We all know the pain of ruining our favorite clothes with food or drink, but when bleach gets onto our clothing we lose all hope.
We feel defeated and have no hope of removing a stain as strong as bleach.
Well, what if we were to tell you that there is a way to get those horrid bleach stains out of your clothing? To find out the secrets to removing these stains, continue reading.
Is It Possible To Remove Bleach Stains From Clothing?
Bleach is a very strong chemical, its purpose being to remove color from fabric as well as being used for cleaning.
When bleach gets onto any piece of clothing of any kind of fabric (whether that be jeans, a dress, even some shoes) the color will automatically drain from the material.
Because of this, the bleach cannot be removed. However, with this said, there are ways of concealing the stain (there’s no need to throw out your favorite clothes anymore!).
What Is It That Makes Bleach So Strong?
It is apparent that we all have a strong love-hate relationship with bleach.
We love it for its excellent strength when it comes to cleaning and for its effective properties, yet we hate how it only takes one mistake to ruin the things we adore.
It is very easy to spill a bottle of bleach on your expensive carpet, your favorite jeans, on a bed sheet and for it to completely ruin.
Clearly, bleach is one of the strongest chemicals out there, but how powerful is it that it is able to completely strip away a fabric’s original color?
To answer this question, we should explain how bleach works.
When bleach makes contact with a fabric of any kind, the bleach begins to break down the chemical bonds of a chromophore.
Once this happens, a change will occur in the molecules making it so it has no color. This chemical is the reason for bleach’s power, why it is as strong as it is and why its effects on fabrics are irreversible.
Common Reasons For Staining Clothing With Bleach
There are many reasons why people get bleach on their clothing. Some common ones include:
1. Accidentally spilling bleach on your clothes.
2. Using too much bleach on your washing machine.
3. Using too much bleach in an attempt to clean something.
4. Trying to clean something using bleach without knowing what you’re doing.
5. Not having enough detergent in your wash cycle.
6. Washing items in cold water.
7. Overly harsh washing cycles.
8. Using a dryer instead of a washer.
9. Using a tumble dryer instead of a conventional dryer.
10. Using a dryer that does not heat up the clothes properly
How To Get Bleach Out Of Clothes
The best way to get bleach out of clothes is by using a commercial cleaner that contains sodium hypochlorite, also known as household chlorine bleach or laundry bleach.
You can use this product in your washing machine and it will work just fine; it is very effective for removing stains from clothing.
However, despite its great abilities, you should be very careful when you are using the cleaning solution. If you leave it on too long, it could damage the fabric.
So how do you know which products to buy?
Well, first off, you want to buy one that has at least 5 percent sodium hypochlorite (or more). You don’t need much though; 1/4 cup of the stuff should be enough to clean up most stains.
If you have a stain that won’t come out with regular detergent, then you may want to try using some baking soda mixed into the water before adding the detergent.
This will help remove any grease or oil that might be stuck to the fabric.
If you still can’t get rid of the stain, then you can always add some vinegar to the water to help break down the chemicals that are causing the problem.
And finally, if all else fails, you can use hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach. But make sure that you only use 3% hydrogen peroxide, not the 10% kind.
The stronger type is actually dangerous and can cause burns.
And remember: Don’t mix these cleaners together! They react with each other and create an even worse chemical reaction than either would alone.
How To Remove Bleach Stains From Dark Clothes
This brings us to our next point. One of the worst things to get bleach on is black clothing and this is because you will notice this stain in an instance.
If you accidentally spill bleach on your favorite pair of jeans, there is no reason to throw them out. There are many ways to remove bleach stains from dark fabrics.
One method is to soak the stained area in warm water for several minutes. Once the stain has softened, blot the fabric with a clean towel.
Do not rub the towel directly onto the stain. Rubbing will spread the bleach around the fabric. Instead, gently pat the towel onto the stain. Let the patch dry completely before wearing the garment again.
Another option is to use a mixture of vinegar and salt. Mix one part vinegar to three parts salt. Use a clean cloth to apply the solution to the stain.
Allow the solution to sit on the stain for five minutes. Blot the stain with a clean towel. Repeat the process if needed.
Another good technique is to mix equal amounts of lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide. Apply the mixture directly to the stain. Wait for ten minutes and repeat the procedure.
Finally, you can use rubbing alcohol instead of vinegar. Mix one part rubbing alcohol to four parts water.
Use a clean cloth or rag to apply the mixture directly to the spot. Wait for fifteen minutes and then repeat the process.
How To Get Bleach Out Of Clothes With Alcohol
Another way to remove bleach out of your clothing is to use alcohol.
For this to be effective, the best way to get bleach out of clothing is by mixing equal amounts of rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide.
To do this, simply pour two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide into a glass jar. Add one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol.
Shake vigorously until the mixture turns clear. Then, dip a cotton swab into the liquid and dab it onto the stain. Wait for fifteen minutes. Afterward, wash the item as usual.
You should note that this solution works well on both white and colored items. However, it does work better on lighter-colored garments.
So, if you have a darker-colored shirt, try using the vinegar/salt method first.
If you still need to get bleach out of dark clothing, then you can also use the rubbing alcohol/peroxide solution.
This time, however, you will want to add more peroxide to the mixture. Pour two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide into the jar.
Add one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol. Stir until the solution becomes clear. Dip a cotton swab into this solution and dab it onto the stained area.
Wait for fifteen minutes, then wash the item as normal.
Remove Bleach Stains With Dish Soap
Above, we have listed a number of ways to remove bleach stains out of clothing and plenty of these remedies require things such as stain remover, commercial cleaners, and other hard chemicals alike.
However, there are some people out there who prefer to use the simple household products they already have and save money on buying stronger products.
Well, did you know that something as simple as dish soap can also help with bleach stains?
Dish soap is a common household product that contains both detergent and cleaning agents.
It works by breaking down grease, dirt, and grime into smaller particles so that they can be removed easily. In fact, dish soap is often used to remove stubborn stains from clothes.
To remove bleach stains from your clothing, simply pour some dish soap into a bowl. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution.
Wring out excess liquid. Then dab the cloth against the stain. The dish soap should help break up the bleach and lift it off the surface.
Rinse the cloth under running water and finish by patting dry with a clean towel.
Can Vinegar Remove Bleach Stains?
Yes, vinegar can remove bleach stains. In fact, it is often recommended as a home remedy for getting bleach stains out of clothes.
There are several reasons why this works. First of all, vinegar is acidic, meaning it breaks apart the chemical bonds that are holding the bleach onto the fabric.
Secondly, vinegar is alkaline, meaning that it neutralizes the acidity of the bleach and helps prevent the bleach from reacting with the fabric.
And lastly, vinegar is a natural substance that doesn’t harm the environment like bleach does.
But what about the smell?
Vinegar smells good, right? Well, yes, but it also has a distinct odor that many people find unpleasant.
So if you are going to use vinegar to remove bleach stains, you should probably wear gloves while doing it.
Also, if you accidentally spill some vinegar on yourself, you should immediately wash it off with soap and water. Otherwise, you risk having a bad case of skin irritation.
How Do I Know Which Stain Remover Is Best For My Carpet?
The best carpet stain removers are those that contain enzymes. Enzymes are naturally occurring substances found in plants and animals.
These enzymes are responsible for breaking down food so that we can eat it. When they are applied to our carpets, they are able to break down the proteins found in dirt, grime, and spills.
Enzyme based cleaners are usually available in liquid form and are applied directly to the surface of the carpet.
They are designed to penetrate deep into the fibers of the carpet and help loosen up the soil that is embedded within them.
Enzyme cleaners are safe for both pets and children because they are non-irritating and non-caustic.
Many people prefer enzyme cleaners because they are less harsh than traditional cleaners. However, they are not recommended for use on hardwood floors.
When buying a carpet stain remover, look for one that contains enzymes. Look for the words “enzyme” or “enzymatic” on the label.
How To Prevent Bleach Stains
There are two things you can do to protect your clothing against future bleaching accidents. The first thing is to keep your laundry detergent away from bleach.
It is very easy to get carried away when you are washing your clothes. You might think that you will only need a small amount of detergent, but then you end up using way too much.
This means that you have used more bleach than necessary.
If you want to avoid this problem, just make sure that you don’t pour any extra detergent into the washer before starting to load the machine.
If you really must use bleach, be careful. Keep an eye on how much you are pouring on the clothes. Make sure that you don‘t overdo it.
If you see that you are spilling bleach on the floor, stop pouring until you have cleaned up the spilled bleach. Then start again.
If you are still worried about getting bleach on your clothes, you can try putting a little bit of baking soda in the rinse cycle.
Baking soda is made from carbonate, which is the same compound that makes up chalk. Carbonates react with acids, such as bleach, to create a weak base.
By adding baking soda to the rinse cycle, you may be able to prevent future bleaching accidents.
You can also add a few drops of essential oil to your laundry detergent. Essential oils are natural scents that are added to cleaning products to improve their effectiveness.
Some essential oils are known to reduce odors and freshen air. Others are thought to have antibacterial properties.
You can buy essential oils at most grocery stores. Just check the labels carefully. Don’t buy anything labeled “fragrance” or “perfume”.
You should find something labeled “essential oil” or “aromatherapy”. Be sure to read the ingredients list carefully.
Most essential oils are derived from flowers, herbs, or other plant materials. Some essential oils are synthetic.
You should never put any kind of essential oil on your skin without checking with your doctor first.
The second thing you can do to prevent bleach stains is to wear dark colors. Darker colored clothes absorb light better than lighter ones.
This means that if you spill bleach on a white shirt, you won’t notice it as easily. On the other hand, if you spill bleach on black pants, you will probably notice that right away.
Can You Use Bleach To Remove Stains?
Now that we have spoken of the pain of removing bleach stains from our clothing, is it possible to remove other stains (such as food and drink) using bleach?
Although ironic, bleach is indeed a very good stain remover, but it doesn’t work on every single stain.
Some stains just aren’t removable, no matter what you do. And while you can certainly get them out, they will never go back to their original color.
So how do you know whether or not bleach will work on a particular stain? Well, here are some tips:
If the stain is dark, like coffee or wine, then bleach will probably work well. However, if the stain is light, such as tea or tomato sauce, then it will likely take longer to remove.
If the stain is fresh, then bleach will definitely work better than anything else. On the other hand, if the stain is old, then it will take longer to dissolve.
Also, if the stain is on something white, like a shirt or pillowcase, then bleach will work great. However, if the spot is on black material, like a blanket or couch, then it will take a lot longer to remove.
Finally, if the stain is small, then it will probably work just fine. However, if the area is large, then you may need to use another method.
Tips For Using Bleach Safely
As we have already discovered, bleach is a powerful chemical and because of its power alone it can cause serious damage to your laundry (and harm to yourself).
We can use bleach to remove some stains in our clothing but this should be done carefully.
In order to prevent any damage, we have put together some helpful safety tips to refer to when using bleach.
- If you have a stain that needs to be removed, remember to use only enough bleach to completely cover the stain. Too much bleach can leave behind a residue that could make future washing difficult.
- Never mix bleach directly into the washer or dryer. Instead, add 1/4 cup of bleach per load of wash. This amount is usually sufficient to remove most stains.
- Don’t let bleach sit around too long after mixing. If you have leftover bleach, it is very important to store it in an airtight container away from children and pets.
- Do not use bleach near food or drink.
- Do not apply bleach directly onto skin.
- When storing bleached items, keep them away from heat sources and sunlight. These two elements can accelerate the breakdown of bleach, making it less effective at removing stains.
- When cleaning with bleach, be careful not to get any on your clothing.
How To Get Bleach Smell Out Of Clothes
When bleach gets on clothing, it is likely that it will leave a smell. Bleach has a distinct smell – it smells like chlorine and it also leaves a lingering odor on fabric.
While this isn’t necessarily bad, it can be unpleasant. Luckily, there are ways to get rid of the smell. Here are some suggestions:
Use A Deodorant Spray
Deodorants contain fragrance oils which help to mask the smell of bleach. You can find these sprays at drugstores or grocery stores.
Wash With Detergent
When washing clothes, try adding a little bit of detergent to the water. The detergent will absorb the bleach smell before it gets washed off.
Vinegar contains acetic acid which helps to neutralize the smell of bleach. Simply pour a few drops of vinegar into the wash cycle.
Add Baking Soda
Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate which absorbs odors. Add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda to the wash cycle.
Use Lemon Juice
Lemon juice contains citric acid which removes odors. Pour a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice into the wash cycle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need To Wear Gloves While Using Bleach?
No, you don’t need to wear gloves while cleaning with bleach, however if you are looking for extra protection then using gloves is completely acceptable if it makes you more comfortable.
How Often Should I Use Bleach?
You can use bleach as needed whenever you need to – there is no set time period. Just be sure to use it with caution.
Is It Safe For Bleach To Be On My Kids’ Clothing?
Yes, this is completely safe. Whilst bleach is very toxic, it is possible to spill this chemical on your children’s clothes.
If this is the case, do not feel tempted to throw it out straight away for the sake of your children. They will be safe.
Bleach is one of the best cleaners available and is extremely useful when it comes to getting rid of stains, however it is also the leading cause of many other stains.
Because bleach is very powerful, any spillage on clothing can lead to ultimately ruining the clothing – luckily, this is not the end of the world!
Above, we have given you a variety of options on how to remove bleach stains from your clothing, specifically highlighting dark clothes (the most noticeable) as well as learning how to prevent stains from occurring in the first place.
There are many options, from your natural remedies (vinegar, dish soap, alcohol) to stronger options (commercial cleaner and others alike).
Now you have read through this helpful guide, you will no longer have to worry about throwing out those bleach stained clothes.