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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Removing Pale Green Color from Clothing

By Dr. Laundry August 27, 2009

Q. I have a problem. I used Clorox® Oxi Magic Powder on a white cotton blouse. Took the stain right out. Unfortunately, I did not read the small print on the OxiMagic until after I hand washed the blouse in hot water, Tide® and Clorox® Regular-Bleach1, my blouse in now a lovely shade of pale green. Any suggestions to get it back to white?

A. You weren’t clear about the exact way (application method, time exposure, fiber type, etc.) you used Clorox® Oxi Magic Powder in order to create the pale green.

I’m surprised if you sprayed the stain with Clorox® Oxi Magic Powder, rubbed it in, waited 3–5 minutes before washing with detergent and Clorox® Regular-Bleach1, that you had a reaction to produce the green hue. The Clorox® Oxi Magic Powder is hydrogen peroxide based — there should be no reaction with any metals or fiber types.

One possibility is the Clorox® Regular-Bleach1, with its sodium hypochlorite active, may have reacted with some metals in the water supply/wash water to create the color. This usually occurs in well water rather than municipal supplies. If you have a water softener system, check if it needs to be recharged.

Your best chance for removal of this type of green is probably using a rust-remover product. Summit Instant Rust Out® and Whink Rust Remover® are two such products. These can usually be found in Home Depot/Lowes or hardware stores. A word of caution: ALWAYS read the label directions and pretest the products as they should only be used on whites/colorfast colors (check on hidden color area before using).