Fixing bleach stains with Sharpies

In a brilliant reverse hack, Donna actually wants to draw on her clothes with colorful Sharpie permanent markers:

We have bleach problems. We can’t figure out which one of us ("Mom" or "Dad") keeps using bleach in the laundry but pouring it in the machine in such a way that little micro-droplets get everywhere, and eventually end up dotting innocent colored clothing, most memorably, my new Anthropologie black sweater which was lying on the drying rack, and my daughter’s green Hanna Andersson day dress, which we all know, costs the earth. [But, based on experience, is worth it. That dress lasted us two summers of almost full-time wear. See this hack. But I digress. — Ed.] Not that I’m annoyed or anything. Anyway, as I was repairing the bleach stains, it occured to me that perhaps there are still people in the world who don’t realize that one can repair, nearly flawlessly, bleach stains in clothing, with the new colored Sharpies. No, seriously. Coloring in the marks on my black sweater was a no-brainer, but I was even able to match the different-colored stripes on my daughter’s dress, with the new colored sharpies.    We keep all kinds of colors on hand for laundry mishaps.  Works like a charm.

More Sharpie love at Parent Hacks:

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  1. says

    Many craft stores sell individual fabric markers in a hundred colors, for those who might not want to invest in the rainbow Sharpie package. (Who those people are, I have no idea.)

    Egad, is there anything a Sharpie can’t do?

  2. katie says

    And in case you have any Sharpie incidents (my daughter drew on *her* Hanna Andersson dress with a black Sharpie), I have learned that Amodex will remove Sharpie stains. It really works!

  3. Jill says

    Where can you get Amodex? I was told to try it to get dry erase marker off clothes and from the inside of my car (grrrr). Do not assume dry erase marker will simply wipe off anything other than the special dry erase boards.

  4. says

    How about using OxyClean or something non-bleaching? I have found it really, really works (for those graying-whites, I soak them for 2-4 hours in hot water with the OxyClean) and I only have to fear the bleach monster when I clean the humidifier.

  5. sciencegeek says

    Be careful with the sharpies because their colors are not completely water resistant. You may find that your sneaky repair of that purple shirt has made your green socks look a bit brown.

    For removal of sharpies, if you have access to it, use anything containing more than 70% ethanol. Rubbing alcohol works pretty well too. Both of these may cause damage to delicate surfaces by dissolving them, so check on an out of the way area first. Acetone containing nail polish remover is bad for you, but works REALLY well.

    I work in a lab, and we use sharpies to label everything.

  6. kittigrrrl says

    after a few more tries and some stain remover, here’s the end result with my sweater…not all that bad.
    The fabric seems to make a difference though, my dark jeans did not come out as well…the sharpie refused to fade out and now I have a smurfy blue spot instead of a bleach stain.