Common Personal Products can Ruin Your Clothing

Do you have a few towels with what looks like “bleach stains”?  What about discoloration under the arms, or on the collars and cuffs of your dress shirt?

If you’re noticing spots, holes and fading on your clothing and linens, it could be from your clothing coming into contact with common household bathroom products.

Common products found in most household bathrooms may be acid or alkaline, and many contain bleaching agents.  Some products contain alcohol-based products, which can discolor dyes on silk and acetate fabrics as well as other materials.  Below is a list of common personal and household products that may be the culprit for the spots, holes and fading.

Products that contain ACID include moisturizers, skin care products, hand sanitizer, hand lotions, deodorant, tanning products and sun block; callus removers, eye and nose drops, bubble bath, hair conditioner, fade creams, cough syrup and children’s liquid medicines; joint pain creams and lotions, & perfumes.

Products that contain ALKALINE include shampoo, toothpaste, soap, depilatories, disinfectants, ammonia, hair dye, Drano®, Windex®, Fantastic®, Soft Scrub®, Tilex®, Comet®, some bubble bath and bath gel, shave cream, & some deodorants.

Products that can contain BLEACH include toothpaste, teeth whitening kits, acne medications, some moisturizers, hair lightening products, household cleaning and sanitizing products, mildew removers, Tilex® shower spray, & Comet®

Products that contain ALCOHOL include Rubbing alcohol, perfume and cologne, body sprays, facial toners and astringents.

If your pajamas, clothes, washcloths, towels, or other fabrics contact one of these products, faint staining or a water-ring may be noted, and in some cases, immediate discoloration may occur.

If you notice a spill on your clothing or linens, clean fabrics as soon as possible to prevent damage.  The longer it sits on the fabric, the more damage will occur.  There is a greater chance that color loss – or even holes – will develop if you wait to launder the items.

To prevent future clothing damage, we suggest you apply lotions, creams, perfumes and hair products and allow them to dry prior to getting dressed.  Wash your hands after handling products – before you accidentally brush them across your clothing or towel.

When you bring your clothing to us, take the time to point out any areas of concern and please be specific about what you think may have caused the spot. The more information we have from you, the better we can try to treat the problem.  And, we’ll discuss with you thoroughly the expectation before trying any remedy to the fabric.

-S.O.