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Has anybody ever had soap/lotion "bleach" remove color from towels or other fabric?

I recently bought some new towels/bedding, from Wal-Mart and Target. Each set are different colors(blue or green), different brands, etc. Over the past few weeks, I've noticed that these blotchy"spots have been appearing on the towels. I have only washed the towels once, but noticed the spots appearing BEFORE I ever washed them. It almost looks like I spilled bleach on the towels. The color is almost completely gone where the spots are. The only thing I can think of is that some type of soap or lotion we are using, and then rubbing on the towls is causing the color to come off. Could sodium chloride/hydroxide be the culprit? I used a steamer on my bedding and added water and salt to it, and I have one spot that color disappeared from my comforter. I use Johnson's Baby Wash on my kids and the towels I dry them off with have blotchy spots. Could the sodium chloride be causing the spots on my towlels/bedding? Ideas?

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Asked by holly02w at 2:35 PM on Aug. 5, 2009 in Home & Garden

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Answers (5)
  • Many toothpastes with whitening agents will leave bleached out marks on colored towels.

    I buy only white towels anyway. I like to wash my towels in HOT with bleach each time.

    Answer by timelessglass at 2:37 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • Some towels I have from Wal-Mart did that! My conclusion was mouthwash...but now you've got me wondering.

    Answer by cattyt at 11:59 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • I'm going to try to take the towels back to Wal-Mart and Target tonight. I'm convinced it's faulty dye...hope I get my money back!

    Answer by holly02w at 12:59 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • We have some nice fancy towels from Bed Bath and Beyond that have splotches on them. The color isn't completely out, just definitely lighter in areas. We think it's from whitening toothpaste because it's mostly on hand towels and not as much on the big towels.

    Answer by Christina807 at 2:51 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • I don't have any whitening toothpaste. That's my point. Nothing I have used in the bathrooms should change the color of the towels. I've only used, like I always have, regular hand soap and Johnson's baby wash. None of these have bleaching agents in them. The only common ingredient I found between the soap, wash, and the solution used in my steamer is sodium, but I never imagined that would have any kind of bleaching affect on my fabrics. Plus, the othe other towels I bought, but different colors (brown and blue) are all perfectly fine, and I use those ona regular day-to-day basis as well. It's gotta be the dye.

    Answer by holly02w at 3:27 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

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