by pest control experts. This is because of the health hazards involved.

Bleach is a toxic chemical and, if it isn’t handled properly, it can lead to many problems. The residue of bleach on your bedding or mattress can cause respiratory issues, irritation of the skin, and may even lead to blurred vision. If you use bleach, remember to use gloves since it is corrosive to the skin.

Another problem while using bleach is that it can damage your furniture or other items that it comes into contact with.

To Sum up

The active ingredients in Clorox bleach should help you get rid of any bed bugs if used in the right way. You need to make sure that the solution is sprayed over all the bed bugs to completely eradicate the problem. Using heat will ensure that you don’t miss a single one of the bed bugs running around.

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