A second of inattention, mishandling, and there you are with bleach stains on your clothes. While this is not too annoying on a white t-shirt, the same cannot be said for colored fabrics. And if we are talking about “stains”, we might as well say it clearly: bleach does not stain, but discolors. This is the reason why it is extremely hard to process, but not absolutely impossible. In this article, Grandma explains how to remove and how to clean a stain of bleach from clothing without damaging it. If you act quickly, it may indeed be possible to “loosen” the laundry. And if it’s not possible to make it disappear with the right “stain remover” to prevent fading and remove stains, we’ve got some ideas for making the stained area look great.
1) Remove a bleach stain as quickly as possible
The only way to save your garment and get it back in good condition is to act quickly. If you wait, it will be too late! To do this, start by identifying the material of the garment. Indeed, for cotton or wool, we will rather use ammonia. And for the other materials (synthetic, linen, jeans, etc.), oxygenated water will be used. Here you have to dab the bleach stain with a clean cloth. Then proceed to washing in the washing machine or by hand. This should normally save the garment. (Surprising, but for once, we will not have used baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice or Marseille soap to achieve this magic trick!)
Some special cases and tissues to be treated differently:
-The velvet is to be rubbed gently with soft grit sandpaper.
-For the leather, you must remove the bleach with absorbent paper or a dry cloth. Then, erase the stain with shoe polish the same color as the leather.
-The silk : Here, there is nothing to do, because this fabric is too fragile! If the dry cleaning cannot do anything, you will need to cover up the stain as explained below.
2) If it didn’t work, try dyeing the stained area
If it’s a solid color, you can always try using a dye knowing in all fairness that this technique is not not always very efficient. With fading, the fibers are severely damaged and may not set well, making stubborn bleach stains impossible to dye. If this is a t-shirt that you particularly like and don’t feel like making a rag out of it, you can go for it. Above all, choose a dye kit that is suitable for the fabric and best matches the initial color of your garment, and follow the instructions.
If this still does not work, it is also possible to use a fabric marker. Those are indelible textile markers which allow to color the stain of bleach neither seen nor known. Do not hesitate to go to a creative hobby store with your garment to choose the appropriate shade.
3) Be creative or opt for a hide-and-seek to hide the bleach stain!
If you can’t get a bleach stain out, there are a few tips that can help cover it up. Choose your hide-and-seek : iron-on patch to stick with an iron or to sew on, badge or pin, brooch, hole, lace insert, pocket added by you, etc. You will find what you need in haberdashery, supermarkets or on specialized sites. Your turn to judge what will work best depending on the location of the areas to be camouflaged. Otherwise, it could “stain”!
It is also possible to make other spots or create a “tie and dye” effect to give a new look to your garment. After all, if nothing else has worked, you have nothing left to lose! This will give the impression that it is done on purpose. To do this, there are many techniques, but we usually make a ball with the garment. Then spray with bleach diluted in cold water. (You should never mix bleach with hot water!) You can also immerse the garment in a basin of bleach for a two-tone effect. For this step, do not hesitate to wear protective gloves and glasses. Then rinse with cold water and machine wash the garment alone. It is very important not to make a halo on another garment. And there you have it, your garment will have a new look!
Be more careful next time or better, swap your bleach for more natural and effective products!