Dealing with Bleach Damage

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated October 20, 2014)

Early in my childhood I learned that when I clean the bathroom I need to wear clothes that I can afford to ruin with bleach. Sometimes you think you can be super careful and all will be well, but then fifteen minutes later you notice that tiny, but conspicuous bleach spot right in the middle of your jeans. Blast.

Like with most severe stains, it's way easier to prevent the stain than to remove it. When dealing with bleach products, make sure either your clothes are covered up or you're wearing clothes you don't really care about. The thing about bleach is that it's permanent and so removing it is difficult if not impossible.

Whenever you're dealing with products that contain bleach, use rubber gloves that cover the lower part of your sleeves. You'll also notice that when you wear rubber gloves you usually are more careful when touching other things, such as your pants. So rubber gloves can be a good reminder to be cautious with the clothes you're wearing.

Alas, it's practically impossible to remove bleach stains once you have them. You'll have to work with what you've got once you've bleached your clothes. If the stain is small you could probably get away with it and hope that no one really notices. (Use those pants for more casual things and it won't really make a difference). You could do some patchwork magic if that's your style, or just chuck the clothes into the cleaning and painting clothes bin.

While removing bleach stains isn't really possible, you should focus your clothes-preserving efforts on preventing the stain in the first place. This part really isn't so hard and will yield satisfying results when you can put on a pair of jeans and say "Hey I have a clean bathroom and bleach free pants!"

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