After spending more than a year at nothing better than a four-star rank, Clorox (NYSE: CLX) has impressed enough top-performing members of our 165,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS community to climb all the way up to five stars. A total of 616 members have given their opinion on the consumer products company, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

With economic recovery still uncertain, many CAPS members are taking comfort in blue-chip dividend payer Clorox. The company recently blew past analysts' earnings expectations, posting another quarter of year-over-year growth. It also recently raised its dividend for the 33rd straight year, keeping itself among the ranks of other longtime dividend hikers -- diversified products company 3M (NYSE: MMM) recently marked its 52nd straight year of dividend increases and personal products maker Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) hit its 38th year.

The competitive environment has been tough in the household products sector, though, as retailers like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and Target (NYSE: TGT) have been increasing their focus on private label products. Wal-Mart plans to widen its price gap and beef up its private label offerings at Sam's Club, and Target expanded its "Up & Up" brand last year.

Clorox has used product promotions to boost sales in response to the generic competition, but still managed 7% earnings-per-share growth in its fiscal third quarter, a clean break from the earnings decreases of competitors Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) and Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL) in their most recent quarters. Despite seeing sales affected by promotions and devaluation of the currency in Venezuela, Clorox saw volume growth in each of its segments and also showed an uptick in U.S. market share.

Many CAPS members see the stock as a strong defensive play in a period of low confidence, and don't expect to hit a home run with the investment. But with a rising dividend and fairly stable business, investors like the long-term potential of the company and see it as a good stock to own.

Do you think Clorox deserves its five-star status? Add your thoughts in the comments box below on this page, or head over to CAPS to rate the company and check out all the information and opinions the community offers, absolutely free.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock is looking to upgrade his artistic skills with a weekend class in ice sculpting. He owns shares of 3M and Colgate-Palmolive. 3M and Wal-Mart are Inside Value recommendations. Clorox, Kimberly-Clark, and Procter & Gamble are Income Investor picks. The Fool owns shares of Procter & Gamble. The Fool's disclosure policy did a short stint as a stunt double for Mr. Clean.