7 Natural Ways to Remove Bleach Out of Clothes (Step-by-Step Guide)

Accidentally spilling bleach on your favorite colored clothes will completely ruin your day. Instead of sulking, learn how to get bleach out of clothes. These simple methods will help you. You don’t have to shop and spend on pricey chemical products. The solutions are available right there inside your house.

Method #1: Applying rubbing alcohol on the stained area

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Rubbing alcohol on your bleached garment helps in restoring its color. The alcohol spreads the dye to cover the bleached area. This method is effective in fixing dark clothes with bleach stains. But note that alcohol doesn’t work in some fabrics, like polyester. You should try this technique first on minor stains before on large ones.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Remove the excess bleach by rinsing your clothes with cold water
  • Make a neutralizer first by mixing water and baking soda
  • Using a toothbrush, apply the mixture to the stained area
  • Pour the rubbing alcohol on a cotton wool ball or a thin cloth
  • Gently rub the cotton wool ball or the thin cloth from the outside of the discolored area to its center
  • Once you finish spreading the color, rinse the garment and wash it as usual

Method #2: Removing bleach stain using dish soap

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Whether you are dealing with a white shirt or a discolored gray garment, dish soap has the solution. It is recommended to use a Blue Dawn dish soap. But if it is not available, you can use any brand. Here is the trick to remove bleach stains out of your white shirt:

  • In a cup of warm water, pour ¼ teaspoon of the dish soap and mix the solution
  • Dip the stained area on the solution
  • Let the dish soap do its work for about five minutes
  • Use a sponge or a clean cloth to gently scrub the bleach stained area until it lightens or disappears
  • Rinse the garment with cold water and let it dry

If you are dealing with bleached dark clothes, here is the technique to restore their color:

  • In a cup of water, put 2-3 squirts of dish soap
  • Mix the solution with a spoon until the soap has diluted
  • Take a thin cloth and dip it into the solution
  • Rub the thin cloth gently to the affected area, starting from the outside to the center
  • Do this procedure until you restore the color of the garment

Method #3: Applying drinking alcohol

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If you have an alcoholic beverage in your fridge, you now have a solution to fix your discolored clothes. Alcohol can dilute the excess bleach and spread the dye to patch the discoloration. Vodka is the best alcohol you can use. It is also effective in removing bleach stains on carpets and curtains.

This technique only works for cotton fabrics that have water-soluble colors. Fortunately, you can also use this method if your garment is polyester. Try doing these steps:

  • Remove the excess bleach first by rinsing the garment in the cold, running water
  • Dip a cotton ball on the vodka
  • Rub the cotton ball on the whitened area in a circling motion, starting from the center to the dyed area
  • After you have dyed the whitened area, rinse it in the cold water
  • Wash the garment, as usual, to get rid of the excess alcohol
  • Leave the garment out in the sun to dry quickly

Method #4: Pouring white vinegar mixture

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White vinegar is a must-have in every home. It does not only make meals tasty, but it also does a lot of wonders in removing stains, including bleach stains. Before you start, also prepare baking soda. It will act as a neutralizing agent to remove excess bleach.  Here are the steps to remove the bleach stains using white vinegar:

  • For the neutralizer, mix vinegar and baking soda to make a paste
  • Apply the paste on the affected area using a toothbrush
  • Let the mixture sit for some hours before you rinse it and dry
  • Once you have neutralized the bleach, combine two cups of cold water and two spoons of vinegar in a bowl
  • Soak a clean, thin cloth in the solution
  • Rub the thin cloth to the bleach-stained area
  • Once done, get a dry cloth and wipe the remaining moisture to remove the smell of the white vinegar
  • Leave the garment to dry
  • Wash and rinse it if it is dirty

Method #5: Squeezing lemon juice

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Lemon juice works as a bleaching agent. It is effective in removing stains, including bleach stains. This method only works for white fabrics. Although it is milder than bleach, it will be better if you don’t apply it to colored clothes. Also, don’t use lemon juice on a wool material since it can damage the fabric.

Here is how you can use lemon juice to remove bleach stains:

  • Squeeze a small amount of lemon juice into the bleach stain
  • Rub it thoroughly using a thin cloth
  • Dry the garment out of the sun
  • Once the garment is completely dry, wash it in a cold water

Method #6: Trying sun bleaching

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If you don’t want to use chemical products, try sun bleaching. Aside from the fact that sunlight is free, it is also effective. Sunlight has a natural bleaching effect that can remove bleach stains. As a reminder, don’t try sun bleaching colored clothes. You won’t like the result.

Follow these easy steps:

  • Wash the garment as you usually would
  • Add an extra boost by spraying the bleach stain with the mixture of lemon and water
  • Lay the fabric over the bush or grass lawn for the best result
  • Avoid exposing the material to the sunlight for too long. Get the garment after 2 to 3 hours and dry it again another day.

Method #7: Using a salt solution

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Combining salt and water is an effective remedy to remove different stains. The salt grains can remove the excess bleach on clothes. Aside from that, they can lighten the stains caused by bleach. This remedy is also used on curtains, carpets, and shoes.

If you want to try using a salt solution, do these following steps:

  • In a bowl of hot water, pour one tablespoon of salt
  • Mix until the salt grains dissolve in the water
  • Dip an old toothbrush into the salt solution
  • Gently scrub the affected area until the bleach stains lighten
  • Leave the fabric for 20 minutes
  • Scrub it again using the solution until the stains fade
  • Dry the fabric

10 Tips to Prevent Bleach Stains

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Instead of dealing with bleach stains, you should prevent having them on your clothes.  Read this section before you do your laundry or clean using bleach. Read this section before you do your laundry or clean using bleach. Here are some tips to ensure that bleach stains won’t damage your garments:

  1. Check the label first when you are using bleach. Make sure that it is bleach-safe to avoid stains.
  2. Never wash colored clothes with bleach. Instead, use detergents that indicate color-safe bleach.
  3. Wear old clothes when using bleach while cleaning your house.
  4. Warn your family members that you are using bleach while cleaning. Prevent them from brushing up their clothes on surfaces that have bleach.
  5. When storing the bleach, make sure that you fasten the bottle to avoid spilling it on your clothes.
  6. Put a label on your bleach to prevent pouring it on garments accidentally. Keep the bleach on its commercial bottle if you cannot do this.
  7. Separate your white garments from the colored ones before doing your laundry.
  8. Instead of using strong bleach, try something milder like Borax and Oxygen.
  9. Clean your washer regularly to get rid of bleach residues.
  10. Choose a natural way by practicing sun bleaching.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a bleach stain permanent?

A bleach stain is not permanent. However, it may depend on the fabric. Bleach stains on cotton and linen fabrics quickly disappear. On the other hand, Wool and leather may take long before the bleach stains lighten or fade.

What is the best way to remove a big bleach stain on colored clothes?

The best option to fix a garment with a big stain is to bleach the whole thing then re-dye it. However, be careful in handling a vast amount of bleach. Wear gloves as much as possible.

Is it safe to soak clothes in bleach overnight?

As long as the bleach is diluted and gentle, you can soak the clothes overnight. But if you are using strong bleach, soak the clothes for a couple of hours only. It will prevent the clothes from getting damaged.


With the methods above, there are many solutions how to get bleach out of clothes. Also, you don’t have to buy chemical products to remove the bleach stains. Instead of going to the grocery, you can check what household item is available in your home. Then you follow the steps.


how to get bleach out of clothes

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