can you wash colored clothes with bleach

can you wash colored clothes with bleach

Can You Wash Colored Clothes With Bleach?

Many laundry cycles require the use of bleach for whites for a bright and sanitary finish. But can you use Bleach on colored clothes?

The answer is not as straightforward as you may think. More specifically, the question is, can chlorine bleach be safely used on colored clothes?

Rule of Thumb

The general rule of thumb is – Never use chlorine bleach on anything but white clothing.

Chlorine bleach causes permanent yellow discoloration in clothing that is not white, leading to unattractive and sometimes unsightly clothing.

Factors to Consider

When it comes to colored clothing, there are a few factors to consider before washing with bleach:

  • Fabric Composition – Colorfastness and colorfastness of the colored fabric always comes first. Test the fabric for colorfastness and make sure it will not fade, run, or bleed before washing with bleach.
  • The Substance of the Bleach – Chlorine bleach is an irritant and can damage the fabric. Always use non-chlorine bleach, which is gentler and less corrosive on fabric.
  • The Color of the Clothing – Darker colored fabrics, such as navy, red, and black, can be damaged or discolored by chlorine bleach. Stick to a non-chlorine bleach for these colors.

Color Run Solution

If you accidentally use chlorine bleach on colored clothing and you notice fading or discoloration, you can use a color run remover.

It is a liquid that you apply directly to the stain and within a couple of minutes and some elbow grease, the bleach should be removed from the clothing.


Using chlorine bleach on colored clothing can cause damage and discoloration. The safest option is to avoid using bleach on colored fabrics altogether and stick to a non-chlorine bleach instead. If the fabric is colorfast, the color will not fade. If a bleach stain happens, a color run remover can help fix the discoloration.

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