How to Remove Bleach From Clothes?

bleach stains on tshirt

You prepare for your ‘weekend house cleaning’ with all your cleaning products. After spending hours cleaning with bleach, you look at your clothes and notice a bleach stain has ruined your favorite t-shirt. As a first step, you need to act quickly to clean the stain because the bleach might cause permanent discoloration by removing the dye from the fabric.

Is It Possible To Remove Bleach Stains from Clothes?

Removing bleach stains can be challenging because Bleach causes permanent discoloration. It’s important to note that the success of stain removal depends on factors such as fabric type, color, and the extent of the bleach damage.

Cleaning Overview

Working Time:  60 minutes
Total Time:  12-18 hours
Skills Required:  Beginner
Estimated Cost:  USD 10-40

What Will You Need


  1. Baking soda
  2. Detergent
  3. Rubbing alcohol
  4. Borax


  1. Gloves
  2. Clean Cloth or sponge
  3. Washing Machine

How To Remove Bleach From Clothes?

Accidental exposure to bleach can leave unsightly stains on clothes, but there are steps you can take to minimize the damage. Immediate action is crucial: you must remove the bleach product from the clothes; otherwise, it might cause a hole in the clothes if left too long.


Bleach can be harsh on the skin and cause irritation or chemical burns. Hence it is recommended to wear gloves before cleaning bleach stains.

Method 1: Using Baking Soda

baking soda powder

Step 1: Prepare the Affected Area for Cleaning

Rinse the area with cold water to remove any excess product on the fabric.

Step 2: Neutralize the Bleach With Baking Soda

Create a paste by mixing three parts baking soda with one part water. Apply this paste to the bleach-affected area and let the paste dry. After it dries completely, brush it off gently.

Step 3: Rinse Thoroughly

Make sure to rinse the fabric with cold water until all the baking soda is thoroughly washed out.

Step 4: Wash the Clothes With Detergent

After thoroughly rinsing off the baking soda, launder your clothes in the washing machine using your usual detergent.

Step 5: Inspect the Stain

Once you’ve finished washing, inspect the stain to see if it has improved. If it hasn’t, consider attempting alternative methods.

Method 2: Using Rubbing Alcohol

women holding bottle of rubbing alcohol

Step 1: Rinse the Bleach Stain

Rinse your fabric with cold water to get rid of the excess Bleach.

Step 2: Blot the Area 

Blot the bleach stain with a cloth or sponge dipped in rubbing alcohol. Start from the outer edges and work your way toward the center of the stain. Beware, blotting from the center and moving outwards may cause the stain to spread.

Step 3: Rinse Thoroughly

After the Bleach has lightened, rinse the fabric thoroughly with cold water to remove the rubbing alcohol and any bleach residue. 

Step 4: Wash the Clothes With Detergent

Once the rubbing alcohol has been rinsed off thoroughly, wash it with your regular detergent.

Step 5: Inspect the Stain

Let the fabric dry completely and inspect if the stain has lightened.

Related: Does rubbing alcohol stain clothes?

Method 3: Using Borax 

borax powder

Before trying out this method, it’s recommended first to try one of the two methods mentioned above since borax is a harsh chemical. 

Step 1: Rinse the Bleach Area

Get rid of the excess Bleach by washing the bleach stain with cold water.

Step 2: Create a Borax Solution

Mix borax with water to prepare a borax solution to clean the bleach stain. The ideal quantity is mixing one tablespoon of borax with one cup of water. 

Step 3: Add the Solution to Your Washer Cycle.

Add the borax solution to your washer cycle and wash your clothes as usual. 

Step 4: Inspect the Stain

While borax can help reduce the appearance of bleach stains, it is important to note that it may not be able to completely restore the original color. If the light stain is still visible and you’re uncomfortable with it, you can try the alternative methods listed below.

Alternate Methods

The methods mentioned above can lighten bleach stains to a certain extent, but if you want the stain to be completely invisible, you can try the alternative solutions below.

  • Dye the Garment: If the bleach stain is on a fabric that can be dyed, you can use a fabric dye and dye the whole garment or use it on the stained area to restore its color. 
  • Use Fabric Markers: You can use fabric markers to conceal minor bleach stains. Choose a color that closely matches the fabric and gently apply it over the bleach stain. Allow it to dry before wearing or washing the garment. 
  • Cover it with a Design: If the bleach stain on your fabric is evident, you can cover it up by creating a design with fabric markers or sewing a design onto the fabric.
  • Layering: You can try layering fabric with bleach stains with a jacket or a scarf. Choose outerwear or accessories that cover the stained area.

How To Prevent Bleach Stains?

Rather than trying to fix or repair bleach stains, it’s better to take measures to prevent them from occurring in the first place. To avoid bleach stains on your clothes, follow the tips below:

  • Check Label Care Before Using Bleach: Bleach can be great for whitening and disinfecting clothes. Before using Bleach on any fabric, it is important to check the care label to ensure that it is safe to use Bleach on that particular fabric.
  • Never Pour Bleach Directly on Clothes: It’s always good to dilute Bleach before using it on clothes. This will help you use Bleach’s good properties and help prevent any damage.
  • Wear Old Clothes While Using Bleach: When using Bleach to clean, it’s recommended to wear older clothes in case of accidental spills. This way, you won’t have to worry about repairing any damage to your clothing.
  • Can I get rid of the bleach stain permanently?

    Bleach stains are permanent. It’s possible to lighten the stains using Baking soda or rubbing alcohol, but you cannot get rid of the stain permanently.

  • Can you fix bleached stains with dye?

    Yes, it is possible to fix the bleached stains with dye. However, you will have to dye the whole garment.


While it’s possible to lighten bleach stains using baking powder or rubbing alcohol, it won’t help you restore the bleach stain on fabric to its original color. To obtain the best possible outcomes, it is recommended to dye the entire fabric.

Related: Will vinegar bleach black clothes?