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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Removing stains from white polyester

By Dr. Laundry October 1, 2012

How can I get stains out of white polyester?

I don’t know if there is a specific item or stain type that you are interested in cleaning, but here are some general guidelines for using Clorox® Regular-Bleach for stain removal on white polyester items. For a really dirty item (for example, one with ground-in dirt), you could use a bleach soaking solution to really jump start cleaning. For this, use ¼ cup bleach per gallon of water and fully submerge the item for 5 minutes. Drain the soaking solution and then wash the shirt in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent + ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach. Or, if you have localized stains, you could skip the bleach soak and instead pretreat the stains directly using Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel—rub a little of the gel into the stains and then immediately wash the item in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent + ¾ Clorox® Regular-Bleach. Whatever you do, though, never apply full-strength bleach to any fabric or surface! It’s also important to let items with stains you are trying to remove air dry. Depending on how long a stain has been sitting around before being laundered, it can take repeating a treatment to get a stain all the way out. Keeping an item out of a hot dryer prevents any residual stain from being heat-set, increasing your chances of eventual success