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Preventing Bleach Stains on Clothing

Finding mysterious bleach spots on your laundry, even when no bleach was used is frustrating. This is a guide about preventing bleach stains on clothing.

Bleach Stains On Red T-Shirt
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April 14, 2016 Flag
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It's been quite a while since I've posted here, so I'm back for more of your good advice. This isn't the first time I've had this problem and I gotta tell you I'm getting tired of ruining my clothes. This time I have a brand new GE stackable washer/dryer combo, but it happened on my past Kenmore also. I do a load of whites with a little pre-diluted (1:3) Chlorox liquid bleach, but any brand will do it. The next load after that is colored and I specifically wipe off all areas where previous bleach was poured in. bleach spots

Results of this load: Tiny bleach spots, but not on every item in the tub, just 1 or 2. It's making me wish I drank again! Anyway, this 70 year old bachelor is fuming. I'm sure it's me doing something wrong. I hope I'm not told to do an empty load after the whites to remove any bleach remnants. Can anyone help? Thanks in advance.

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April 15, 20160 found this helpful

Since your washer is "brand new", you should take your problem back to the seller for an explanation.

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April 30, 2008 Flag
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I keep getting bleach stains on all of my clothes, I no longer use bleach and have washed the washing machine. Please Help?

Emma from Tas, Australia

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February 2, 20100 found this helpful

Does anyone have any new information on this issue? I have been having this problem for at least 6 years now. I have not used any Tide product for 10 years, I do not use bleach/oxiclean, etc., at all. I have lived in two different areas, so it isn't the water.

It has happened with two different machines, even when this one was brand new! When I washed my 4-year-old son's new light green sheets and put them on his bed, they were fine. After a couple of nights, I noticed yellowish stains all over (obviously, he doesn't use acne meds or whitening toothpaste).

My mother-in-law bought me a very nice set of dark gold sheets, 500 thread count. Again, no spots occurred after washing, but after one night of sleeping on them, there are spots all over the pillow cases (mostly where my young kids had crawled into bed with us in the middle of the night). I'm so upset. I never buy expensive things because everything gets ruined! Now I have a beautiful sheet set ruined in less than a week, and what do I do about it?

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April 25, 20110 found this helpful

The same thing has been happening to me, I've tried everything that all of the postings suggest. Spoke directly to Whrlpool and they had no idea what could be causing it either. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is going crazy over this. I also have many friends who have this problem. We don't use acne products. My husband uses topical medication but the stains are usually on MY towels that he doesn't use! The only other thing we have thought is bad dye lots in some clothes but even that doesn't make sense. Somebody help!

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Anonymous Flag
May 28, 20160 found this helpful

It may be benzoyl peroxide in a deodorant product that is getting on it. It happened to me too.

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August 21, 20160 found this helpful

Those are sweet marks on your sheets, not bleach marks.

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April 14, 2008 Flag

Can someone help a dumb bachelor? I only use bleach when doing whites in a separate load. I notice periodically a small white bleach stain on an item in later loads of shirts and pants. This obviously ruins the item, and is driving me crazy. This has been happening for years, which leads me to believe I'm doing something wrong. And I don't think it's just me, because I'm starting to notice it on others clothes as well. Can someone help. Thanks.

Larry from Clearwater, FL

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April 17, 20080 found this helpful


My son was having a similar problem with the bleach spots.

Ask him what detergent he was using.

He said "Tide" oh no, he then noticed it was the one with bleach.

Good Looking, Well Educated, Talented and now know the difference in the detergent cap colors.

patti r

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May 2, 20080 found this helpful

Have you tried washing all your dark clothes first and the load you bleach last? Bleach could be getting on your clothes if you have washed them after a bleach load.

Wash bleached stuff last, then run a rinse cycle on the washer. Hope it helps.

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July 4, 20080 found this helpful

Help I have been a stay at home mom for 19 years and want to get back into the work force. Any ideas about resume styles I can use or websites to help. Working at home is an option but haven't found a crdible one, any help would be wonderful Thanks

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January 2, 20090 found this helpful

I get this bleaching too, mostly around the necks of shirts, and I use a sunscreen-lotion on my face. But I also get it elsewhere (like the legs of underwear), and I rarely use _anything_ but the mildest, most natural, non-allergenic lotions or plain oils, like Jojoba and almond. My BF uses the same face lotion sometimes, but his occasional bleaching spreads evenly down his shoulders. I use maybe a liter of bleach in a couple years.

Cyinda - I used to live in Olympia! I used a few drops of Tea Tree Oil in every load to fight the allergens like dust mites and mold, and the dryer is hot enough to kill anything else! (And hydrogen peroxide works very well on stains on whites - haven't tried it with colors.) I _hate_ to endorse brands, but that Tide pen works wonders on almost all stains (even took the yellow off small a blood stain after that H2O2).

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May 25, 2004 Flag
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i need help. Every once in a while (more lately) when I do a colored load of wash clothes will come out with what looks to be a bleach stain on them. I have already lost a few shirts and some nice pants and I cant figure out whats doing it. I very rarely use bleach and I know I didnt spill it. I seperate the clothes and follow the lables. I am sick of losing nice clothes. It will only happen to one or two things a load and not every time I do wash. Anyone have any ideas what it could be?? Thanks for the help,

Missy in PA

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July 9, 20050 found this helpful

don't use deoderant that is a clear stick. I had some and it got a white "bleach looking"stain on one of my good light blue tee shirts. I know it was the deoderant because the stain was only under the arms. I retested it by putting the deoderant all over the shirt and rewashed it. Sure enough, there was white marks everywhere I put the deoderant.

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November 20, 20050 found this helpful

i had a lovely pair of khaki combat trousers which have been ruined by bleach. there are a few purple drops all down the front of them as a result of the bleach in the mop bucket. i am devestated as i loved them. any tips as to how i could go about repairing these combats. they are my favourite. karen xoxo

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March 2, 20100 found this helpful

I was noticing I was getting bleach stains on the right sleeve of all my long sleeve shirts and t-shirts until I realized every time I reached in the washer to retrive something I was rubbing my arm against the bleach dispenser. Now I place a piece of clothing over the area to retrive or place something in the washer. This protectes my arm.

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March 11, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks everyone for the good hints. I found that I was getting white stains or residue on clothes from the detergent even when I use liquid detergent and diluted it in a jug of water and poured it on the clothes before starting the washer. Using only cold water might be the culprit, although I diluted detergent in hot or warm water first. So annoying to find when hanging clothes on the line and I had to rewash them.

Sometimes I didn't notice the marks until they were dry as I mostly hang them inside out (to avoid fading) and discovered this when putting them away. A little rubbing removed some, but not all. NOW, thank goodness, I have discovered that if I put the undiluted detergent in a large spare plastic cap from a bottle of detergent or softener and place it on top of the clothes close to where the water fills from and turn on the washer, it dissolves the liquid and I rarely get residue stains on clothes. Original we had a plastic ball with an opening until it broke up, and now we just use any large cap that has no sharp edges to harm clothes when agitating.

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December 7, 2006 Flag
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I live in a dorm at school, none of the kids are supposed to use bleach, but of course they do. I've been the lucky person to put clothes in after they are done and have had 3 very nice shirts with bleach stains. How can i prevent this? I don't have the time/money to run just a load before I put my clothes in. Any suggestions?

Kevin from Philly, PA

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May 31, 20070 found this helpful

to prevent bleach stains is simple... dont use bleach. there are many effective non-bleach alternatives out there without the risk of permanently ruining clothes

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April 12, 20080 found this helpful

Bleach spots on dark clothes. I have not used bleach in my washer for at least 6 loads and I am still getting bleach spots on my dark clothes. Can this problem be fixed?

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May 7, 20080 found this helpful

ok, I have had 3 of my favorite black shirts get bleach spots on them. What should I do?

p.s. I'm 15, so gimmie a solution that will make sense to a teen :)

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September 13, 20161 found this helpful

Washing your clothes after a bleach load should not do anything to your clothing. Bleach spattered on the top of the machine, and around the rim and especially a top load bleach dispenser--will ruin clothes. Start the water, and let the machine fill while you take a damp handful of towels and wash off the top area, then add your soap, and then your clothes, not touching the top. Now, a front loader, I don't understand how any bleach could get into your wash, although I am having problems with too little water in my he machine, causing spots when adding bleach, but the next load should have nothing to do with a bleach load.

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