Prevent Benzoyl Peroxide From Staining Your Clothes

7 Tips to Prevent Bleaching Your Clothes, Towels, and Sheets

Benzoyl peroxide is a really good acne treatment. It also leaves funky orange stains on nearly everything it touches.

There's no way to stop benzoyl peroxide from bleaching. If it gets on your fabrics, it's going to stain. The best thing you can do is prevent the medication from coming in contact with your fabrics in the first place.

This seems easier said than done, but while you may still succumb to a stained towel here and there, these tips will go a long way in helping you prevent benzoyl peroxide bleach marks.

1
Rub Benzoyl Peroxide in Well and Let It Dry Thoroughly

Before you dress, make sure that benzoyl peroxide medication is good and dry. Make sure you wash your hands well with soap and water after application. If you're using a benzoyl peroxide cleanser, rinse your face extremely well before toweling off.

But even if you rub benzoyl peroxide in well, let it dry thoroughly, and wash your hands after application, it may still find a way to bleach your towels, sheets, and clothing. So, while it's a good place to start, this is not always enough to prevent stains.

2
Think White Linens

White towels and sheets look crisp and clean. And they can't be bleached out by benzoyl peroxide. 

Since it's tough to completely stop benzoyl peroxide from coming in contact with your towels and sheets, even with careful treatment, white is the linen color of choice here.

3
Buy Benzoyl Peroxide-Resistant Sheets and Towels

File this one under "who knew?" There are actually linens that are designed to resist benzoyl peroxide bleaching.

So, if you're bored with white sheets and towels and prefer a bit of color for your bedroom and bath, you may want to invest in some of these products. Benzoyl peroxide-resistant linens can be found at retailers like Target, Kmart, and LL Bean, and many more online.

You should still do your best to keep benzoyl peroxide from coming in direct contact with these fabrics. They aren't completely stain proof, so don't wipe your hands off on the towels or hop into bed while before your medication is completely dry, otherwise, you may still find bleached-out spots on your linens.

4
Apply Benzoyl Peroxide Only at Night (and Wear Old Pajamas)

Even when benzoyl peroxide is completely dry, it can still easily transfers to clothing. All it takes is a brush of a sleeve or a rub of a collar and you've got a stain.

Try applying benzoyl peroxide at night only if that's an option for you.  Wear pajamas you don't mind staining. Shower in the morning before dressing.

5
Don't Sweat

Any tiny bit of moisture sets benzoyl peroxide to staining. Obviously, if you live in a humid or hot climate, you can't really sweat-proof yourself. But do take care not to get that sweat on your clothes (i.e. don't use your sleeve to wipe a sweaty brow).

And here's something you may not have thought about. If you apply benzoyl peroxide at night and head out for your workout first thing in the morning, that medication is still there on your skin waiting to stain your workout clothes and towel. Try washing the benzoyl peroxide off before working out or wear workout gear you don't mind staining.

6
Wear a White Undershirt

Using benzoyl peroxide on your back or chest? Wear a white undershirt to keep it from transferring to your clothes. Easy peasy.

7
Keep Possible Benzoyl Peroxide-Tainted Laundry Seperate

When certain articles of clothing start showing up with odd stains, you might thing you're somehow having bleach mishaps in the laundry room. It just may be that your pajamas or items are transferring benzoyl peroxide to other items in the laundry.

Put anything that comes in contact with benzoyl peroxide in a separate hamper, and don't wash in the same load as your good stuff. Remember, benzoyl peroxide is sneaky!  Even if you don't see it on the fabric, it may still be there.

8
If You Really Can't Take It, Try Another Acne Treatment

This is, obviously, a last resort, especially if benzoyl peroxide is working well for you. But if you're so frustrated with odd orange spots and bleached-out stains that you're ready to throw out your acne treatments completely, talk to your dermatologist. Ask if there is a benzoyl peroxide-free medication that would work for you instead.

OTC benzoyl peroxide users beware—no other over-the-counter acne treatment is as effective. If you're considering dumping your OTC benzoyl peroxide, the next best option is a prescription acne medication.

Topical retinoids and/or topical antibiotics may be another option for you. These can help keep breakouts under control and they don't have the bleaching capabilities of benzoyl peroxide.

A Word From ​Verywell

Dealing with benzoyl peroxide stains can be annoying. But long term, the benefits of having clear skin will probably outweigh the drawbacks of an occasional stained item.

The best bet is to wash your hands thoroughly and carefully after applying and be picky about what you wear when you have benzoyl peroxide on your skin.

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