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Removing Dye Transfers from Clothing

One of the more frustrating and difficult clothing stains you can encounter is dye transfer. This is a guide about removing dye transfer stains from clothing.
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6 found this helpful
May 22, 2014

I accidentally ruined my daughter's favorite delicate light pink shirt. Somehow, I managed to get blue streaks of dye all over it. I tried stain remover, but the dye didn't budge. I did not dry it in the dryer, thank God! But it did sit in the laundry room for a couple of weeks thinking I would have to trash it. I decided I didn't have anything to lose so I researched and did a combination of different recommendations.

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I applied rubbing alcohol, nothing happened. Directly over the alcohol, I applied white vinegar, still nothing. I filled the bathroom sink with hot water and dissolved 1/2 cup of Tide, 1/2 cup of Borax detergent booster, a big splash of rubbing alcohol, a big splash of white vinegar, and small splash of regular Clorox bleach. The blue dye instantly vanished!

Now, it is in the wash with cold water and Woolite. I am sure my daughter will be thrilled!

Editor's Note: Use caution when mixing household cleansers with other substances, especially bleach. Toxic gasses are easily created, which could cause injury. Read all labels first.


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Anonymous Flag
June 4, 20160 found this helpful
Top Comment

I washed a white cotton and black print belt (from a matching dress), the black ran into the white. I tried the above solution, and it got the dye out of the white really well, but turned the black dyed pattern to brown! (Well that's what bleach does). I'm fine with that though, now I will wash the dress the same way (and turn that brown and white) and I'm back to a matching dress and belt again!!

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3 found this helpful
June 26, 2012 Flag

Hey guys, the best tip ever is too simple. You just need to rub a lemon on the stain and it actually vanishes :) So no more worries.

By Sana from Mumbai, Maharashtra

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January 21, 20170 found this helpful

is it applicable to all? I mean I stained my sister's clothe from a dye transfer from another blue shirt.. can lemon really help. or if i dont have any lemon, can i substitute it with calamansi? or lime, was it?

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July 29, 2011 Flag

First, soak the affected clothing item overnight or longer, in a solution of 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent and enough warm water to cover the item. This also works well on stains. Next, wash the item by itself with 1-2 Shout Color Catcher sheets. These are available in the laundry aisle at the supermarket. This may not work if the item has already been through the dryer.

Related Content(article continues below)

By Jean from Buffalo, NY

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January 28, 20170 found this helpful

Would this work for my delicate tanks that my black sweater stained under arms of? Without fading them?

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0 found this helpful
May 8, 2013

Have the garment either dry and damp with cold water, rub in by hand methylated spirits, undiluted, rinse well in cold water, then wash as normal.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

2 found this helpful
June 16, 2016

I have a white dress, 100% cotton, with colored embroidery on it. I hand washed the dress, but dried it in the dryer with pink clothes. The entire dress turned to pale pink. I want to remove the pink color and change it back to white without disturbing the colored emroidery design. If I use bleach the embroidery will also get spoiled. What should I do? Please help. It's my favorite dress.

Answer Was this helpful? 2
July 15, 20162 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use Oxiclean. It makes white white and keeps other colours in place. Soak the dress in warm to hot water that has a scoop of Oxiclean in it.

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0 found this helpful
December 19, 2016 Flag

I have a grey jumper that has white stripes going down the arms and red details at the front, the red stained the white strips and I have no idea how to get it out! I have tried using salt with cold water and dabbing the area, it's helping lighten the stain although it's not really going away. I want to try a bleach, but after researching I found it could cause my grey to turn lighter which I don't want! I have not tumble dried it although the it has been sitting for a few days after washing. Please help!

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December 25, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Im sure you have already tried some of the suggestions so I will only say that I have been able to remove some of this type of stain with the following methods but sometimes it required several tries with any one or more solutions.

I tried to be patient but sometimes gave up and used item as is or as a rag or a throw away.

1. Wash in cold water with white vinegar and small amount of detergent as this does sometimes do the trick.

I use a cup (or more) of vinegar to a bucket of water or a washer set on low volume.

2. Oxygen bleach does work on some items; just be sure to follow direction on the box as to how much and how to use. Generally this type of beach is safe for almost all fabrics but you may have to let it soak for several hours. The solution and garment can then be washed as usual.

3. Warm a small amount of water and use a scoop of Oxi-Clean in a bucket or pan large enough to hold the garment. Mix the Oxi-Clean thoroughly in warm water and then add sufficient cold water to cover the item. Add garment last and move it around and up and down in the bucket. Leave it for 20-30 minutes and check to make sure the red is not fading  (I have never had color fade  but?)  this may be long enough since garment has not been in the dryer. Pour bucket contents (water and garment) into a suitable size washer load and add small amount of detergent (optional) and run through cycle.

Be sure to check results before placing in dryer.

I hope you have found a solution that works for you.

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0 found this helpful
March 4, 2017 Flag

I have a pair of grey jeans that the colour red has run on to. Please help me clean it.

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March 4, 20170 found this helpful

Try soaking overnight in a 5 gallon pain of hot water to which you have added 2T each powdered dishwasher detergent and hydrogen peroxide. Wash as usual after.

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January 17, 2017 Flag

I washed a pair of white jeans in the washer, after I had just washed a new navy blue load of pants, and the white pair came out light blue. I've since washed the white pair with a combo of Clorox, borax, Tide, vinegar, and a splash of rubbing alcohol. That didn't work. I'm currently trying RIT color remover in hot water. How long should I soak it?
Help?

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January 18, 20170 found this helpful

The dollar General sells this clearer called LAs totally awesome. It is yellow .... We use that to get grease out of my dad's work clothes

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0 found this helpful
February 5, 2017 Flag

I washed a load of jeans and two of the pairs of blue jeans had thick white stitching. I had a red pair of jeans in there that bled only onto these two pairs of jeans. How do I get the white seam back to white, it is pink now, without bleaching or damaging the blue jean part? I didn't dry them. Currently they're soaking in the washing machine. Please help. Thanks!

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February 6, 20170 found this helpful

I have had luck with a mixture of a couple tablespoons hydrogen peroxide, a couple tablespoons of dishwasher powder, and a 5 gallon bucket of hot water. Soak several hours or overnight, then wash as usual.

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1 found this helpful
November 13, 2016 Flag

I had to wash a red plaid Christmas comforter and when I took it out of the dryer, the red had dyed or bled into the white parts of the comforter. How can I safely remove it?

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February 14, 20170 found this helpful

Try washing it again in cold water with "Shout color catcher"

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2 found this helpful
August 17, 2016 Flag

I wore a couple of new red t-shirts and didn't realize until later that my new white bra turned a light pink just while wearing them together.

How do I make my only white bra white again?

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September 7, 20160 found this helpful

I accidentally washed new brown fisherman pants with my whites one of the whites was denim white shorts I've soaked in bleach still hasn't come out do you have any suggestions? Please help!

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0 found this helpful
December 23, 2016 Flag

I wore a red dress with new tights and that dress has not been worn for awhile and when I took off my clothes my tights and bra were pink. How do I get it out DIY?

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December 28, 20160 found this helpful

I would wash in cool or warm water and add some oxyclean to the laundry soap. Don't dry in the dryer, as heat sets color.

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June 25, 2015 Flag

I washed "hand wash only" dresses on the gentle cycle and tossed in a new dress, black and white tie-dyed, that was never washed before. It bled on all the dresses, really badly on an ombre pink colored tube dress and a pair of gauze material palazzo pants that are cream. How do I get the black/grey streaks out? They are currently soaking in cool water with laundry detergent and vinegar. Please help.

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June 27, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had this happen a long time ago. Thank God you haven't dried them. Scrub each spot with a few drops of Dawn dish detergent. It takes a while but keep scrubbing and the spots will come out.

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0 found this helpful
July 24, 2011 Flag

A white blouse got washed with a red one. How do you get the pink out?

By Pat B.

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July 26, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I wouldn't mix OxiClean and bleach, in fact I think there is a warning on the label about it. As long as you didn't throw the now pink blouse into the dryer, you should be able to get the pink out, and restore the blouse to its original white by washing it in the hottest water possible for the fabric; add bleach if the fabric can be bleached-synthetics can't handle bleach, you'll end up with a completely ruined and useless blouse.

There is a product called something like "Colour-Out" that can be used to strip dye from a fabric, check on the Rit (US) website:

http://www.ritdye.com/

Or on the Dyelon (UK) site:

http://www.dylon.co.uk/

For the actual name of the product. It works great for taking the accidental colour out of fabric.

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0 found this helpful
March 24, 2015 Flag

I wonder if some lovely lady is able to help me. I bought a dress which is black with white trim on the collar and on the leg of the dress. I used Colour Catcher sheets in the wash and the white parts have still turned grey. Is there anything I can use to either turn the grey bits of the dress back to white again or is there a way of turning the grey parts black so the whole dress will be black?
Any advice would be appreciated. It's my favourite dress. I have never had one fit me so well. I've tried to buy another, but it's been sold out for months.
It is made from 90% polyester and 10% rayon.
Thank you in advance.

By Kimberley26

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March 25, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

If your efforts are not fruitful to return the grey parts to their white color, you could buy some white bias tape and cover the trim with that, or any similar white fabric would work, as well. If it is trimmed with larger pieces (perhaps even an entire collar or pocket), you may have to remove the trim and replace it, proceed according to your own sewing skills, or have a professional make these replacements.

Failing that, you can find fabric markers in department stores and fabric stores, and they come in black, generally, so you should be able to use one of those to cover all the white/grey trim with black color that way. It may take several applications to make a dark enough color, and to make it come out even, but you should be able to make it work. It may also require re-application after washing.

Finally, I would be tempted to just leave it and wear it as is, as who could tell it wasn't supposed to be grey in the first place (unless it is really uneven)?

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0 found this helpful
February 16, 2015 Flag

I accidentally put my husband's white bowls shirt in the wash with a new black pair of pants. So now the white shirt is a nice shade of blue. How do I get it white again?

By Margaret S from Lal-Lal Australia

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February 16, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Can the shirt be bleached? If not, and his shirt has to be white right away, you'll probably need to buy him a new one. I once washed a white tablecloth with a dark burgundy one, and for a long time, I had a nice pearly pink tablecloth. Eventually, as I washed it, it faded back to white, but you'll probably wear the shirt out by washing it.

When my son changed jobs, from waiting tables to working in a bank, he had a bunch of white shirts from his waiter job. I dyed them all blue to give him new shirts for the bank, which saved him a lot of money. Maybe your husband can wear the "new" blue shirt for something else?

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1 found this helpful
August 14, 2016 Flag

I washed a blue T-shirt with some red trousers by accident and the red ran. The blue was not affected, but the white cuffs on the sleeve and neckline are now pink. I don't want to bleach it as it'll ruin the blue, but don't know what to use on the now pink rims. Any advice?

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February 27, 20170 found this helpful

Rewash it in cold water, don't put it in the dryer. You can go to the laundry aisle and find the shout product that is made to remove color run.

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1 found this helpful
August 14, 2016 Flag

My mum ruined some clothes that I got by putting them in the wash with her blue dress. Now my clothes have big dark blue patches on them! Please help me to get the stains out because I got these clothes at a beach market abroad. I adore these clothes and I've searched the internet for replacements, but there are none.

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February 27, 20170 found this helpful

Dont put them in the dryer. Try washing in cold water with oxyclean, or try carbona color run remover or shout color catcher.

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0 found this helpful
May 26, 2016 Flag

I soaked my father's shirt and pants together for washing, but unfortunately the green color from the t-shirt transferred to pink and white shirts. How can I remove the stains with the things which I can buy easily or with things at home?

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Anonymous Flag
June 6, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Soak it in a bucket of cold water and dish washing detergent for a day and then wash it.

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0 found this helpful
February 14, 2016 Flag

I have a one piece blouse that looks like a white tank top with a wine colored jacket. The jacket ran so now the tank portion is pink. Any fix to this?

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February 15, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

You could try fabric paint on the formerly white part or sew white lace onto that portion?

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Home and Garden Cleaning Clothing StainsJuly 26, 2011
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