How to remove bleach stains from colored clothes

Updated February 21, 2017

Bleach is a very strong chemical used in many homes to get rid of stains. Unfortunately, bleach sometimes does more damage than good. It can damage fabrics and garments, and can cause harm people who use it and the environment. Bleach may accidentally drip or spill on coloured clothing. Although it is difficult to get rid of bleach stains, there are steps you can take to minimise or neutralise the damage.

Remove the stain as soon as possible. If the stain is really fresh, blot the spot with a white cleaning cloth dipped in photographic fixer until you saturate the fabric. The photographic fixer will neutralise the bleaching agent and could prevent the discolouration of your fabric. It is available at photography supply stores.

Rinse the fabric in cold water. If you applied the photographic fixer right away, the stain might be gone.

Tap the stain with a white cloth dipped in white vinegar if the stain is still visible. Saturate the area of the stain.

Rinse the fabric in cold water. Continue applying white vinegar a few times and see if the stain is fading. If the stain is no longer visible, rinse the fabric again with cold water.

Leave the fabric to dry in direct sunlight. This will lightly bleach the whole garment and soften the effect of the stain.

Remove the colour from the piece of clothing using a colour remover or a colour stripper if white vinegar didn't remove the stain. This step is to make the clothing item wearable if the stain can't be removed. Colour remover is also called sodium hydrosulfite and is available at grocery and department stores. If everything else failed, discolouring the whole garment may be the only solution.


Use rubber gloves when using strong household chemicals such as bleach.

Things You'll Need

  • Photographic fixer
  • Cleaning cloth
  • White vinegar
  • Colour remover
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About the Author

Aryeh Raphael has a degree in journalism and has worked with Fortune 1000 companies helping them to increase their online brand exposure through innovative website design, content creation, advertising and marketing. Additionally, Raphael is a writer for a slew of high-traffic blogs, including eHow and Tech Crunch.