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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Your Questions: Red Cough Drop in Laundry

By Dr. Laundry June 6, 2008

Q: I have a HUGE problem! I washed a load of whites the other day without checking pockets and went to take the clothes out of the washer when I realized a red cough drop was in a sweatshirt pocket and has basically ruined a whole load of laundry! I am so upset and have tried everything, Oxyclean, All, bleach, you name it. The clothes are still wet and I can’t find anything online. Please help!

A: Usually the red dye in cough drops should be decolorized by bleach. In your case, I probably would recommend that a short bleach presoak (1/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 in gallon of warm water for 5–10 minutes) be done before laundering. Then, launder in hot water using detergent and 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach1.