If you accidentally spilled bleach on your favorite shirt or your jeans turned yellow from applying bleach, there are ways to manage this bleach disaster. Although your clothes might not be restored to their original state, it is possible to fix the damage significantly so that you can continue wearing them and still look your best. Keep reading for the different ways to get bleach stains out of clothes.
4 Ways to Get Bleach Stain Out of Clothes
1. Home Remedies
The first thing you should do is try out natural remedies at home. You could get lucky, and the stain will be fixed. See the different remedies you can use and how to use them:
- Neutralize the bleach with a baking soda paste
Before you begin treating the stain, you must ensure the bleach won’t create a hole in the cloth. Mix the baking soda with some water to create a thick paste. Then, apply the paste to the bleach-stained area with a paper towel or toothbrush. Let the paste sit until it dries, then gently brush it off. After this step, you can start restoring the color of your cloth.
- Use lemon juice
If you can get the stain out this way, you will be using the mildest approach and be able to avoid using any chemical products completely. In a large basin, add the cloth to a quarter cup of lemon juice and a gallon of boiling water, allow the garment to soak for about 2 hours, then rinse the cloth. Let the garment dry fully in the sun before wearing it again.
- Use vinegar
Vinegar contains acetic acid, which helps dissolve the bleach and peel away the damaged fabric. Get white vinegar and completely saturate the stain in vinegar. Rinse the garment in cold water once that is done, and then repeat if necessary.
Before treating the fabric with vinegar, rinse the garment in cold water to get rid of any residual bleach. Mixing bleach with vinegar can help release toxins. Use limited quantities when using vinegar on cotton garments since it has a high potential of ruining cotton fabrics.
- Use a patch to cover up the stains
Rather than trying to get rid of the stain, an alternative option is to cover the stain. Depending on where the stain is, a cleverly placed patch or your favorite badge could do the trick! You could even use a crochet pattern.
2. Use Chemical Treatments
Some chemical treatments to use include:
- Mild bleach
Before using anything stronger, try mild bleach. Avoid beginning the stain removal process with something so harsh. Add about 2 tablespoons of Borax to 2 cups of water and add it to your washer cycle.
- Use alcohol to neutralize the color
Get a cotton ball and saturate it in clear alcohol, such as vodka or gin. Start rubbing the stain gently with a cotton ball. Don’t be alarmed when you start to see the color run. As you continue to swab the area, the color from the fabric will start to cover the bleached area.
After that, rinse the garment thoroughly in water. You can leave your garment to dry in the sun or put it in the dryer.
- Use Sodium Thiosulfate
This works effectively as an immediate spot treatment before the stain spreads. Dip a clean white cloth into the Sodium Thiosulfate and blot the stain repeatedly until it begins to disappear. Once the cloth is saturated, rinse it in cold water and repeat the process until you are satisfied with the results.
This method, similar to alcohol but much stronger, aims to restore clothes damaged by bleach and is referred to as the “photographic fixer.”
3. Use Citric Acid and Lemon Solution
Lemon is one of the organic and most effective home remedies that is often used. It has a natural bleaching agent.
Follow these steps to get rid of bleach stains from clothes:
- Create a solution by mixing half a cup of lemon juice with one tablespoon of citric acid powder and one tablespoon of liquid soap in a bowl. Dilute and mix them well.
- Place the stained garment in a bowl filled with the solution and let it soak overnight.
- Rinse the garment thoroughly under running water and squeeze out excess solution.
- Launder the garment by setting the washer cycle in a regular spin and hanging it to dry. Repeat the steps if necessary.
4. Experiment with Color Correction
Here’s how to get rid of bleach stains on clothes by experimenting with color correction
- Use a permanent marker to fill in the stain
Get a permanent marker that matches your garment exactly. Otherwise, it will be more obvious than the stain itself! Cover the stain with the marker, set it with an iron, or put it in the dryer for some minutes to ensure the ink doesn’t run.
Always test the marker on a rag or unused cloth first to ensure you have chosen the right color. This method works perfectly for black and dark colors but not so well for white and bright colors.
Try the sun-bleaching method to lighten the clothes naturally since it’s safer to work with the stain sometimes rather than work against it. Start by washing the garment and placing it outside in direct sunlight. Allow for several hours and repeat the process if required.
Ultraviolet rays are bleaching your cloth, so make sure it is placed flat with no wrinkles. Even though this method won’t make the stain go away fully, it will help to lighten it.
- Bleach the whole garment as a last resort
In as much as this is a very risky measure, it can effectively change the color of the rest of the cloth. All you need to do is add your cloth to a large bucket of water, then add a cup full of bleach. Swirl the cloth around in the bleach mixture until your desired color is reached. Do well to add more bleach as required.
Rinse the garment and allow it to soak for half an hour in a bucket of cold water and hydrogen peroxide. Add 50 grams of hydrogen peroxide to every 5 liters of water. You can try this method as a last resort after trying natural remedies and less invasive chemical options.
5. Prevent Future Stains
There are strategies to adopt to prevent future bleach stains.
- Replace your bleach with something milder
Standard bleach is harsh on clothes. A milder treatment will still produce great results. Besides, bleach is not the best product for household use and is designed more for commercial use. It is advisable to try a milder version such as Oxygen bleach or Borax for home use.
- Adopt natural alternatives
Consider the numerous negative effects of bleach on the environment, and settle for natural remedies. Try out the lemon juice, sun-bleaching, or white vinegar.
- Clean your washer to remove bleach residue
Although bleach contains some cleaning properties, it might be causing stains rather than helping to clean your clothes. If you have used bleach in your built-in bleach dispenser in your washer, ensure you clean the dispenser thoroughly before your next wash. You can put your washer on a quick rinse cycle where you add bleach to ensure it is free from any built-up product.