Bleach Stains on Clothes: Your Questions
Q: I had a stain on a 100% cotton golf shirt. It had been washed a few times when I finally saw the stain. I took a Q-tip and dipped it into Clorox Bleach and rubbed it on the stain. I have done this before on white clothing and the stain came right out. This time, everywhere I used the bleach on the shirt, it turned yellow. Unless I can get these stains out, it’s ruined. Please help!
A: First, I NEVER recommend using Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 full-strength on any item or surface. It should always be diluted because it is so strong and if unrinsed, can actually cause little holes in the garment. That’s what happens when there is accidental liquid bleach spillage while pouring into the machine and someone brushes against the washer. Next time they pick up the garment it either has “bleached out” the colors and/or small holes are present.
I suspect that you have bleached some of the dye out of the shirt and the yellow spots are the result. Unfortunately, this is irreversible.
In the future, if you notice a stain after drying, I would first try pretreating it with liquid detergent (apply; rub in; let set 3–5 minutes before washing) and then immediately wash in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and either 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach1, if white or Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster, if colored. Always check for success after washing and retreat the item if needed before drying.