History of Clorox Bleach

Clorox: A heritage of safeguarding health

Since it was introduced in 1913, Clorox bleach has had a long history of use in places where killing germs is critical: in hospitals, nursing homes, child-care centers, schools and restaurants. During World War I, in the days before penicillin, the lives of wounded soldiers were saved by the antibacterial properties of bleach.

From its founding in 1913 to its acquisition of Burt’s Bees in December 2007, The Clorox Company has built a reputation for integrity by following its core values: Do the right thing, stretch for results, take personal ownership and work together to win.


Five California entrepreneurs invested $100 each to set up America’s first commercial-scale liquid bleach factory, which they located in Oakland, on the east side of San Francisco Bay. In 1914, they named their product Clorox bleach.


Although chlorine was in short supply because of World War II, Clorox, unlike many competitors, curtailed production rather than dilute its product.


Procter & Gamble Company made Clorox a wholly owned subsidiary. But within three months, the Federal Trade Commission challenged the acquisition because it might result in a monopoly in the production and sale of household bleaches. Ten years of litigation ended with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Procter & Gamble must shed The Clorox Company.


The company gained full, formal autonomy as a publicly held corporation with its shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange.


Clorox created The Clorox Company Foundation, which has awarded cash grants totaling more than $69.7 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges.


Clorox acquired Burt’s Bees, a leader in the natural personal care category.