Why Do Stored Clothes Get Yellow Stains and How to Remove Them

Why Do Stored Clothes Get Yellow Stains and How to Remove Them

Yellow stains on stored clothes are brought about by many factors. To prevent your favorite clothes from getting stained, let us understand the causes and what we can do to deal with them.

What Causes Yellow Stains on Clothes

It has been said that proper storage is the key to making clothes last. While proper storage is indeed a contributing factor, there are other things to consider:

Inadequate Amount of Detergent

Not using the recommended amount of detergent results in dirty clothes no matter how many cycles they run. Some oil, grime, dirt, and bodily fluids are bound to stay on as they cannot be fully rinsed off with water or a weak detergent solution. The dirt that remains on the clothes will decompose while in storage, and this is what turns into the yellow spots.

Inadequate Rinsing

Rinsing flushes out the dirt lifted by the detergent. Without proper rinsing, the leftover detergent forms a layer of soap scum on the garment. While in storage, soap scum decays, breaks down, and turns into yellow spots.

Too Much Bleach

While bleach is used to whiten clothes, it also causes yellowing. Bleach is a harsh and strong chemical that, when overused, weakens the clothes and causes decay.


Oxidation results from storing clothes without proper cleaning. Sometimes, there are hidden stains in the fibers that, when exposed to oxygen, react and result in yellow stains.

Other Factors

Elements such as nicotine, grease, and sweat cause yellowing. The chemical reaction of these elements can change the color of the fabric.

How to Store Clothes to Prevent Yellowish Hue

  1. Wash clothes regularly. Rinse properly.
  2. Sort clothes when washing.
  3. Drying white clothes should be done under a controlled amount of heat. Excessive drying causes yellowing.
  4. Make sure the clothes are dry before packing them away. Your hands should be clean. Lotions and cream can cause discoloration.
  5. Store in a cool and dry place. Do not place in hot places like attics, basements, or garages.
  6. Choose the right container. Use storage boxes with archival tissue paper that is free from acid and lignin.
  7. Use a plastic storage box made from polypropylene (“PP” on the plastic).

How to Get Yellow Stains Out of Clothes

The usual washing technique is not enough when you want the yellow stains on stored clothes to be removed. Before putting them in the washing machine, use the following solutions to remove the yellow stains off your clothes:

Homemade Products

  • Hydrogen Peroxide and Water – Mix ¼ cup of each, soak the clothes for 45 minutes, wash in cold water and hang to dry.
  • Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Water – Mix equal parts of each, apply to the affected area, and rub using a bristle brush. After 30 mins to an hour, wash thoroughly.
    Baking Soda and Hot Water – Before tossing in the washing machine, soak clothes in hot water with 2 cups of baking soda. Better to use an enzyme-rich detergent to help break down chemicals.
  • Lemon Juice – Submerge the clothes in a mixture of 1 gallon of hot water and ¼ cup lemon juice for about 2 hours. Wring and dry under the sun.
  • Vinegar and Water – Spray or put a mixture of equal amounts directly into the stain for an hour. Wash in cold water and hang to dry.
  • Toothpaste – Apply whitening toothpaste directly to the stain and wash after it has been lifted. Do not use colored toothpaste.

Laundry and Dry Cleaning Services

Nothing compares with expert cleaning. Experimenting on your own is not always the best option as it could lead to less than desirable results. It is still wise to leave it to the professionals as you are sure to get back your clothes in their pristine condition every time.

Leave your yellow-stained clothes to Kelly’s Dry Cleaners

Being Durango’s best laundry services, we at Kelly’s Dry Cleaners offer sustainable dry-cleaning services that preserve the integrity of the clothes. Our meticulous cleaning procedures give attention to the smallest detail. We use cleaning products that are toxic-free and environmentally friendly. With us, your garments are totally safe.

Call us up! We offer pick-up and delivery services.