Bleach is one of the most effective stain removers and can be used to remove almost any type of stain from clothes. But if you don’t use bleach correctly or use it too much, it can also leave stains behind on clothes, even if they are white. The stains will be yellowish in appearance and can be big or small. So how do you remove bleach stains from clothes?
The best way to remove bleach stains from white clothes is to ensure that all the bleach has been rinsed out. Then, neutralize the bleach to prevent it from causing further stains. Finally, you can target and remove the stains with white vinegar, dish soap, or rubbing alcohol.
Due to bleach being such a harsh chemical, the stains can be somewhat hard to remove. However, they can come out with the right products. In this article, I’ll explain how to remove bleach stains from white clothes. I’ll also explain how to prevent them in the future.
- Why Does Bleach Turn White Clothes Yellow?
- Do Bleach Stains Come Out of White Clothes?
- How to Remove Bleach Stains from White Clothes
- How to Avoid Bleach Stains on White Clothes
Why Does Bleach Turn White Clothes Yellow?
Before I explain how to remove bleach stains from white clothes, it’s important to understand why bleach turns white clothes yellow in the first place. Bleach is a harsh chemical and the chlorine found in it is what causes yellowing on white clothes. It’s also what removes the dye from colored clothes.
Over time, bleach can wear down the fibers. This is especially true if it is used frequently or incorrectly or used on clothes that shouldn’t be bleached in the first place. Bleach can give the fibers a yellowish tinge over time. The yellow stains can be small or large and in some cases, they can turn the entire garment yellow.
Do Bleach Stains Come Out of White Clothes?
Bleach stains can be somewhat difficult to remove, especially if the stains have been there for a while. But, it is still possible to get them to come out. You may just have to work a little harder to do so. But if the bleach stains are newer or fresh, it won’t be that hard to get them out. You’ll just want to make sure that you rinse all of the bleach out of the clothing before attempting to remove it.
After making sure there is no more bleach in the clothing, you’ll also need to neutralize the bleach. This will help prevent the stain from becoming worse. After you neutralize the bleach, there are several ways to remove the stains. You can use one or more of them until you find an effective one.
How to Remove Bleach Stains from White Clothes
Removing yellow bleach stains from white clothes involves a series of steps. There are also a few different common household products that you can use. How effective each one will depend on how you use it, how long the bleach stain has been there, and how big it is.
You also may have to use several methods to remove the bleach stains, especially if the stains are older. Newer bleach stains will probably be much easier and quicker to remove.
1. Rinse Out the Bleach
If the bleach stain is fresh, the first thing you’ll want to do is rinse out the excess bleach. This is important for two reasons. The first reason is that you don’t want any bleach to remain in the clothing and make the stain worse. But the second reason is that using some of these cleaning products can be dangerous if they come into contact with bleach.
For example, if you use white vinegar to remove the bleach stains, the bleach can react with the vinegar and create toxic chlorine gas. This can cause your eyes and throat to burn as well as cause damage to the respiratory tract. When rinsing out the bleach, you’ll also want to make sure that you wear gloves to protect your skin from the bleach.
2. Neutralize the Bleach
Once you’ve rinsed all of the bleach out, or if the stain is old, you’ll still want to neutralize the bleach. Neutralizing bleach is important because it eliminates its damaging effects, including the fumes it gives off. It will also help prevent the bleach from causing further damage to the clothing.
The best way to neutralize the bleach is to use baking soda, especially if the bleach stains are smaller. To do this, you’ll want to mix baking soda and water so that it forms a paste. If the mixture is too powdery, add more water. If it’s too watery, add more baking soda. Apply the paste to the bleach stain and let it sit on the stain until it has dried. Then, just rinse the baking soda paste off.
For larger bleach stains or if the whole garment is yellowed, another effective way to neutralize bleach is with hydrogen peroxide. 3% hydrogen peroxide works the best. You’ll need to mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 10 parts water. Then, soak the stained fabric in the hydrogen peroxide and water mixture. Allow the fabric to soak in the mixture for about 10 minutes. Finally, rinse the hydrogen peroxide off.
3. White Vinegar
One of the most effective ways to remove bleach stains from white clothes. You’ll first want to rinse the fabric to remove the neutralizing agent and excess bleach if you haven’t already. Rinse it for several minutes just to make sure that you get all of it out. This is super important since vinegar reacts with bleach.
Next, pour or spray straight vinegar directly onto the bleach stains. Let the vinegar sit on the stain for 5 minutes. If the entire fabric is yellowed due to bleach, you can also soak the clothing in vinegar for about 5 minutes. Rinse the fabric and repeat with the vinegar, if necessary.
4. Dish SoapAnother great way to remove bleach stains from white clothing is to use dish soap. Although it isn’t as powerful as bleach, dish soap is quite powerful when it comes to removing stains. Mix one cup of dish soap with about 4 squirts of dish soap. Mix the two until they are well blended.
Next, apply the dish soap to the bleach stains. Use a cloth or a soft-bristled brush to rub the dish soap into the stains. Let the dish soap sit on the stains for about 10 minutes. Then, rinse the dish soap off and repeat as necessary. Note that this method works best for smaller bleach stains, not if the whole garment is yellowed due to bleach.
5. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is another great way to remove yellow bleach stains from clothes. However, this method works well for smaller bleach stains, not so much larger ones, since you don’t want to have to buy a lot of rubbing alcohol to soak the clothing in. Remember to rinse and neutralize the fabric before using it, just to ensure that all the bleach is gone from the fabric.
Then, soak a cotton swab, cotton ball, or a clean cloth in rubbing alcohol, depending on the size of the bleach stain. Blot the stain with the alcohol until it starts to go away. Rinse the fabric and repeat the process if necessary.
6. Bluing AgentIf the whole garment is yellowed due to bleach or nothing else works, you can always try to minimize the appearance of the yellow without removing them completely. The way to do this is with a bluing agent.
A bluing agent is a laundry product made up of a blue pigment. It’s designed to enhance the appearance of white clothing, making it appear whiter and brighter. However, it can also neutralize the yellow coloring caused by bleach stains.
You’ll have to use the bluing agent every few washes because the appearance will wear off. To use it, you’ll never want to pour it directly into the washing machine as it can stain fabrics. Like with bleach, you’ll need to dilute the bluing agent in cold water before using it. The instructions on the packaging should tell you how to dilute it.
Then, add the bluing agent directly into the water, not a dispenser, because it can stain. Make sure to use it only with laundry detergent, no bleach or fabric softener. If you use any other type of laundry product with it, the bluing agent may not work as effectively.
How to Avoid Bleach Stains on White Clothes
Now that you know how to remove yellow bleach stains from clothes, you’ll want to prevent them from happening in the future. You’ll first need to figure out what it is that is causing the bleach stains, as there are several causes. Most of the time, it is due to user error. Here, I’ll break down some of the most common causes of bleach stains and explain how to avoid them in the future.
Make Sure That The Clothing Is Safe to Bleach
Sometimes, bleach leaves behind stains on clothing because the clothing is not safe to bleach in the first place. Some fabrics are more delicate than others and with bleach being the strong fabric that it is, it can degrade the fibers a lot more and do so a lot more quickly. This is true even if the clothing is white. Bleach can do much more damage to clothing than just removing its color.
Examples of fabrics that shouldn’t be bleached include silk, wool, leather, and spandex. Even if a garment isn’t made 100% out of these fibers, bleach can still cause damage to and stain the fabric. Even if the bleach doesn’t stain, it could dissolve the fabric or, at the very least, weaken them over time.
Even if a particular garment isn’t made from one of the above fabrics, it may not be safe to bleach. It’s always a good idea to check the care tag of any garment before using bleach on it, especially if you’re using bleach on it for the first time. Some clothing will say not to bleach it, while others may say to use only oxygen bleach. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t assume that fabric is safe to bleach just because it is white.
Use Bleach Properly
Another way to avoid bleach stains in the future is to make sure that you use bleach properly. Bleach should never be used by itself on fabric. It needs to be diluted first and it needs to be diluted with the right amount of water. Using too much bleach or bleach that is too heavily concentrated could cause the bleach to not get rinsed out all the way, leaving behind stains.
Although the amount of bleach to use may vary according to the instructions, it’s best not to use more than 1½ cups of bleach for every gallon of water. Make sure that you let the bleach sit on the fabric for the appropriate amount of time. Then, rinse the bleach off of the fabric before washing the fabric. If you use bleach in the washing machine, make sure to add the bleach to the appropriate dispenser and in the appropriate amount.
Avoid Using Bleach Too Often
Using bleach too often can also cause fabrics to yellow over time. This is common when the entire white garment is yellowed, not just a few localized areas. Unless the fabric is heavily stained, you don’t want to use bleach every time you wash a white garment. This can cause the fibers to wear down over time. Instead, use bleach only when the fabric is stained or every few washes to help reduce yellowing.
Yellow bleach stains on white clothing are common, especially if bleach is being used incorrectly or too often. Often, these stains can be removed with a few common household products. You just want to make sure that you remove and neutralize the bleach from the clothing first. If the stains can’t be removed, you can always try a bluing agent instead to reduce the appearance of the stains and make your clothes look whiter even if they aren’t. If you found this helpful, share it with others and leave a comment. Thanks for reading!