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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Removing Scorch Marks

By Dr. Laundry November 13, 2008

Q. I scorched a jacket that I just finished making. The fabric is cotton, soft, not really brushed but it has that look. It is bright blue. I scorched the back just below the top of the shoulder. I tried lightly washing it using Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster, but still have the line — the scorch line looks almost white. Is there a way to bring the color back to that area?

A. Wow, a seamstress! I am in awe of people who can make special garments.

Usually for light iron scorch marks, the recommendation is to rewash in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and a liquid bleach like Clorox® Regular-Bleach1, if appropriate. I have also seen recommendations for following the washing with sun drying/bleaching for 1–2 days.

It gets a little trickier with colored items as the scorch can affect the color, making a recovery nearly impossible. The only other approach that I have seen for colors is either using hydrogen peroxide (which you have basically done with the Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster) or trying to use an emery board to brush the area around the mark to help it better blend into the garment appearance.