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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

“Ultra” White Spot on White Shirt from Clorox2®

By Dr. Laundry May 15, 2012

Q: I used Clorox2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster to remove a stain and it bleached my white shirt where the stain was. How do I fix the shirt? Is this a side effect of the product that sometimes happens?

A: It sounds like the white shirt may actually not be as white as it used to be; fabrics can become dingy over time when washed in cold or lukewarm water, especially if you have hard water.  You should be able to unify the appearance of the rest of the shirt with an overnight presoak.  To do this, add a capful (filled to line 1) of liquid Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster to 2 gallons of very hot water and mix.  Add the shirt and make sure it is fully submerged – weigh it down with a dishwasher safe plate if necessary – and let the shirt soak overnight.  The next day, wash the shirt in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and more Clorox2®.  This should catch the rest of the shirt up to the treated spot.

Something else to consider (especially if the presoak doesn’t unify the shirt’s appearance) is how long the liquid Clorox2® was on the fabric before the shirt was washed.  With pretreating, you want to allow enough time for concentrated product to work effectively at remove a tough stain, but not enough time for the brighteners and blue colorant to permanently dye the fabric.  Contact time for a pretreatment should be limited to 5-10 minutes, and the product should never be allowed to dry out on fabric.  If that is what’s happened in your case, then you still could try to unify the color by soaking the shirt in a more concentrated soaking solution.