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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Your Questions: White Bathing Suit Discoloration

By Dr. Laundry May 16, 2008

Q: I have a white bathing suit. It has only been worn two times. I washed it with Clorox bleach and it now has a slight yellow tinge to it. The tag said do not use in chlorine. My questions are… Does bleach have chlorine in it? How do I get my swimsuit gleaming-white again?

A: I have some not so good news for you. Your white bathing suit probably contains a fair amount of Spandex. The tag mentions not using chlorine bleach which is another way of describing Clorox® Regular-Bleach1. Washing in Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 will react with the Spandex, the higher the amount the more noticeable the yellowing. Thus, the warning on your bathing suit and on the Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 labels to avoid using on Spandex. Unfortunately this is not a reversible reaction. The current color is the new permanent color.

Sorry I couldn’t have better news for you.