Stain Removal

How to Get Rid of Bleach Stains

Bleach is a chemical that functions through oxidation to remove colors and whiten things. You will encounter different types of bleach as you deal with different types of stains. The irony here is that, as you try to remove a stain using bleach, there are times when this bleaching agent itself stains your clothes.

Bleach Stain Prevention Plan

Preventing bleach stains is easy if you stop using it altogether. Bleach is a very strong solution that’s too damaging and powerful for a risk. Keep finding ways on how to not use bleach to save your precious fabrics. If you think you really need to use bleach, the next thing you have to deal with is how to prevent the stains from bleaching. Below are some tips on how to prevent bleach stains.

  1. If you are using a washing machine and there is a bleach dispenser it in, it is important to always rinse the dispenser thoroughly before putting any colored clothing items in it. There are times when a little extra bleach is still in the dispenser, and it ends up on your clothes.
  2. Some colored clothings do not bleed, so wash them first. The colors that bleed should be the last batch for washing.
  3. If you are not sure of the first two tips, then do a rinse cycle very quickly before you put your next batch of laundry. Again, the bleach dispenser must be thoroughly rinsed before you put the next batch in.

Since not everyone have time to do these preventive measures, it’s no surprise that other clothing items get stained with bleach. This is not something to worry about, because there are a lot of products out on the market these days to help you get rid of the stains that bleaching agents create.

Remember, removing bleach stains is not actually possible. The products mentioned will only help you restore colors that are already lost. After all, when you bleach a shirt, you are stripping its color off. When you strip the color off a shirt unintentionally, you consider the damaged spot that you have to deal with.

To help you manage bleach stains, you can use sodium thiosulfate, natural bleach alternatives, sodium hydrosulfite, hydrogen peroxide and borax.

Substances, Solutions, Chemicals

Sodium Thiosulfate – If immediate treatment is highly necessary, then you need sodium thiosulfate. Sometimes called a photographic fixer, this can neutralize the effects of substances, especially the effects of bleaching. It can restore the color and quality of a specific spot on your shirt. You can blot the stain with a white cloth dipped in sodium thiosulfate, and wait until the fabric is saturated, or the stain disappears. After this, rinse the treated fabric with cold water. If the bleach stain is still there, keep repeating this method until you achieve the desired effect.

Natural Bleach Alternatives – You cannot find another safer form of bleach than oxygen bleach. You can find this in any store. It’s considered a color safe bleach, or a bleach alternative, because it is not as harsh as your regular bleaching product. An oxygen bleach is a natural bleach, which makes it safe to use, because it functions by releasing oxygen molecules which corrode or oxidize, the stains on your clothes.

You can buy different brands of oxygen bleach, like Oxyclean. Color safe bleaches are always recommended when it comes to removing bleach stains, because the chemicals in it are weaker, although their ability to break down pigments or stains is still unquestionable. You can also try a non-chlorine bleach called Ecover.

Sodium Hydrosulfite – This compound strips color off your clothes. If you want to redye your shirt because you failed during your first try, then strip the color off the fabric using sodium hydrosulfite. You can also use this compound to get rid of the stains from bleaching. Sodium hydrosulfite is environmentally friendly, and is guaranteed to be effective when it comes to getting rid of bleach stains. It works like the harsh chlorine bleach, but sodium hydrosulfite is the ecologically safe counterpart. For brands, you can try Rit Color Remover.

Hydrogen Peroxide – Once you mix bleach alternatives or color safe bleaches with water, you automatically get hydrogen peroxide. The oxygen that this new chemical compound releases is strong when it comes to bleaching. You will need only 3% of hydrogen peroxide to get rid of the stains. This is all you need to deal with the tough ones. If you use hydrogen peroxide with a higher concentration, you are in danger. Anything higher than that is not safe to have inside your home.

Hydrogen peroxide does not have as much shelf life as other chemicals and compounds, so once it is exposed to air and light, the oxygen components are automatically released. If this happens, hydrogen peroxide returns back to being plain old water. You can no longer use it to get rid of bleach stains.

Borax – When it comes to removing just about any type of stain, it seems that borax is always there to offer you remedy. Borax is a mild bleaching agent that helps you get rid of the stains that harsh bleaching agents caused. Borax is not used as bleach because a solution can only be considered bleach if it has an oxidizing power, and borax does not have that ability. If you want to restore the colors of your clothings especially if bleaching agents stain them, then go for borax. You can store borax in your laundry room because it is a very useful cleaning agent for your clothes. For a brand, you can use 20 Mule Team Borax.

The tips on how to get rid of bleach stains are not limited to the ones above. There are other, more difficult ways, but to make sure what you’re doing is environmentally-safe, stick to these tactics.

Click here for more information on how to get rid of bleach stains.

About the author

Nicole Harding

3 Comments

  • I had bleach stains in some clothes and i tried white vinegar but it not go.Pls tell me some alternate simple way to get rid of them.
    Thank U

  • It’s important to remember when you encounter a bleach stain, it isn’t something that’s THERE. This is something that’s NOT THERE and SHOULD BE. The color you had in your clothing is missing, and you want to restore it. You can’t remove that which isn’t there, which is the missing color.

    Now that I’ve confused you, sorry bout that… working around bleach stains is tricky. The bleach that originally stained your clothes not only stripped out the color, but it also damaged your fabric. You have to be careful how you handle your repair job.

    Since the color that was in the fabric is now stripped out, as it is when you strip your hair for a pale color, there is nothing there for a new color to adhere to. Therefore, using fabric dyes won’t work. They will wash out, and the stain will reappear.

    Many people suggest using a magic marker, if the article of clothing is black or a solid color that you can find in a magic marker. It is a possible solution and may work for you.

    Other suggestions are to use dye remover, or hair dye remover first. Then use fabric or hair dye to recolor. You may have to play around with these suggestions to get one or a combination of them to work on your particular article. The type of material you’re dealing with (cotton, polyester, etc.) may influence how effective each of these suggestions is for you.

    I hope this answers your question.

Leave a Comment