How to Bleach a Discolored White Shirt

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Using bleach is often the quickest and easiest method to get your garments looking new again. What is the best way to bleach a discolored white shirt, and when can you bleach colored clothes? Following this simple guide will help you bleach your clothes with confidence.

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When to Use Bleach

First, check the label of your clothing. If it indicates that you should not use bleach, then take heed. This warning means that either your garment's colors or fabric will be permanently damaged by bleach. After all, what's the point of having a white bleached shirt if you can't wear it?

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Next, run a test to ensure that the garment will not be discolored by bleach. Begin by watering down 2 teaspoons of bleach with 1/4 cup of water. Then, dab the solution on a hidden part of the garment, like a seam or the inside of a cuff. Wait a minute before dabbing it dry. If the fabric doesn't discolor, then it is safe to use bleach on the item. Remember that this test process is especially important when using bleach for colored clothes since they can easily discolor and become damaged during the bleaching process.

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Bleach Your Garments in a Container

First, use a bleach-safe container, bathtub, or sink to dilute bleach into water. When watering down bleach, follow the instructions on your specific bottle. Every brand has a different concentration of bleach, so be sure to follow the directions to ensure you don't damage your clothing. The universal amount is about 1/4 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. You can also mix in a small amount of laundry detergent or dish liquid if you need an extra cleaning boost.

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Next, separate your white clothes from your colored clothes. Add your whites to the bleach solution. When soaking, make sure that all of your clothes are completely covered by the bleach solution.

Soak the items in the bleach solution for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally. Leaving them in the solution for longer than 10 minutes can wear out the fabric and harm your clothes, so be sure to take them out promptly. Afterward, rinse the clothes in clean, cold water to remove all of the bleach solution. Hang the clothes on a clothesline to dry or put them in the dryer.

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Bleach in a Washing Machine

If you have access to a washing machine, you can add bleach to your washing process in the same way you would add detergent. For discolored or yellow-stained whites, begin with a presoak for five minutes using a solution of 1/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water. After the soak is complete, add your clothes to the washing machine as you would any other load. Add your laundry detergent and begin filling up the washing machine with hot water.

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Measure out the bleach. As a general rule, add 3/4 cup bleach for a regular load of laundry, and 1 1/4 cups for a particularly big and/or dirty load. You can mix in the bleach with the running water in the machine or use the bleach dispenser if your machine comes equipped with one.

Finally, run the cycle and check your clothes. If you didn't get the results you desire, you can always repeat the process.

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