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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Bleach Splash Marks

By Dr. Laundry November 2, 2010

Q. I have several dark items of laundry that have bleach marks on them. They were splash marks. Is there any way to get the color back? Also, should I stop using bleach and change over to Clorox2 so I don’t ruin anymore dark laundry items?

A. Thanks for writing. I am not sure from your question if you have splashed a little bleach on nearby dark items while you were preparing to wash a white load, or if you include dark items in your bleach loads, so I’ll include some best-practice recommendations along with the answers to your questions.


  1. “Is there any way to get the color back on the dark items with the splash marks?” Unfortunately, no—but depending on the color of the item, you may be able to use a Sharpie permanent marker to make the spots less visible so you can keep using the items. I have had good luck with this on a few black items. Be aware that if the spot was caused by contact with a splash of undiluted bleach, eventually a hole may develop. This is one of the reasons we NEVER recommend using undiluted Clorox® Regular-Bleach directly on any fabric.

  2. “Should I stop using bleach and change over to Clorox2®?” It’s best to have both available, and use one or the other depending on what you are washing. Clorox2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster is great for removing tough stains and brightening your colored laundry items. It works great as a pre-treater and also when added to the wash along with your regular detergent. Clorox® Regular-Bleach provides powerful cleaning, whitening and disinfecting for your white and bleach-fast colored items. To determine if a colored item is bleach-safe, dilute 2 tsp of Clorox® Regular-Bleach in ¼ cup water and apply a drop to a hidden part of the item, like a hem or inside seam. Blot dry and check for discoloration. No color change means the item can be safely bleached.


It’s really not one-or-the-other with Clorox2® and Clorox® Regular-Bleach—having both on hand means you can use the appropriate product depending on what item you are washing. I hope this helps and please contact me again if you have any other questions.