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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Bleach Spots on Colored Clothes

By Dr. Laundry September 23, 2010

Q. I have put bleach on a colored t-shirt by mistake…do I re-color this area, or is it too far gone?

A. I have been able to hide small white spots on black cotton pants by coloring in the area with a black Sharpie pen. It’s not an exact match, but it hides it enough that the pants can still be worn. Sharpie makes a wide variety of permanent colored markers, and hopefully you can find one that is a close enough match to your shirt. This only works well for small spots, but is not practical if you accidentally washed the entire shirt. In that case, I would try to get used to the new color. Also, if the spot was caused by contact with undiluted bleach (which we NEVER recommend), eventually a hole may develop. Until then, hopefully you can get a little more use out of the shirt. Let me know how it goes!