Skip to content
Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Clorox 2® Stain

By Dr. Laundry February 27, 2012

Q: How do I remove a stain caused by Clorox 2® Stain Fighter and Color Booster?  It’s a ring around what used to be a coffee stain.

A:  What you describe sounds like liquid Clorox2® was applied directly to the coffee stain (which is good for improved stain removal), but stayed on the fabric too long before being washed.  We typically recommend allowing 5-10 minutes (depending on the type of stain and its severity) for pre-treating before washing an item.  This allows enough time for the surfactants and hydrogen peroxide to work in concentrated form, but not so much time that the colorant and brighteners permanently dye the area. The product should never be allowed to dry on the fabric since the stain left behind (a combination of blue colorant and brighteners) is nearly impossible to remove.  There’s a chance you might be able to remove the blue colorant by soaking the item (if it’s safely bleachable—avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, leather, and spandex) in a solution of ¼ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of water for up to 5 minutes before thoroughly rinsing.  Any residual blue color left after this is actually concentrated brightener that reflects light off the fabric in the blue spectrum.  Success will be depends on how long the liquid Clorox2® was on the fabric in the first place.

If the item is colored, you still might be able to safely bleach it.  To check, add 2 teaspoons Clorox® Regular-Bleach to ¼ cup water and apply a drop of this solution to a hidden part of the item; wait 1 minute then blot dry; no color change means the item can be safely bleached.  If it passes, then you can try soaking it as described above.  I really hope you are able to use the bleach soak and that it works, but unfortunately it may be too late. 

Has anyone else had this happen?