Never Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Treat Laundry Stains On Fabrics Like This

Finding a new laundry helper can be life-changing if you're the one who ensures that clothes and linens are kept stain-free. You get extra points if that aid is affordable and eco-friendly. Enter hydrogen peroxide, which promises to deliver brighter whites and powerful stain removal from towels, sheets, and clothes without the use of bleach. It is, however, not ideal for every laundering application.

Since it's cheap and abundantly available (drugstores, grocery stores, and online shops all carry it), hydrogen peroxide is an attractive cleaning aid, which loosens stubborn household stains thanks to its oxidative process. While it can bring another level of brightness to your dingy shirt or sheets, it can also simultaneously spell trouble for colored fabrics. If you have suffered a stain on a favorite colored item, you should avoid throwing a splash of hydrogen peroxide in the wash since it can diminish the even coloring of the clothing and leave you with a ruined piece in its place.

How to safely use hydrogen peroxide to treat stains on fabrics

Even though there is a risk associated with using hydrogen peroxide on colored items, this is not a blanket statement to never let it touch your clothing. In fact, some colored clothing items can withstand exposure to this cleaning compound with no issues. The key to finding out? Test a small, hidden corner of the article of clothing, if possible, to see if its colors are damaged or diluted upon exposure. If you notice any discoloration at all, discontinue use of hydrogen peroxide with that item. However, should the testing result in no negative side effects, feel free to use a small amount to lift the stain in question by applying hydrogen peroxide to the spot, leaving it for ten minutes, and then scrubbing with a brush before washing the item.

For cleaning whites with hydrogen peroxide, you won't have to tiptoe as much. If your white towels and sheets are looking a little gray, select the pre-soak cycle on your washing machine. Once the drum is filled with water, add one cup of hydrogen peroxide to the machine and let your dull whites soak for 30 minutes or so before continuing with your normal washing regimen with laundry detergent. If hydrogen peroxide doesn't return your whites to their original glory, not all is lost — you can rest easy knowing it will still add some much-needed freshness to your clothes and linens.