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Redyeing Carpet Bleach Stains

Bleach staining is one of the most common afflictions of carpets today. Whether it is drips down the hallway of a commercial building, or bright yellow stains near a clothes washing machine, its' effects have been universally felt.

Bleach Stains Bleach Stains
Large area bleach stains in commercial carpet are also repairable. As these job photos show, after repair work is completed, all that is then needed is a normal cleaning to remove adjacent traffic soling.
( Click on images for larger photos )

How much carpet do insurance claims adjusters replace yearly because of a few yellow spots? How often must a commercial cleaning service company replace carpet because an employee brought bleach into the building? How often does a home owner have to replace or live with carpet marred with that abhorrent staining? This chronic affliction probably costs millions of dollars a year for replacement -- needlessly!


Regardless of extant misconceptions, the majority of carpet bleach stains are usually correctable! As long as there is viable fiber, color can be re-introduced. If the fibers have not been degraded to the point of powdering, they can usually be redyed to blend into the entire carpet. Some believe that bleach destroys the dye sites of the fiber. This may be true to a degree. But to destroy all the sites would mean destroying the entire fiber. Nylon and wool, which constitute most carpets today, have dye sites throughout their entire construction. If there is any fiber at all, it is usually dyeable!

Large Bleach Stains
Even large bleach stains in off-white carpet are repairable. Carpet owners are usually amazed by the results.
Large Bleach Stains
( Click on images for larger photos )

There are various other fibers that comprise a small percentage of our carpets. They mostly include modified nylons, acrylics, polyesters and polyolefins. Color correctability of these are based upon the individual situation. There are procedures that have applicability to all of these fibers--even polypropylene! However, feasibility of color correction is unique to each situation.


The original color of the carpet is not a prohibiting factor in repair work. Any color, or pattern can be duplicated. Even color damage to off-white carpets is correctable. There is a misconception that color can limit correction--it is unfounded! This is not a factor that will prohibit repair work.

Often a question is asked as to the permanency of the correction. The material used is as permanent as in the original construction. The correctional dyes employed are the same dyes used by the mills. The only factor that can be a problem, is the completeness of the bleach neutralization process. All the bleach in the carpet must be neutralized! If it isn't, re-bleaching can occur. The amount of bleach and/or the newness of the bleach can be the determining factor as to the cost feasibility of correction.

Bleach Stains Bleach Stains
Bleach stain damage is a major problem for carpet. It is commonly believed that such is permanent and non-repairable. These actual job photos show that repair is possible.
( Click on images for larger photos )

The types of bleaches that cause the most problems are those containing chlorine. Usually, chlorine based household or swimming pool bleaches are the offenders. The peroxide bleaches, as in ache and other medications, are also a common problem (see our article).

Chlorine bleach will dissipate with time. The older the stain is, the easier it is to neutralize. Old stains, approximately one year or older, are rarely a problem. Some require very little neutralization. It is the fresh stains or large amounts of bleach that can pose a problem. They can require several neutralizations before dye work is applicable. In many cases, the newness of the stain (or the amount of bleach involved) will determine the repair costs.


The average cost for repairing bleach stains is usually a fraction of the cost of carpet replacement. Bleach drips down the length of a hallway, for example, may only cost a few hundred dollars compared to the thousands it would cost for replacement. Even the projectile pattern of a dropped open bottle of chlorine bleach, spewing over many square yards, may be repaired for a comparatively modest sum. But once again, because of the uniqueness of each color repair, the job itself determines the cost.

Color repair of carpet bleach stains is feasible. Before carpet replacement, this alternative should be considered. It is usually a fraction of the cost. It is far less disruptive; plus, it can achieve better results than piecing in new carpet.

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