Color-safe bleach can breathe new life into clothes which are faded, covered in stains or just plain dirty. The alternative which is regular chlorine-based bleach will damage the garment, either fading it even more or lifting the colors and on pure white linens which will leave a yellow stain. So, what exactly is color safe bleach?
Color-safe bleach works in a similar way to standard bleach so it is tough on stains and marks and can really freshen up tired looking fabrics. However, it is lacking the key chemical of sodium hypochlorite which causes damage to clothing and that includes whites and colors.
How can color-safe bleach lift stains without using sodium hypochlorite?
Color-safe bleach works using alternative ingredients which are kind to clothing but still effective at cleaning and shifting tough stains. The constituents of color-safe bleach can vary depending on the brand but generally include hydrogen peroxide and oxygen bleach – these are just as effective at stain removal but treat the fabrics less harshly. Many products are also hypoallergenic, so they are kind to sensitive skin as well as kinder to the environment.
The Pros of Color-Safe Bleach
– Can be used on both whites and colors
-Less caustic and damaging than regular chlorine bleach
– Offers deep cleaning for staining without fading colors
– Removes stubborn ground in stains from serial offenders like coffee, grass and red wine
– Brightens tired and dingy fabrics
– Safe on almost all materials
-Lifts stains completely rather than fading them out which always leaves a faint tell-tale mark
The Cons of Color-Safe Bleach
– Most products are sold in powder form which can struggle to dissolve adequately in a cool or cold wash
– Not all products are color fast despite the claims on the product packaging so always patch test first
– Color-safe bleach still contains harsh and stringent chemicals which can affect sensitive skin – not all color-safe bleach products are hypoallergenic or eco-friendly, always read the label
– What is the difference between color-safe bleach and oxygen bleach?
Always read the manufacturer’s product information carefully as not all color-safe bleach is categorized as oxygen bleach. Oxygen bleach offers more benefits over and above simple stain removal for your clothing in the wash and for both whites and colors.
Oxygen bleach contains sodium percarbonate and this splits into sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide when it mixes with water. Hydrogen peroxide works by breaking down the chemical structure of a stain before dissolving and removing the mark.
Sodium carbonate performs a different role and this is the chemical often missing from other color safe bleaches.
First, it softens the water so the garment texture is not altered after washing becoming stiff and grainy and it also neutralizes anionic surfactants which are chemicals found in many industrial and household products. Sodium carbonate cuts through grease ensuring the detergent can penetrate deep into the fabric so clothes have a thorough cleaning and are not just stain free.
Color-safe bleach can be as strong and effective as regular bleach depending on which brand you buy. Here are some tips about buying the best color safe bleach for your laundry and your home.
– Good proprietary brands of color-safe bleach will not just remove stubborn stains but also improve your usual detergent’s effectiveness
– Some color-safe bleach products are detergent based, removing the need to add two laundry items to the washing machine
– Really ground in stains like grass, coffee, ink or red wine may need more of the product to be effective – pod-based products often require a second wash or the alternative is to put two pods in the drum at the start
– Some color-safe bleach products will not only shift stains but enhance the colors of your clothing and are safe to use in mixed washes
– Even if there is no staining, a scoop of color-safe bleach will brighten and enhance all of your laundry as some products contain built in optical brighteners. This is perfect for white towels and bed linen to keep them looking crisp and fresh
– Most color-safe bleach products are not safe to use for woollen or silk garments – always read the product label first
– Color-safe bleach can be used as a pre-wash treatment, a long soak before the garment goes in the washing machine can make sure that stubborn stains are lifted – six hours is usually the recommended time
– Not just for laundry, color-safe bleach can also be used for household cleaning – just check out the label first to make sure – so you can ditch that chlorine bleach for good
– Color-safe bleach can lift and remove mold and mildew so is a great bathroom and kitchen cleaning product
– Some color-safe bleach will also deodorize and neutralize stale linen and nasty smells but not all color-safe bleach products will advertise this feature
– Some color-safe bleach products are environmentally friendly so absent of chlorine and phosphates
– Find ones in pre-measured pods for quick and easy usage but the downside of these products is that they don’t tend to dissolve as well in cold washes
– Choose a non-fragranced color-safe bleach and one that is free from dyes if you are looking for a hypoallergenic product for sensitive skin, allergy sufferers or infants
Review the Best Color-Safe Bleaches
Savvy Green Oxygen Powder
This is oxygen-based bleach handles whites and colors to keep them looking vibrant, plus it shifts tough stains and has an in-built deodorizer. You can also use Savvy Green Oxygen Powder as a household cleaner, so no need to keep a separate bleach product for kitchen and bathroom chores. Free from chlorine, phosphates and artificial scent, this product is completely eco-friendly.
Clorox2 Laundry Stain Remover
Tough on stains, kind on colors, Clorox2 Laundry Stain Remover deodorizes as it cleans and is so easy to use. Just pop a pre-measured pod in the drum and add your normal washing powder. Dye and fragrance free, this product is hypoallergenic, perfect for heavy soiling on infants’ clothes whilst being kind to skin. Clorox2 Laundry Stain Remover performs better in hot washes and does not always dissolve well in cold washing cycles, producing less good stain removing results.
OxiClean White Revive
Designed for whites but totally safe for colors, OxiClean White Revive won’t fade or bleach out colors so is perfect for mixed white and color garments. This product works well alongside your regular washing powder, or clothes can be pre-soaked before the machine wash to lift the toughest of stains. Use as a deep cleaner for whites with 40% more whitening power than regular chlorine bleach or just as a regular freshening agent to keep all linen looking bright and fresh. Always do a color fast test first.
Seventh Generation Concentrated Detergent
A color-safe bleach in disguise, the Seventh Generation Concentrated Detergent is not advertised as a color-safe bleach, but it whitens whites, lifts tough and stubborn stains like red wine and coffee with a triple-enzyme formula, and reinvigorates colors. All this cleaning doesn’t come at the expense of sensitive skin either. Hypoallergenic and free from scent, this product is perfect for infants and adults with skin issues and allergies. Even better, this is a concentrated detergent and will perform like a normal powder so there is no need to add anything else to your washing machine. Keep just one laundry product in your kitchen or utility room.
Grab Green Natural Pods
Enjoy supreme cleaning with these natural, hypoallergenic and non-toxic washing pods which are also fragrance free. Just pop in the machine with your usual detergent and see stains lift and whites become brighter. Color-safe, Grab Green gets to work on your whites but not at the expense of colors and will even produce excellent results at low temperatures. For really tough stains, pre-treat the garment in a long soak with a Grab Green pod.
Clorox2 for Colors
Economic and effective, sharpen up your colors and remove stains with Clorox2 for Colors which also eliminates odors. Add your own detergent plus a pre-measured pod and for really stubborn stains, just add two pods to your regular wash. Although advertised for colors, Clorox2 for Colors also does a great job on whites. With a light, subtle fragrance all your clothes are left super clean and smelling fresh.
Oxiclean Color Boost Liquid
With a pleasant scent which smells fresh and clean, Oxiclean Color Boost Liquid has managed to capture the fragrance of laundry drying on the line outside. Add to the wash alongside your regular detergent to boost colors and whites with optical brighteners or pre-treat stubborn stains before you use the machine. Unlike powder-based products, the liquid is fast-acting in your machine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is color-safe bleach effective on whites?
Yes, it is, so you don’t need to have two bleach products available for whites and colors. Color-safe bleach actually brightens up colors as well, leaving them more vibrant so you don’t need to split your wash or use two separate products also solving the problem of mixed white and patterned clothing. Sometimes a residue can remain on darker colors with some color-safe bleach products, but this is easily removed with an extra rinse cycle.
Why not just wash stained clothing with bleach?
Regular bleach will leave its own stains on the clothing even though it can remove marks, these stains are white or pale plus the garment’s original colors will fade. Regular chlorine bleach should only be used on white clothing.
Is color-safe bleach harmful on skin contact?
Color-safe bleach is not as strong as regular bleach, but it can still cause problems if it comes into contact with sensitive skin or the eyes. Always keep away from pets and children and store in a safe location.
Does color-safe bleach work on mold and mildew?
Some products will disinfect as well as clean but not all, just read the label. As a straight disinfectant for moldy clothes, sometimes chlorine bleach is the better choice.
Which bleach kills Norovirus?
Hydrogen peroxide kills Norovirus and this is an ingredient in color-safe bleach but, for 100% effectiveness on surfaces and clothes, use a regular bleach as it is not diluted with other ingredients.
Color-safe bleach will clean both whites and colors just as effectively without the use of toxic chemicals leaving you with fresh-smelling, stain free and bright clothes.
Color-safe bleach is the smart choice for all your household laundry, whitening whites, tackling tough stains and refreshing colors all in one hit. Some products are detergent based meaning you only ever need use one product in the laundry. Kinder to the home and the environment, color-safe bleach will make lightwork of cleaning chores in the kitchen and bathroom and there are also a range of hypoallergenic products to choose from for those with sensitive skin.