How to Test if a Clothing Item is Bleachable

Someone here had the unfortunate experience of trying to soak white clothing in a bleach mixture after reading an “online remedy” only to watch some of the white items turn a horrible yellowish color.

We’ll let that person remain nameless but it’s a great opportunity to share with you how to test if a clothing item is bleach-able before it’s too late.

If you think a care label is inaccurate and an item should be bleach-able, here’s how to test the fabric:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of household liquid bleach with 1/4 cup of water.
  2. Dab 1 drop of this solution on a hidden part of a fabric such as an inside seam,  hemline or cuff.  Be sure to test all colors and any decorative trim or ribbing.
  3. Wait 1 minute then blot dry with a paper towel.  If there is no change, the fabric can be safely washed with household liquid bleach.

 

Bleach Facts

  • Household liquid bleach, identified by the words “sodium hypochlorite” in the ingredient listing is the only bleach that disinfects.  It is also the most effective bleach for stain removal and whitening.  This is the bleach of choice for whites and colorfast garments.
  • Color safe bleach is a bleach that is safe to use on washable colored clothes.  These bleaches have optical brighteners so not only will they remove stains, but that ingredient reflects light making your colors appear brighter and your whites whiter.
    *    If you have a protein stain, the powdered color safe bleaches make an excellent pre-soak because they have enzymes that will break up the stain.
    *    The liquid bleaches contain hydrogen peroxide and is gentle on your colors.

If ever in doubt or if you prefer a professional handle your stains and whitening needs, contact us or visit your neighborhood Classic Cleaners.

– S.O.