How to Neutralize Bleach on Clothes

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Things You'll Need

  • 3 buckets

  • 3-percent hydrogen peroxide

Keep your whites bright and free from wear by neutralizing the bleach.

Although there are many commercial bleach neutralizers on the market, you probably have a neutralizer in your medicine cabinet. The same hydrogen peroxide used to clean cuts and scrapes also converts chlorine bleach into water, oxygen and harmless free chlorine. Chlorine bleach is highly corrosive. When not properly rinsed from your clothing, any bleach remaining on the fabric continues to subtly break down the fibers, creating holes and tears. Rinse your clothes with a hydrogen peroxide solution every time you use bleach to preserve your clothing.


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Step 1

Line up three buckets in your workspace. Fill the first and third with cold water. Fill the second with a solution of one part 3-percent hydrogen peroxide and 10 parts water. For example, 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to 10 cups of water.

Step 2

Rinse bleached clothing in the first bucket, agitating to remove as much of the bleach solution as possible.

Step 3

Remove the clothing from the rinse bucket and immerse it in the second bucket. Spread the clothing out as much as possible in the bucket to expose the greatest surface area to the neutralizing solution.


Step 4

Allow the clothing to soak for 10 minutes.

Step 5

Move the clothes to the third rinse bucket and agitate to rinse the clothing thoroughly.

Step 6

Wash the clothes normally.


For neutralizing several articles of clothing at once, use a 5-gallon bucket. For individual items, a mop bucket will be sufficient. If you bleach your clothing in the washer, add the hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle and run an additional rinse cycle to remove the hydrogen peroxide.