Can You Bleach Rayon? (How to Bleach Rayon Fabric Easily)

Many people don't know if they can or cannot bleach certain fabrics. There are so many different fabrics that have many different rules applying to them that it is hard to keep what can be or cannot be bleached straight. Then some people have success by ignoring the rules.

Can you bleach rayon? Bleaching rayon is possible but not if you use chlorine bleach. Whether it is diluted or undiluted, this type of bleach can ruin your rayon materials. The easiest and safest way to bleach rayon would be either by natural means or by using oxygen bleach.

To learn more details about bleaching rayon just continue to read our article. It delves into the subject so you can have the best bleaching results possible. But when in doubt, don’t bleach as rayon is a delicate fabric that can be ruined easily.

Is Rayon Bleach Resistant?


The answer to this question depends on who made the fabric you are buying and if they applied a bleach resistant chemical to the ingredients. Many clothing and fabric makers do put different chemicals into the process in order to have their material last longer and look better than the competition.

Without any bleach resistant treatment, rayon is not bleach resistant. With undiluted bleach, the fibers will easily be ruined and even some water and bleach solutions can do the same thing. Chlorine bleach is one chemical you want far away from your rayon clothing.

It is possible to try the all-fabric bleach options out there. These are usually called oxygen bleach which removes the chemicals and adds hydrogen peroxide. But do a test first on a hidden part of the rayon or a scrap piece of the material.

That way you will know if the fabric is bleach resistant or not. A little test can save you a lot of headaches. Or you can try to see if any natural bleaching methods work better than using any chemicals. It would be healthier for natural bleaching methods.

Will Rayon Bleach?

It goes without saying that rayon will bleach. But the question is not will but which bleach can you use. Diluting chlorine bleach may produce some successful results but even diluted bleach can weaken the fibers.

When that happens, those fibers can tear, rip, or lose its shape. Rayon is not a strong material and its natural base is not prepared to handle the tough bleaching chemicals. That is despite all the chemicals already added to the pulp to make this fabric.

You can try the many different oxygen bleaches on the market today to see if they produce the results you want. Those are safer solutions and they can handle rayon quite well for the most part.

Getting clothes clean these days has become harder to do because of the explosion of different and new fabrics that have been invented over the years through the upgrading of technology and the result of a lot of research.

Making sure you have the right cleaning solution for rayon is important as you don't want to spend your money on some attractive clothing only to see it wasted by a simple bleaching mistake

What Happens if You Bleach Rayon?


If you are using undiluted chlorine bleach, the color will disappear. But that is relatively minor compared to what chlorine bleach does to the fibers. Not only will that bleach remove the color it will weaken the fabric.

Tears and rips will come easier and the fabric will also weaken to the point that it will wear out faster than you hoped. Oxygen bleach is supposed to be gentler than chlorine bleach while still being able to remove stains.

Unfortunately, that alternative is only for washable fabrics and a majority of rayon is not washable. Even though this alternative is good for rayon materials. There may be some issues as rayon also weakens when wet.

The words ‘handle with care’ certainly apply when you have to launder rayon and remove all the stains on that fabric. Rayon is said to be the first man-made fabric or fiber in the world but during that creation, those inventors did not take the right precautions and make the material stronger.

If you want to blame someone for your rayon troubles, blame the inventors of the fabric for making such a weak material.

How To Bleach Rayon Fabric

If you are going to use chlorine bleach, and you can, make sure that you dilute the bleach thoroughly. By thoroughly we mean that make the bleach a minute ingredient and the water content so high you may not even smell the bleach.

That ration of bleach and water may seem weak to you but that is how weak rayon is. Next, you can use oxygen bleaches when washing but remember this is not as powerful as chlorine bleach and it does not work as fast.

The best advice we can give here is to follow the instructions. You are probably tired of reading those words in our articles but that is how important that advice is. Look at the instructions on both the oxygen bleach and the rayon materials.

Those will guide you to the right way to bleach this fabric. Also, if the labels say do not bleach, then do not bleach. Any ignoring of that guideline is done at your own risk and the results you get may not be that desirable.

Also, even if you do not see any damage from bleaching your rayon clothing items, the weakening process is not always visible.

Can You Bleach Rayon White?


Yes, this is possible but again the same warnings apply when you attempt this process. When you are trying to dye rayon materials it is best to bleach then white first, then apply the darker colored dye. Going lighter colored may not work in this case.

No matter if you can bleach rayon white or not, you should always do a test on the fabric in order to see your results before you commit your good rayon clothing to the solution. Being safe is better than being sorry.

In addition to those words of advice, you should also be careful about how much bleach you use. While you want to get all the color off you cannot leave the bleach on the material for very long or in strong amounts.

Even in bleaching rayon white you still run the risk of damaging the fabric and ruining your project. So again, handle with care and make sure you are not distracted while you are doing this step. Those distractions can lead to simple avoidable errors taking place.

How To Bleach Rayon White

The ratio of bleach to water should be 1 part bleach and no less than 5 parts water. You can err on the side of adding too much water but not subtracting from that 5 parts needed to bleach rayon white.

One method you can try is the 5-minute dip method. This is where you dip the rayon garment in the bleach solution and leave it there for 5 minutes. Then pull the item out and rinse it. You can then check to see if you got all the color out that you wanted to be removed.

Another method is the spray bottle option. This is where you add the bleach solution to the interior of the bottle and then you spray that solution onto your clothing. This method is a little easier to control and allows you to spot check the garment making sure you get an even removal of color.

When you want to stop the bleaching process, just place the garment in 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and 10 parts water solution. Soak it in this solution for about 10 minutes then rinse the item thoroughly.

Can You Bleach Rayon Spandex?


If the garment says do not wash then you will have to send it out to the dry cleaners. This relieves you of the decision to bleach or not. If you have a rayon spandex blend garment not all of them are made to be washed so make sure you check the label first.

Then if it says do not bleach, do not bleach. And it may not say do not bleach as all washable rayon and spandex are said to be cleaned without using bleach and to avoid the dryer as well.

If you ignore the dry clean label and wash your not to be washed rayon and spandex blend then start thinking about how much you want to spend to replace the item. The same action is needed when you add bleach.

We say all of this knowing that there may be an exception to all these instructions. We are aware that some rayon and spandex fabrics may beat the odds and some people will have different results. That is good for them as they were lucky.

How To Bleach Rayon Cotton

Adding cotton to the fabric may help strengthen the clothing item overall but you still have the vulnerabilities of rayon to deal with. Those do not disappear when you add another fabric to the material.

It is best to use oxygen bleach and follow the instructions on the label as to how much you should add to your wash load. The amount of oxygen bleach may need to be adjusted according to the amount of rayon and cotton are in the garment.

It is still best to avoid using chlorine bleach here. The rayon fibers can still be weakened or damaged. But if you use chlorine bleach, make sure to dilute it well. Then when you wash, use the delicate cycle and cold water.

These elements will help protect the clothing as cotton is not harmed if you use either one. Cotton handles a lot of washing situations so you should wash and bleach according to the rayon material in the blend.

Some people say not to add any bleach, but you be the judge on that. There is no guarantee either way that bleach will help or damage the fabric blend.

How To Whiten Yellowed Rayon


One of the safer ways to do this task is to use oxygen bleach. It should handle removing those yellowish tints but it may take a while for that bleach to work. It is not as powerful as chlorine bleach but it does get the job done eventually.

Also, if the yellow is not gone, it is safe to repeat the process using oxygen bleach once again. Or you can try the old fashioned method of using bluing to get those rayon clothes white again.

You can also use a commercial color remover but then you will be removing all the color, not just the yellow tint. Be careful when using this as it doe snot work that well on color trim or other decorations on the clothing.

Finally, you can try the sun but that is even a slower process than the oxygen bleach method. No matter which option you use, you need to be considerate of the delicate nature of the rayon fabric and always proceed with caution.

Err on the side of caution to make sure you do not ruin your clothing.

Some Final Words

Bleaching rayon is a proceed at your own risk process that may have terrible results. Chlorine bleach is too powerful for that fabric but it can be used in very diluted solutions. Oxygen bleach is slower but it is less powerful and more rayon friendly.

It is possible to use bleach on your rayon items but only if they are allowed to be washed. If they are not washable, forget the bleach and let the dry cleaners worry about the stains, the yellow tint, and the whitening. Sometimes it is worth the expense to have the professionals handle the task.

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