Acne medicines have powerful ingredients to fight bacteria. Unfortunately, those same medicines can ruin towels and clothes. Many products have the ingredient Benzoyl peroxide which when combined with moisture becomes hydrogen peroxide that bleaches fabrics. If the medicine comes in contact with colored fabrics, the fabric should be flushed with water as quickly as possible and then washed. Once bleaching has occurred it cannot be reversed.
At times, the Benzoyl peroxide and other ingredients combine with fabrics to leave an orange or rusty looking stain. These stains may be permanent if not treated promptly. To remove the stains, fill a sink with cool water and oxygen-based bleach (OxiClean, Clorox 2, Country Save Bleach, Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach), submerge the garment or linen and allow to soak for 24 hours. Wash as usual or repeat the steps if the stain is not removed.
To prevent stains, wash your hands thoroughly after applying medicine to prevent transfer to fabric. Allow medicine to dry before dressing or getting into bed. Switch to white towels which will not show the bleached stains.
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