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What are these stains in my underwear? When discharge ‘bleaches’ your underwear

1 min read
Cycle Care

How do those orange ‘bleach’ stains end up in your dark underwear? Is it possible to prevent this from happening? Cycle gets to the bottom of it.

Lots of people with a vagina will recognize this: you just bought that gorgeous pair of black underwear for yourself, and a couple of weeks later you can toss it because of the weird bleach stains in the crotch. How is that possible, and can something be done to prevent it?

Bleach stains due to discharge? Yes, it really happens.

The orange stains in your dark underwear are bleach stains. Yes, really. And they didn’t occur when you accidentally dropped a bottle of bleach on them, because these kinds of stains are caused by vaginal discharge. Your discharge is naturally acidic and can have, just like bleach, a natural tie-dye effect on your underwear and causes it to discolor. It’s a shame about your underwear, but it is in fact totally normal. Everyone with a vulva has discharge, but the amount and the acidity of the discharge varies from person to person. The time in your cycle is also important, just as taking medications and excessively cleaning the vulva and the vagina also have an impact.

Would you like to know more about what your discharge says about your cycle? You can read more about it in this article about all the phases of the cycle.

So how do we fix this?

Sadly no, there is nothing that can be done to prevent this from happening. The best thing for your vagina is just letting it ‘breathe’. You can do this by not wearing any underwear at night and wear light, breezy, and most importantly, cotton underwear during the day. Wearing a thong and skinny jeans might be ‘on trend’, but it’s not that pleasant for your vagina.

Above all else, do not wash your vulva with soap! If you do, all of the good bacteria will be washed away and the acidity ‘down under’ will be disrupted as well. Whilst panty liners seem like a good solution to prevent bleach stains, it’s better to limit the time you wear them. They can make your vagina super moist, especially when you forget to change them.

Would you like to know more about how to best (not) wash your vulva? Read our extensive article about all of the steps you can take here.

When to worry about discharge?

Vaginal discharge is not weird, it’s entirely normal and all people with a vulva have it. However, it’s important to pay attention to the odor, color, and the texture of the discharge. If those things change, or are no longer regular, it may mean that you have an infection.

Read our article about the different colors of discharge and what they mean here. Do you feel like your vagina smells different from usual? Read our article on bacterial vaginosis here.

Do you want tips on how to best take care of your vulva? Watch our video on intimate hygiene here!


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Vaginor Plus

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Vaginor Plus

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we're in this together

Cycle is a community where all aspects of the female body are discussed freely. From menstruation to menopause: we'll help you understand your body, mind, cycle and sexuality better, with the help of our Cycle Experts.