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How to Get Bleach Stains Out of Shoes

Accidentally get bleach on your shoes? It happens. Whether they're black, white, or a variety of colors, find out how to address bleach stains on shoes.

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How do you remove a Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach stain out of shoes?


This sounds like quite a problem because stains caused by undiluted bleach are unfortunately not reversible.  The trick is to try to keep the shoes wearable by either camouflaging the spot or bleaching the rest of the shoes so they are at least uniform in color.  This assumes the shoes are cotton canvas—if they are leather, that material (along with wool, silk, mohair, and spandex) should never be bleached and additional bleach treatments will just damage them more.  For cotton shoes, here are some different approaches for you to try.

To camouflage a light spot on colored canvas shoes, find a felt pen that matches the shoe color and use it to fill in the spot.  It helps to take the shoes to the art store to match the color—the staff will probably let you experiment, and then be sure to keep the pen on hand for touch ups in the future.  This works very well with black permanent markers on black items, so hopefully you can match the color.

You can also try to unify the color of the shoes by bleaching the parts that didn’t have bleach spilled on them using a dilute solution of Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach.  Working over a white towel, remove the shoelaces from the shoes and set them aside.  Then, apply a bleach and water solution made with 2 teaspoons Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach added to 1/4 cup water directly to the entire canvas surface of the shoes. Wait a minute or two, then place the shoes in a mesh fabric bag and wash the shoes along with the towel in hot water and detergent in your clothes washer on a short cycle—this works particularly well in a front loading HE washer.  Allow the shoes to air dry completely, and repeat the treatment if necessary.