How to bleach a discoloured white shirt

Washing your white shirt with other clothing can lead to the brightness diminishing. Sweat, deodorant, makeup, hair products and food can add stains, which can be frustrating. Fortunately, there is a way to restore your garment back to its original white state using bleach, providing your shirt is not made from wool, silk or lycra and does not contain any colour or ornamentation.

Read the label of your white shirt to establish the washing instructions. Clarify that it is safe to use bleach.

Put on the rubber gloves and fill a bucket or washing up bowl with 4 litres of hot water. You should be able to immerse your gloved hands in the water comfortably.

Add half a cup of liquid bleach to the bucket of hot water and mix. Add the shirt, immersing it fully into the water.

Leave to soak for 15-30 minutes then empty the bucket into a sink. Run the tap with cold water and rinse the shirt until all the bleach is removed.

Wring the shirt out and wash as normal.


Wear an apron or protective clothing to prevent your clothes becoming stained from the bleach. Liquid bleach is more effective than powder bleach. You can buy special laundry bleach from most supermarkets.


The bleach may also whiten the labels inside your shirt so you may like to write down the washing instructions for future use. If bleach comes into contact with your skin; wash immediately to avoid irritation. If bleach comes into contact with your eyes; rinse with water and seek medical attention.

Things You'll Need

  • White shirt
  • Rubber gloves
  • 4 litres of hot water
  • Half cup of liquid bleach
  • Bucket or washing up bowl
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About the Author

Jules Halliday is a writer, coach and public speaker with more than 20 years experience of recruitment, training and management in a variety of sectors. Passionate about career and personal development, Halliday is director of TMS Coaching Ltd and founder of All UK Jobsites.