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Clothing is Bleeding onto Itself

I have a jacket and a vest made of 86% nylon and 14% spandex that I soaked in cold water and Epsom salt before washing. The black bled into the pink and it has left spots, lots of them on the garments. I washed them in cold water with no fabric softener after the soaking, but the color still bled. What can I do now?

By Lyn from Saskatchewan, Canada

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October 8, 20100 found this helpful

I just used Oxi Clean and it worked like a charm. I washed cranberry fabric with colors/white print and all the white was pink! 5 yards of fabric at $9.00 a yard and I thought I ruined it before I even started! I put it in the sink with warm water and a bunch of Oxi Clean and the water instantly turned pink, within minutes the white was white again! I am amazed and relieved. It really works!

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October 30, 20100 found this helpful

Ok, I came home from a cruise, finally pulled the pile of whites out of the suitcase and into the wash, not noticing the fuchsia tank top in the "mix." The 9 pcs. of whites turned so pink that I was surprised the fuchsia top was still bright and colorful!

Re-Wash with bleach - no luck

Oxiclean (which I had) - no luck

Two boxes of Rit Dye remover - no luck

After staring at the pile of wet pink clothing for 2 days, figuring I had now set the dye, I pulled out my Cauldron, started boiling the water, added bleach.

#1 - Lightweight cotton shorts - Turned white before my eyes!

#2 - Jean weight shorts - took a little longer and more stirring

#3 - Tank top with black/silver sequins and other bangles - SUCCESS! PLUS the sequins, bangles, and beads still sparkle!

Nine pieces of whites SAVED!

Note: The water temp is important - the heavy shorts were not responding, but thanks to a post in here, I turned the burner back on, the warmer it got the faster the pink disappeared.

Also, from a post - change the water and bleach for each "load." I did use quality Clorox - newly purchased. Bleach starts losing its strength with age.

Thank you everyone!

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May 7, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

I washed a white piece of clothing with red thread embroidery and all the red bled onto the white, so now it is a shade of pink. Another piece of clothing that I washed had a maroon lace, the clothing itself is a self-print light beige, and the maroon lace bled onto the shirt. So now there are light maroonish color stains below the lace. (I washed both clothes separately).


I wanted to know will the boiling water and bleach method work on these shirts or will it completely ruin my clothes? Any other suggestions?


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May 7, 20110 found this helpful

Boiling water could cause shrinkage. For the white shirt, you could take a q-tip and dip an end in bleach and dab the spots, it will be time consuming, but should work, then when you rinse the bleach out you will have to be careful that it doesn't run into the red, because you could end up with pink threads. Bleach will take the color out of anything colored. Whenever I have something colored that has a lighter color decoration or vice-versa, I use Shout brand Color Catcher sheets, found in the laundry department at stores. Whenever I have used these, I have had no problem with colors fading onto other things. I don't think they will work for correcting problems that a person has, but they sure work beforehand. My mother taught me when I was just a little girl to be really careful about colors that might run. back then that usually included washing items like that in cold water, by hand, then laying the item on a bath towel and rolling it up tightly to get the excess water out of it, then hanging it to dry.

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May 7, 20110 found this helpful

New clothes with dyes that bleed can be soaked in salt water then dried prior to washing, this prevents the dyes from running.

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May 7, 20110 found this helpful

My mother-in-law told me about soaking clothes in salt water, I have also heard about vinegar water, but never had any success with either one. Actually what I was told was that the soaking kept the clothes from fading, not from colors running into each other.

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May 8, 20110 found this helpful

Try washing the items by themselves with 2 or 3 Shout Color Catcher Sheets, available in the laundry aisle at the supermarket. This product has saved several garments for me.

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July 13, 2012 Flag
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How do I remove the red that bled onto the white of my daughter's swimsuit? It's a Nike red and white striped tankini. She wore it in the ocean and pool, then soaked it in cold water. The water turned pink and the red bled onto the white. After letting it air dry, I then washed it on delicate in cold water with a mild detergent (Ecos, coconut based) and a Shout Color Catcher sheet. The bleed did not improve. The red is now dark pink and the white is light pink. Any suggestions?

By Deborah B.

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July 14, 20120 found this helpful

Shout Color Catcher isn't for removing color that has already bled onto another color, it is to prevent it in the first place. If the color is even don't worry about it, let it look like two shades of pink. Other wise carefully use bleach on the parts that are supposed to be white. But by doing that you run the risk of getting bleach on the colored part.

If wearing it in the ocean and the pool didn't cause the colors to bleed, then your daughter soaked it in more than just cold water. Myself, rather than have it soaking I would have given it a quick rinse and and left it to dry. I am also real leery about buying red and white combos.

However I have had a red sweatshirt with a white inset in the v-neck for about six years and have always used the color catcher sheets when I launder it and the red looks like new and there is no sign of bleed on the white.

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May 15, 2012 Flag
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I have a dress that has a black skirt attached to a white lace top. I stupidly left the dress to soak over night in order to remove a make up stain from the white lace, but the black skirt of the dress bled onto the white lace leaving it a very light shade of purple. Would a color safe bleach be safe to use on the white lace? Also, the dress has since dried so I have a feeling the dye has now set. Is there any hope of saving my dress?
Thanks :-)

By Bec

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May 16, 20120 found this helpful

Did the dress air dry or dryer dry? If dryer dried, the stain may be set. Since it is unwearable as is, you could try soaking it in a solution of powder dishwasher detergent and lukewarm water. Mix 1 cup detergent into enough water to keep the dress submerged overnight. Weigh it down with a plate on top in the container if needed. Then rinse well and air dry. If it helped but was not completely successful, repeat.

If you don't have a dishwasher, the el cheapo brand from the dollar store works fine. You also could try laundering the dress as usual by itself with 2-3 Shout Color Catcher Sheets. The box says use 1 but I have found that more seem to work better. This product can be found in the detergent aisle at the supermarket. Hope one of these helps.

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February 11, 2012 Flag
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I just washed for the first time a red sweatshirt with a white embroidered motif, and the colour has run from the red into the white. Can I rescue it, and how can I prevent it happening with the other sweatshirts which are similar (one violet and one jade) also with white embroidered motif, before I risk washing them?

By Jenny G

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February 11, 20120 found this helpful

I found this link. I hope it helps you get the dye out of the fabric!

Run cold water in a sink and place a tablespoon of all-fabric powdered bleach in the water. Make sure to use a powdered bleach that works with all colors and fabrics

Read more: How to Remove Transferred Dye From Fabric | ... ferred-dye-fabric.html#ixzz1m8SVMAqz

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September 12, 2010 Flag
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I bought a sweater with a red top and white bottom. I washed it in cold water, but the bottom turned pink. I washed it two more times with the color grabbing cloths, but it is still pink. Any suggestions?

By Diane from Bangor, ME


Clothing is Bleeding onto Itself

The color grabbing cloths won't help, they keep colors from bleeding. I have a white v-neck sweatshirt that has a white inset in the neckline and the red has never bled onto the white. A trick my Mother did when she had little girls that had dresses with white colors to keep the colors white enough to suit her was she would put just a little bleach water in tea cup, and carefully dipped the collar into the water, not letting any of the colored part get in the water. I did the same with my daughter's little dresses. What I am thinking is maybe you could try dipping a white cloth of some kind in straight bleach and carefully blot at the pink area, being sure to rinse each area in plain water as you go. I probably wouldn't risk doing more than 3-6 inches at one time without rinsing the area first. (05/25/2010)

By redhatterb

Clothing is Bleeding onto Itself

I have had great success with Shout Color Catcher. I buy a lot a red and had the same problem, but you put the dryer sheet in the washer before the item is washed the first time and you never have it bleed onto itself. You can buy it where you buy laundry detergent. It comes 24 sheets to a pack. I found it by accident and I wouldn't be without it. (05/26/2010)

By magic5

Clothing is Bleeding onto Itself

Amazing! I am so happy! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Two brand new dresses (one deep bright yellow, one deep coral, each worn once) and a coral yoga top, all looked like black Sharpie marker exploded on them (result of a brown swimsuit cover up getting stacked on top of them when all were wet). I tried all kinds of suggestions, but held off on the Clorox bleach and boiling water because of the intense color of the garments I thought surely bleach would ruin them. When nothing else worked even a little bit, I figured I had nothing to lose and gave it a shot.

All 3 garments turned out perfectly with no fading of the original color. Only the dye transfer spots are gone. I can't believe it.

I think water temp is a factor though, because when I tried to treat the 2nd garment in same pot (of cooling water) I had used for first garment, nothing happened. (I did not boil, but used hottest tap water, our heater is set to 130 degrees). But when I used fresh water and bleach each time it worked like a charm. I used 1/4-1/2 cup of bleach (depending on amount of fabric in garment) in about 8 quarts of water. (07/05/2010)

By tirednightowl

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May 25, 2010 Flag
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I have a red sweater with white cuffs and collar. I followed the directions to wash in cold water, but the red still faded onto the white cuffs and collar. I tried rewashing, but they are still pink. How can I remove the pink without bleaching the red sweater, too?

By Gwen from MS


Clothing is Bleeding onto Itself

Two methods of treating brand new multi-colored clothing to prevent bleeding are:

  1. Fill washer 1/2 full of cold water, then place either of the following (but not both) and agitate for about 1 minute:
    • 1 cup of salt or
    • 1 cup of vinegar (clear)

  2. After agitation has blended either of the items well, place clothing in washer and agitate for about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Stop agitation, and let washer remain "off" for about 5-10 minutes.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 about 4 or 5 times; then let the washer complete it's cycle. The colors will be "set".

I used this method on my daughter's cheerleader outfits for 12 years (yes, she started out as a "mascot" and went on through graduation). I also use this on my expensive multi-colored clothing (washable of course). (02/10/2010)

By Cajun62234

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February 1, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

I bought a beautiful black and white 97% cotton, 3% spandex dress. It has a shell that is polyester. It is Dry Clean Only. However, because in the past I have taken items (black and white) to the cleaners and the white usually comes back dingy, I decided to take the chance and wash it in cold water, gentle cycle and hang dry.

I can't tell whether there is any shrinkage, but just noticed that near the seams for the big pleats, there is a little bleeding of the black onto the white. Is there something that I can do?

By bjmaxima from Sacramento, CA


Clothing is Bleeding onto Itself

I truly don't think there is anything you can do, and I am not trying to be flippant here, but if it's just a small amount of bleeding chances are no one else but you is going to notice it. (08/18/2009)

By Deeli

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August 14, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

I put my clothes in with a new blue shirt and my clothes have blue blotches on them. How can I remove the blue dye?

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April 18, 2007 Flag
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I accidentally washed a pair of pink juicy sweatpants with a brand new blue skirt( that hadn't been washed before) and the blue bled onto my pink pants.

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Clothing is Bleeding Onto Itself
Home and Garden Cleaning LaundrySeptember 12, 2010
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