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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Using the bleach pen on cross-stitch aida cloth

By Dr. Laundry December 17, 2012

Can I use your Bleach Pen on cross-stitch ivory aida cloth?

I love the Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel—it is definitely a product I can’t live without! Because it works so well, there’s a good chance it will not only remove whatever stain you have on your ivory colored aida cloth, it will also whiten it as well, and then you will end up with a white spot in the middle of the ivory cloth. That’s why use of the bleach pen is generally restricted to white, bleachable fabrics, or craft/DIY projects where white spots are desired. Furthermore, some aida cloth is treated with a finish to stiffen it, and the finish may yellow if the treated area isn’t washed immediately after applying the gel from the bleach pen. Another consideration is if any of the gel gets onto the embroidery during rinsing and accidentally lightens the colored stitches. If this is your own project and you have some extra aida cloth to practice on, one thing you could try is testing a sample (not your actual cross-stitch) of aida cloth by applying a little of the bleach pen gel, and then immediately pouring a little 3% hydrogen peroxide directly onto the gel to stop any bleaching (this protects the cross stitch pattern). Rinse the treated area thoroughly, and let the fabric air dry. If the ivory aida cloth hasn’t lightened where it was treated, then you could try this technique on your cross-stitch, but only after you have confirmed that it’s safe to do so.