Now that the damage is inflicted, the remedying begins. For this method, the idea is to use the surrounding colour dye to recolour the spot that’s been bleached. Take a bunch of cotton wool balls, and soak it in colourless rubbing alcohol. You can also use gin or vodka.
The idea is to rub the stain and its surrounding area, and slowly allow the colour of the surrounding area to “bleed” into the bleached spot and cover it up.
If that first method is too tedious, opt for method 2 instead, which essentially means you’re throwing the entire garment into a bucket of diluted bleach and letting your once-ruined garment reemerge in a new “colour”, so to speak.
Start with a big basin of cold water, and a capful of bleach. Dip your garment in, and using rubber gloves, press the diluted bleach solution into the garment so it absorbs fully.
Then, dry it in the sun to see the amount of colour stripped away. If the original bleach stain still stands out, add another capful of bleach to the existing solution and repeat. Continue to add bleach by the capfuls until your original bleached stain no longer sticks out like a sore thumb.
This one works particularly well if you’re working with a black garment. Grab a permanent marker, test the ink out on a small corner of the bleach stain. If the colours check out, go ahead and colour in your stain.
It should be noted that while it says black on your marker, the depth of the black may vary from your garment. So it’s important to test it on a corner of the bleach stain first, because if the bleach stain is embarrassing enough, having a splotch of mismatched black isn’t doing you any favours.
Tips to prevent this...
- If you’re working in an area that has bleach lying around, such as in a kitchen where the floors are being bleached, for example, wear an apron and fold your pants as high as possible. You never know when you might step into a puddle of bleach water on the floor, and have to deal with the drips of bleach around your ankles.
- When using bleach on other fabrics, it is very important to rinse the basin’s base and the area around the basin for any residual bleach. Most people make the common mistake of simply pouring out the bleach water from the basin, and letting the residue drip down to the base, creating a ring of potentially damaging bleach. Set that basic accidentally on a pair of jeans, and you’ll end up with a bleached shape of your basin’s base. Not pretty, we can assure you.
- If your washing machine has a bleach dispenser, always make sure it’s washed out thoroughly. It’s the same principal regarding residual bleach as the above pointer.
- Wash your whites on a different day from your other colours. Whites tend to require a small amount of bleach to keep their pristine colour, so by doing white laundry on a different day from colour laundry, you give yourself enough time to clean up any potential bleach mess.