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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


Recent AnswersAnswer this Question

By Candy 1 10/08/2010

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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By Sheila 1 10/30/2010

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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Here are questions related to Clothing is Bleeding onto Itself.

Question: Clothing Bleeding Onto Itself

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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Most Recent Answer

By jean leiner 15 397 05/08/2011

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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Question: Swimsuit Bled Dye Onto Itself

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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Most Recent Answer

By Joan 13 1,482 07/14/2012

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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Question: Clothing Dye Bleed onto Lighter Part of Dress

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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Most Recent Answer

By jean leiner 15 397 05/16/2012

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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Question: Dye Transferred in the Wash

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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Most Recent Answer

By Robyn Fed 394 1,240 02/11/2012

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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Question: Colored Dyes on Jacket Bled onto Each Other

I have a multi-colored jacket that I washed and the yellow and red bled onto each other. Any way that I can save my beautiful jacket?

By Carolyn M from Cambridge, MD

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Question: Color Bled on Black and White Stripe Swimsuit

I washed my new black and white stripe swimsuit in the sink with cold/warm water and Woolite. I laid it flat to dry and the next morning the black had run onto the white stripes all over the front of the suit. Is there anything I can do? I did not put this in the dryer and followed the washing instructions except for the warm water part. Oops. Help! The suit is nylon/spandex.

By April B.

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Question: Clothing Dye Bled on White Jacket

I have a Columbia omni-shield pink and white jacket. It is nylon and the lining is polyester. How do I get color out where the pink bled onto the white body? I washed it according to the directions in cold water, using powder detergent.

By hlh from Holts Summit, MO

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Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

Archive: Stains from Color From New Clothing Bleeding

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. Now, my pants are this bluish and pink color with a few little blue "splotches" on it. I've tried washing them again, and letting them soak, but nothing is getting any of that blue out. Any suggestions?

Kristin from Charlotte,NC

RE: Color Bleed Stains on Clothing

This might help...

Dye That Bleeds

Dye transfer is caused when unstable dye colors "bleed" from one fabric to another. Their removal is often difficult. To minimize problem, sort loads by color, and always remove clothes from washer as soon as rinse cycle is complete. Re-launder affected items right away with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach. If color remains (on all-white fabrics only) use a packaged color remover or stripper sold under the "Rit" label.

Source: (04/19/2004)

By ThriftyFun

RE: Color Bleed Stains on Clothing

I use that Mrs. Stewart's (Something Stewart's) in a small blue bottle. You can buy it at Walmart or grocery stores by the laundry soap. Make sure to follow directions! It's needs to be diluted in the wash water, not applied directly as I did the first time I used it. It takes all the loose dye out and makes clothes brighter.

Editor's Note: I believe she's referring to Mrs. Stewarts Bluing. (04/19/2004)

By Jenny in WI.

RE: Stains from Color From New Clothing Bleeding

Here's a last resort suggestion. I've had this problem before and haven't been able to get the dye stains out. I suggest dyeing the item either back to the original color if possible or if stains are a dark color you can salvage it by giving in and dying it the darker color. I don't do alot of dying of fabrics so I don't know if a pink dye would cover the blue. May have to dye it blue.

It won't be that pretty pink anymore :-( but at least you can still get some use of the item and all is not lost :-)

Just a thought. (10/08/2005)

By sdflmom

RE: Stains from Color From New Clothing Bleeding

I've had luck with this type of staining with rewashing the item (maybe with a few towels) with soap and bleach -- maybe a 1/2 cup or so. Let the item soak a bit (15 min.) and then do the wash cycle. It's helped me a few times, and has always worked! (10/09/2005)

By carolb

RE: Stains from Color From New Clothing Bleeding

There is a product called synthrapol, available at Dharma trading. Synthrapol is used as both a prewash (to promote even dyeing by removing impurities from the fabric) and as an afterwash (to remove excess dye in the final washing and to keep your whites and light colors bright, not "muddy"). Might be available is stores that sell fabric dyeing products. (10/10/2005)


RE: Stains from Color From New Clothing Bleeding

I use a product called either dye remover or color remover that I find next to the rit dyes at wal-mart. I've used this on colored fabrics with no problems. It never hurts to do a patch test, though! (10/10/2005)

By Jen

RE: Stains from Color From New Clothing Bleeding

Have you tried adding about 1/4 cup of Borax to the load? (10/10/2005)

By Heather in Illinois

RE: Stains from Color From New Clothing Bleeding

I would try Color Catcher. (10/17/2005)

By Mary

RE: bleach on pants

You can't remove a bleach stain; it has already removed the color from your pants. Best bet is to fill in the spots. Try silk-screen dye (not RIT) or even a black Sharpie! (12/05/2005)

By sibyll

Red bleed onto white

I am also having a problem with a tee shirt. THe red sleeves have color bleed onto the main part of the shirt. I tried soaking in Oxiclean but it just got worse. I am hesitant about using a color remover such as Rit as I feel this will also fade out the red sleeves and the flag on the front. (05/08/2006)

By Sindi

RE: Stains from Color From New Clothing Bleeding

Boil some lipton green tea, then let the pants soak in, put salt in the stain and re wash it alone. (06/27/2006)

Archive: Clothing is Bleeding onto Itself

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?


Archive: Clothing is Bleeding onto Itself

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

RE: 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

Archive: Clothing is Bleeding onto Itself

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

RE: 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

Archive: Clothing is Bleeding onto Itself

I bought a sweater with a red top and white bottom. I washed it in cold water, but the bottom turned pink.


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