Mysterious Bleach Stains on Clothing!

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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By Anne (Guest Post)
May 1, 20080 found this helpful

BLEACH Stains: Bleach in TOOTHPASTE and MOUTHWASH is definitely a CULPRIT! Bleach is actually a NEURO-TOXIN and caused damage and changes in our NERVOUS system. Fibromyalgia, etc. I have de-toxed my household from Toxic household cleaners and personal care products, and it is only when guests come that these mysterious BLEACH stains start showing up on our new towels!!! Anyone interested in non-bleach products that really "out-shine" the bleach ones, I have some suggestions! brusselsannie AT

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By rae (Guest Post)
May 5, 20080 found this helpful

Beware, the acne medicines will also bleach your carpet if a person using it lays their face on the carpet.

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By Christine (Guest Post)
May 6, 20080 found this helpful

I know that if you accidentally load the dish washer with detergent and it splashes onto your clothes, this will bleach it also. Splashed lemon juice will lighten areas if you don't rinse immediately. You could have spilled tea with lemon or lemonade. Some sodas that contain ester of wood rosin will do the same.


And of course any toilet, shower or mopping cleanser, toothpaste, peroxide, hair lightener, fade cream and acne meds will react with the clothes detergent and bring mystery white spots out. I guess we all should rinse our clothes as soon as we get home and change into something already ruined.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 263 Posts
May 6, 20080 found this helpful

We had a laundry detergent called Wisk tablets, that contained bleach in them. Some folks complained of bleach spots on their clothing. The manufacturer quit making this product, at least hear in the U.S. Hope you figure out what's causing your bleach spots. Sorry about it. I know how you feel though. I got a bleach spot on one of my favorite summer time blouses, on the back of it.


I did cover up some other bleach spots on a pretty decorative denim shirt I have with some bumble bee appliques (sew on patches in shapes of bumble bees) I've had several compliments on them (little did they know they were covering up bleach spots. You might can do the same thing, too.

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By Ellen (Guest Post)
May 10, 20080 found this helpful

I've narrowed it down to whitening toothpaste. No acne medication, or Tide here. And this is only happening to the towels in my sons bathroom where the whitening toothpaste is being used. I'm furious, they should put a disclaimer on the packaging!

Seems to me, that it's the most reasonable culprit. Whitening toothpastes have only been really popular the past few years, about as long as these mysterious bleach spots have been around.

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By Elizabeth (Guest Post)
June 2, 20080 found this helpful

I just checked into this for my boyfriend. It's caused by metabolic disorders. An increase in acid. Sometimes called acidosis. You need to get tested on a chem-20 and it will determine if your acid is high.


It can be a signe of diabetes or kidney issues. They can test further to determine cause. Extended exercise and certain health enhancements can complicate it.

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By Beth (Guest Post)
June 5, 20080 found this helpful

For the people that are having staining problems on some of their shirts and in the underarms, check your deodorant. It's easy to get this on the middle of shirts too when taking them on or off. I had this problem, and it turned out that the Secret Platinum protection that I was using was bleaching the shirts I was wearing, and also sheets near the top when would wear a tank top to bed. I found other websites where people all said they were having the same problem, and when I wrote to the company, they told me that their deodorant needed to be applied and let dry for ten minutes before putting clohting on!! I don't use that brand anymore, and have not had the same check your deodorant.


That was the only problem I have had, and that was over a year ago, until I bought new, nice towels recently. I bought a set of light green towels from Crate and Barrel, and those are getting bleach spots all over, in between washings, so I know it's not the dishwasher. The hand towels are the worst, and the only thing I can think of is that it's antibacterial soap? I dont' use whitening toothpaste. I then recently got a set of towels from Pottery Barn in a similiar color, and it's happening again! The strangest part...the cheaper towels i've had in blue and maroone from Costco and Charter Club, and have used them for years, with acne medication and whitening toothpaste in the past....and have never had a spot.

So the theory of cheap vs expensive towels doesn't seem to hold up, because my expensive towels are the ones bleaching.

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By Kara (Guest Post)
June 10, 20080 found this helpful

For years my body chemistry has been ruining clothes and bed comforters. I find that it only happens with certain clothing colors. In fact, I've resorted to buy mostly black and white clothing to prevent problems. Greens seem to react the most. I actually turned an off-white comforter a peachy color on my side of the bed.


I'm so glad to read that I'm not just some freak of nature, that others have experienced the same problem. I know that it's not a laundry issue, as most of the discoloration occurs around my neck/on anything my neck comes into contact with. I've never tried to correct the problem, as I had no idea what causes it. Basically, I just avoid colors and fabrics that seem more susceptible to my strange body chemistry.

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By Cory (Guest Post)
August 11, 20080 found this helpful

The answer is very simple. In a lot of acne care products a chemical known as Benzoyl Peroxide is used to fight the dirt and bacteria that clogs the pores of your skin. What is not known is that this exact same chemical has a very strong tendency to cause bleaching effects in clothes, linens, and other fabrics as well. On a sidenote, the Benzoyl Peroxide is generally in the form of a facial wash so the chemicals reside only in your skin, so when you sweat or secrete oil (which is just going to happen naturally) the same chemicals will still bleach your clothes, linens, and other fabrics because it will be re-released in your sweat and oil secretions. There are two solutions to the problem.
1.) You can stop using the Benzoyl Peroxide and find another form of treatment for acne (Retin-A Topical Cream is a good choice)
2.) Everything you wear has to be white, then the bleach won't be a problem
***I highly recommend the 1st solution***

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By (Guest Post)
September 5, 20080 found this helpful


I have spots on my favorite shirt that are now discolored. It is definately contact solution

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By Susan (Guest Post)
October 23, 20080 found this helpful

My machine is a top loader with a bleach dispenser. We established the bleach dispenser was not fully emptying and probably depositing bleach on the dark clothes washed after doing a white wash. The spots were little dots exactly fitting the pattern of the holes in the drum indicating to me it happened on a spin cycle when the clothes were pressed against the drum. I washed out the machine rinsing it and rinsing out the bleach dispenser and no longer use the dispenser. For my white laundry I put the bleach directly into the water in the wash cycle. However once is a while I still get these little dots on clothing washed following a bleach wash and there should be no bleach water left in the machine after the final rinse. I don't get it. How would there be wash water with bleach still in the machine after draining and filling for a rinse?

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By Kyla (Guest Post)
November 12, 20080 found this helpful

Ok, here's what I got. I have an autistic brother who has been getting the mysterious bleach spots on his shirts and his sheets. He has been using ProActive and Oxy10 for almost a year now. He tends to chew on his shirt sleeves and his sheets, and then when we wash them, those areas that were chewed on come out bleached. We wash all of our clothes together and he is the only one with this problem. He is also on several medications which until now, I thought was causing his saliva to bleach his clothes. So, I think I am gonna have to go with the acne medications.

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November 12, 20080 found this helpful

My shirts have all been bleaching around my neck for a few years now. Although I'm sure some peoples problems were a result of washing techniques; however, I do not believe it is the cause for everyone's dilemma.

I believe it has to be something within our bodies that is causing this problem. Although benzoyl peroxide can be a reason for some, it is not the case with me.

Both my husband and I have used benzoyl peroxide, yet his shirts, nor the bed sheets on his side of the bed are bleached like mine. If you lift back the covers, you will see a big bleach stain on my side of the bed, and I'm talking full body stain, not just on the upper part of the sheets where my face is. I do not put benzoyl peroxide on my entire body, so thats why I believe that theory is out the door.

Someone posted on here that he had diabetes, and I do as well. Maybe there is some correlation with that. I'm sure I have other medical conditions that Im not even aware of, but I'm thinking we all have some type of medical condition that is causing this. Perhaps we should all get our ph checked out and post back here.

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By Dustin (Guest Post)
January 22, 20090 found this helpful

I'm sure you won't check this anymore but.... Do you use a BP face wash as well as lotion? If you use the wash, that is probably why you have full body bleach marks. When you rinse it runs down your body. I discovered this and started washing my face before using my soap or bodywash. That way I wash the excess Benzoyl Peroxide off my body. I haven't had the problem since. And be VERY mindful of what your face touches.

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January 3, 20100 found this helpful

I have noticed this happening on all of my tan/brown shirts. They get orange around the neckline, collar, and often the shoulder. My greens generally as well. I always wondered what the heck was going on. I do use Proactiv Solution, but never the cleanser while I'm wearing my shirt. I do, however, apply the toner and reconstructive lotion after I get dressed. It just occurred to me upon reading this thread that the medication is getting on my shirts while I'm undressing. I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to prevent this and salvage what's left of my dwindling wardrobe. Glad I went looking for causes of this, because it was about to drive me bonkers! :-)

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January 17, 20100 found this helpful

Spoke to an endocrinologist about this problem. Feedback was scary. Will know by end of this week.
Please note one of the following needs to be a constant and majority of people suffering from this voodo
1) anti depressant medication or sleeping pills
2) gym a lot
3) metabolic disturbance you could not even be a diabetic but something with your ph balance is wrong. examples are dry mouth smelly breath, halitosis due to high protein diet.
4) only happens to 3 colours brown, green, beige leaving patches of light pinkish over clothes not concentrated to one area but located around the neck area, under arms, but on linen the pillow will be the most noticeable area bleached, small splashes on areas (duvet), not consistent but patchy like.

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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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August 21, 20160 found this helpful

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

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June 16, 20170 found this helpful

Put a plastic sheet on top of your sheets to protect them. I do the same for all my furniture.

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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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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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