You can’t use regular chlorine bleach on colors; it will fade or discolor the garment. If you’re looking to spruce up stained, dingy, faded, and dirty colored clothes, you’ll want to use a color safe bleach.
We have researched the laundry market and expert advice to find the best color safe bleaches. We spent hours analyzing each product’s formula, ability, and purpose to ensure we only recommend the best.
Are you ready to meet the seven products that we chose? These will bring your clothes back to life without the use of harsh chlorine bleach.
- Eco-friendly formula
- Deodorizes & removes stains
- All-purpose cleaner for around the house
- Hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested
- Pre-measured pods for easy use
- Removes odors
- Also works on whites
- Can be used in every wash
- 40 percent more whitening power than chlorine bleach
- Hypoallergenic and kind on sensitive skin
- Brightens & cleans clothes
- Unscented & cruelty free
- Non-toxic, naturally-derived
- Pre-measured & easy to use
- Great as pre-treatment
- Removes stains the first time
- Brightens colors & whites
- Nice fresh scent
- Built-in optical brighteners
- Can be used as pre-treatment
To create this list, we’ve spent hours researching products, real customer reviews, and expert advice, as well as applying our own insight.
With that in mind, here are the seven best color-safe bleaches you can use to clean your colored clothes and say goodbye to stains!
Let’s get into it.
1. Savvy Green Oxygen Brightening Powder
Best for Brightening Colors
Do you want super bright and vibrant clothes? Check out the Savvy Green Oxygen Brightening Powder.
This oxygen-based bleach whitens whites and brightens colors, so you have fresher, cleaner, and better-looking clothes! No more dingy t-shirts.
Plus, this product removes stains, deodorizes, and boosts your detergent’s cleaning power.
You can also use this around the house. Therefore, it can totally replace your chlorine bleach!
Unlike many other color safe bleaches, the Savvy Green powder works to eliminate mold and mildew. You can use it in bathrooms, kitchens, and other places.
Lastly, this eco-friendly cleaner is free from phosphates, chlorine, and fragrances.
- Eco-friendly formula made without chlorine or fragrances.
- Brightens colors and whitens whites.
- Deodorizes and removes stains.
- Can be used as an all-purpose cleaner around the house.
- It works in all water temperatures.
- You need to use a lot of the product on heavily soiled items.
- It’s not hypoallergenic, and some have sensitivity to it.
|Purpose||To brighten clothes, remove stains and deodorize|
|Ingredients||Oxygen bleach, eco-friendly ingredients|
|Water Temperature||All temperatures|
2. Clorox 2 Free and Clear Laundry Stain Remover
Best for Odor Removal
Don’t let smelly clothes get you down. The Clorox 2 Free and Clear Laundry Stain Remover is great for removing foul odors while still being safe on colors.
These pods enhance your colors, so they’re brighter than before. They fight odors. And they remove four times more stains than detergent does on its own, including grass, coffee, dirt, and juice.
Just imagine your nice, neat, clean, and fresh wardrobe after using this!
This fast-acting formula is easy to use. Just toss it in the drum before your clothes, add your regular detergent and start the cycle. Plus, it works at removing stains the very first time.
Finally, this product is free of dyes and fragrances. It’s been dermatologically tested and is hypoallergenic, so if you have sensitive skin — this is the product for you!
- Hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested.
- Pre-measured pods for easy use.
- Removes odors from clothing.
- Cleans tough stains the very first time.
- Brightens colored clothing.
- The pods are suitable for standard and high-efficiency machines.
- The pods don’t dissolve properly in cold washes.
- The powder leaks out easily in the packaging.
|Purpose||To remove odors and stains|
|Ingredients||Active ingredients are sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate|
|Water Temperature||Warm and hot are best|
3. OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener
Best Stain Fighting Power
Get rid of tough, nasty stains with OxiClean White Revive. Although it’s designed for whites, it’s totally safe to use on colors. It won’t fade your yellows or greens or blues.
In fact, if you have mixed-color clothing — like striped shirts and polka-dot skirts — this product will work excellently!
Use this with your regular detergent. The products will work together to get rid of tough stains.
OxiClean recommends soaking the clothes in a basin of water with a scoop of this product for the toughest of stains. Leave for six hours before washing normally.
You can add this product to every wash to keep your clothes looking bright and as clean as ever.
It also brightens and whitens clothes. In fact, OxiClean claims this has 40 percent more whitening power than chlorine bleach!
- Amazing stain removal power.
- Safe on colors and great for whites, too.
- You can use in every single wash if you wish.
- 40 percent more whitening power than chlorine bleach.
- Not for wool, silk, or leather.
- Check for color-fastness first, as some colored clothes may bleed.
- Strong synthetic scent.
|Purpose||To brighten clothes and remove stains|
|Water Temperature||Warmest water possible|
|Scent||No added fragrance, but still has a strong smell|
4. Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent
Best for Baby Clothes
While the Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent isn’t advertised as a color safe bleach, it has all the properties of one. It brightens clothes, whitens whites, removes stains while being color safe.
Plus, it’s great for baby clothes since it’s hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll love this.
This is a detergent, so you don’t need to use it alongside anything else. But you could pair it with another one of these color safe bleaches if you like.
On its own, this detergent uses a triple-enzyme fighting formula to remove tough stains, including spaghetti sauce and coffee!
Your clothes will come out the other end looking clean, bright, fresh and stain-free. As for whites, it does wonders. Many customers were surprised by how easily and effectively this detergent cleaned and brightened their whites.
No need for multiple laundry products in the cupboard when this one does it all.
- Hypoallergenic, so great for sensitive skin.
- Removes tough stains with triple-enzyme formula.
- Brightens and cleans clothes.
- Unscented and cruelty-free formula.
- Concentrated formula: a little goes a long way.
- Ninety-six percent biobased ingredients.
- The lids cause messes and leaks.
- Doesn’t remove stains as well as mainstream brands, like Tide.
|Purpose||Removes tough stains|
|Ingredients||Plant-based, hypoallergenic ingredients|
|Water Temperature||All temperatures|
5. Grab Green Natural Bleach Alternative Pods
Best Non-Toxic Color Safe Bleach
The Grab Green Natural Bleach Alternative Pods are non-toxic, naturally-derived, and hypoallergenic. Add them to your cycle, along with your regular detergent, to brighten whites, remove stains and neutralize odors.
They’re safe on colors but also great on whites. For your colored clothes, the pods can brighten them a little, but it’s more targeted for removing tough stains without fading the colors at all.
The pods are fragrance-free, making them a top choice for those with sensitive skin or who don’t like scented products.
Being pre-measured, these pods are super easy to use. Just toss them into the drum before your clothes, add your detergent and start the cycle. They work at all temperatures, too!
Finally, you can use these laundry pods to pretreat clothes. Place the pod in a sink full of water and mix until it’s fully dissolved. Then soak your clothes for one to six hours before washing as normal.
- Non-toxic, naturally-derived ingredients.
- Removes stains, brightens clothes, and neutralizes odors.
- Pre-measured and easy to use.
- Great as a pre-treatment.
- Cruelty-free brand.
- For tough stains, you might need to use a few pods.
- Some customers found the pods didn’t fully dissolve in cold water.
|Purpose||To brighten clothes, remove stains and neutralize odors|
|Ingredients||Non-toxic, naturally derived|
|Water Temperature||All, but best in warm or hot|
6. Clorox 2™ for Colors Stain Remover
Best Budget Pick
The Clorox for Colors Stain Remover liquid will remove stains and brighten colors. Plus, it’s affordable. This product can do 48 loads for a super fair price.
This product removes tough stains, brightens colors, whitens whites, and eliminates odors. If you find wine, grass, coffee, or ink stains on your clothes — don’t panic! Just wash it with your regular detergent and some of this liquid. It’s bound to get the stain out on the very first wash.
This product is super easy to use. If you have extra dirty clothes, there is no need to measure out more liquid detergent. Simply fill the Clorox to the second line and add it to the cycle.
This chlorine-free bleach alternative is an excellent addition to your laundry routine. While it’s safe on colors and will brighten your favorite clothes, it’s also excellent at whitening whites.
- Budget-friendly formula.
- Gets out tough stains the first time.
- Brightens colors and whites.
- Keeps clothes looking new for longer.
- Works for most fabrics.
- Clean Linen scent for freshness.
- It does contain synthetic fragrance, so it might irritate your skin.
- Poor quality lid causes leaking.
|Purpose||To remove stains and brighten clothes|
|Ingredients||Active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide and brightening agent|
|Water Temperature||Best in warm or hot cycles|
7. OxiClean Color Boost Color Brightener Liquid
Best Scented Color Safe Bleach
Most color safe bleaches are unscented, but many families like scented laundry. While you can always add some essential oils to your laundry or use a scented laundry detergent, the OxiClean Color Boost Liquid has a nice fresh scent.
The scent is only described as a burst of freshness, but customers describe it as clean and pleasant. The perfect laundry smell, if you ask us!
You can add this liquid color-safe bleach to every wash alongside your regular detergent. It has a built-in optical brightener that boosts vibrant colors and whitens whites. So, your clothes will look as good as ever!
You can also pretreat clothes before washing them for even better results.
- Nice fresh scent.
- Built-in optical brighteners to brighten and whiten clothes.
- You can use it in every wash.
- It can be used as a pre-treatment for stains.
- Affordable price per load.
- Excellent on dirt, soil, and food stains.
- Customers report it does fade black or dark navy clothes.
- Scent is very overwhelming.
|Purpose||Brighten and white clothes and fight stains|
|Ingredients||Includes hydrogen peroxide|
|Water Temperature||All temperatures|
|Product||Best||Form||Active Ingredients||Water Temperature||Scent|
|Savvy Green Oxygen Brightening Powder||For Brightening Colors||Powder||Oxygen bleach||Any||Unscented|
|Clorox 2 Free & Clear Laundry Stain Remover||For Odor Removal||Pods||Sodium percarbonate & sodium carbonate||Warm/Hot||Unscented|
|OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener||Stain Fighting Power||Powder||Oxygen bleach||Warm/Hot||Unscented|
|Seventh Generation Concentrated Detergent||For Baby Clothes||Liquid||Plant-based||Any||Unscented|
|Grab Green Natural Bleach Alternative Pods||Non-Toxic Color Safe Bleach||Pods||Naturally ingredients||Any||Unscented|
|Clorox 2™ Colors Stain Remover||Budget Pick||Pods||Hydrogen peroxide and brightening agent||Warm/Hot||Scented (Clean Linen)|
|OxiClean Color Boost Color Brightener||Scented Color Safe Bleach||Liquid||Hydrogen peroxide||Any||Scented (Fresh)|
What Is Color Safe Bleach?
Color-safe bleach works like chlorine bleach in the sense that it can remove tough stains, such as red wine or fruit juice. But it’s made without sodium hypochlorite, which can discolor clothes.
Instead, color-safe bleach uses different ingredients. This ranges from oxygen bleach to hydrogen peroxide (1).
Here are some pros and cons of color-safe bleach.
- Works on colors and whites.
- Less aggressive than chlorine bleach.
- Won’t stain or fade your clothes.
- Brightens clothes and removes stains.
- Safe to use on most fabrics.
- Removes stains rather than just disguising them.
- It usually comes in a powder form which can be hard to dissolve at low temperatures.
- Many products still contain harsh chemicals.
- You still need to test for color-fastness.
- It doesn’t disinfect like chlorine bleach does.
Color Safe Bleach vs. Oxygen Bleach
Oxygen bleach is color safe bleach, but color safe bleach isn’t always oxygen bleach.
Oxygen bleach is a particular type of color safe bleach that is based on sodium percarbonate. When sodium percarbonate mixes with water, it breaks down into two parts: sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide.
The hydrogen peroxide, found in most color-safe bleaches, breaks down and removes stains. It attacks the colorful chemical bonds of a stain before removing it (2).
The sodium carbonate, which isn’t found in all color-safe bleaches, has extra benefits:
- It softens water.
- It is a neutralizing agent for the absorption of anionic surfactants.
- Cuts through grease.
- It lifts soil from clothes and allows detergent to better penetrate fabrics (3).
Can You Wash Colored Clothes With Bleach?
If you use chlorine bleach on colored clothes, it will leave bleach stains. These can appear as white, off-white, or a faded version of the garment’s original color.
Chlorine bleach is recommended only for white clothes — not cream, ivory, or grey. Just white. However, you can use color-safe bleach on colored and white clothes!
Is Color Safe Bleach as Effective as Regular Bleach?
It depends on the brand, but overall, they’re as effective as each other. However, chlorine bleach has more disinfecting properties. But color safe bleach doesn’t contain as harsh a list of chemicals, so it’s a small price to pay.
On that note, OxiClean, for example, claims their color safe bleach is 40 percent more effective than regular bleach (4). So it all depends on the brand you choose!
Keep In Mind