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How to Soak Seeds in Clorox

By Brandy Alexander ; Updated September 21, 2017
A handful of seeds
seeds image by Jane from Fotolia.com

Before you plant your seeds, consider processing them in a Clorox solution that helps prevent many bacterial diseases that can damage or kill your crops. Clorox works by cleaning the outside of the seed wall and is commonly used as an alternative to a hot water treatment because there is less of a chance of damaging certain types of seeds. Using this bleaching agent with a few supplies, soak your own seeds in Clorox so that you have the best chance at a successful harvest.

Place your seeds in a container. Add 1 tsp. of surfactant and pour in one part Clorox to four parts water (for example, 1 cup Clorox to 4 cups water).

Stir the Clorox mixture continuously for 1 minute to allow the treatment to reach every seed. If you have pepper or tomato seeds, you may continue soaking your seeds for up to 40 minutes to further purify them.

Pour your seeds in a strainer. Hold the strainer under cold running water to rinse the seeds for 5 minutes.

Place your seeds on a screen. Spread the seeds out so that they do not touch each other and allow them to dry.


Things You Will Need

  • Container
  • Clorox (5.25% hypochlorite)
  • Water
  • 1 tsp surfactant
  • Spoon
  • Strainer
  • Screen or paper towel


  • Surfactant, which is available from garden centers, allows the Clorox solution to spread to all of your seeds.
  • You can use a paper towel in place of a screen in step 4, but turn your seeds every day to ensure that they dry evenly on both sides.

About the Author


Brandy Alexander has been writing professionally since 2001. She is a glass artist with a Web design and technical writing background. Alexander runs her own art-glass business and has been a contributor to "Glass Line Magazine" as well as various online publications.