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I just recently by accident spilled bleach on my new black hoodie. Is there any way to get the color back?

By Dr. Laundry February 16, 2015

 

Q: I just recently by accident spilled bleach on my new black hoodie. Is there any way to get the color back? It has a butterfly design on it with different colors too because it’s an autism hoodie and my son has autism

 

 

 

A: I’m sorry to hear about the bleach spill—unfortunately color loss from contact with undiluted bleach can’t be reversed.  You are lucky, though, that your sweatshirt is black.  That’s because you can sometimes use a black permanent marker to color in the discolored areas of the sweatshirt, camouflaging the bleached area.  This works the best with smaller bleach splashes; large splotches may be more difficult to match exactly, but I hope you can make the sweatshirt wearable again.

If the sweatshirt shown here  http://www.cafepress.com/+autism_awareness_butterfly_hoodie_dark,632646532  is similar to yours, then it looks like the butterfly is a transfer print, so it may not have been discolored by the bleach.  If it is still in the middle of the discolored area, then you could try using a fine tip black pen to carefully color up to the butterfly, but not over it.  Use a wider tip pen for larger areas.  And the newer the permanent marker, the more black color you will be able to add to the shirt.

Thanks to the terrific inclusion program at my kid’s middle school, we know lots of kids with autism, and they are pretty amazing.  I bet your son is wonderful, and he is lucky to have you advocating for him.  Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!

Dr. Laundry