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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Preventing yellow bleach stains

By Dr. Laundry September 7, 2012

I put straight Clorox® Regular-Bleach on white jeans and now I have a yellow stain.  How do I remove the bleach stain?

No matter what you are using bleach for, it should always be diluted and never used directly on a surface or fabric. Unfortunately you have first-hand experience with why we never recommend treating fabric with undiluted bleach. I wish I had better news, but instead of the yellow being a “stain” that can be removed, it is a permanent shift in the color of the white fabric (sort of the reverse of when undiluted bleach leaves a light spot on a colored item) and cannot be reversed.

Next time, be sure to wash the fabric in your washer with detergent and 3/4 cup bleach. You can also try soaking in a solution of ¼ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach added to 1 gallon cool water for up to 5 minutes, then rinse the slacks thoroughly. Air dry and check for success