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Setting Dye on Clothing and Fabric

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Whether your clothes are brand new or you have done some dyeing, it is important to set the color. This guide is about setting clothing dye.
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June 17, 20170 found this helpful

Colorful clothing in a washing machine.

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Some types and colors of clothing dye are more likely to bleed in the wash. There are some products you can use to prevent bleeding. This is a guide about setting colors in clothing so they don't bleed.

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June 17, 20170 found this helpful

Swirl pattern tie dye shirt.

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When making tie-dyed clothing an important step before you finish the project is to set the dye. This is a guide about setting the dye when making tie-dye clothing.

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December 13, 20044 found this helpful

When you wash dark clothes for the first time - use cold water and put salt in the water. The salt helps set the color. When I want to brighten dark clothes after they have been washed several times, I repeat the procedure (salt in cold water when washing).

Lou

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October 24, 20161 found this helpful

You should have received an email when you signed up for an account. To verify your email, just click on the link, which will take you to ThriftyFun and mark your email as verified. If you don't see the email from us, check your spam folder to see if it went there. You can have another verification email sent from your account settings.

Please send me a message if you need any further help.

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July 31, 20082 found this helpful

Use 2 Tbsp. turpentine and 1 small handful of salt. Pour boiling water over this mixture. Put garment or cloth in and saturate. Let it soak until the water gets cold.

By Anne from Fernley, NV

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December 18, 20160 found this helpful

This sounds like a plan but how do you get rid of the smell of turps once your done???

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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.

September 15, 20141 found this helpful

Many people recommend either vinegar or salt, but no one ever says "how much" to put in a washer load or even in a big pot. Will some one please give us that information in a usable form? Do you put in a cup or a whole gallon bottle of vinegar or a whole box of salt?

By Karahana

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July 8, 20161 found this helpful

How do you set dye in fabric?

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July 14, 20160 found this helpful

I have soaked my black jeans in vinegar to keep them from fading and it has definitely worked. I've submerged them in a mostly (or at least 50%) vinegar mixture and left them in there for hours (sometimes 12-24).

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By 1 found this helpful
April 26, 2016

How do you prepare a color guard product at home? I want to make a product that would prevent the dyes from mixing with water and spreading into other white clothes.

I was told vinegar with glycerin is an ideal combination. Can anybody help?

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Anonymous
May 31, 20160 found this helpful

Salt

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June 11, 20131 found this helpful

I brought a pair of flannelette sheets, they have been washed twice.
When you sweat at night the dye comes out on your skin. Any idea how to stop it?

By Val S from Deception Bay, Qld

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June 13, 20130 found this helpful

Soak the sheets for several hours in vinegar and cold water.

Something else to consider is that your sweat may be unusually acidic. To correct that, eat more vegetables and drink lemon juice in water. You can search the internet for "alkalinizing foods" to get a list.

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June 13, 20130 found this helpful

In my experience: If you wash the sheets by themselves in hot water setting of your clothes washer and add a cup of vinager to the cycle. Dry them in the hottest dryer setting you have, then it will set the dye in the fabric. Please let us know if it works for you.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 7, 2015

I've worn this black knit dress twice. Every time I wear it the dye rubs off, onto nail color, fingers, and skin. Help! It's awful. What can I wash this dress in to prevent this?

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August 8, 20150 found this helpful

Try adding a cup of vinegar to the rinse water and then rinse it again. Vinegar will set some dyes. Good luck.

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August 9, 20150 found this helpful

Table salt will also set some dyes. If vinegar doesn't work. Don't use both at the same time.

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January 30, 20050 found this helpful

Does anyone know how to stop color bleeding from clothes when washing them. Is there any way to stabilize the colored fabric so it will no longer run? Hoping someone has answer for me and thanks in advance if you do.

Dinnie from Tampa

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 9, 20080 found this helpful

I am going to try Bright White, based on the above advice. The white collar on my favorite red rugby shirt has pink streaks, even though I washed it in cold water with a cup of vinegar. I will also try the salt trick in the future. Thanks.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 11, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, I have a dress that has 3 colours on it. The base is white and it has one line of red fabric and one line of black fabric across it. The red from the fabric runs and the dress has turned pink. I have tried soaking it in cold water twice for days already but the colour worsens . I've tried most of your advice (ie salt vinegar and cold water treatment) but it has been stained to dark pink! I need help!

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October 24, 20130 found this helpful

I've just bought a red wool and cashmere coat, with a patterned, red polyester lining. I didn't notice the disclaimer label, when I bought it, stating you should not get it moist or damp, avoid contact with light fabrics, upholstery, or accessories. What can I do to prevent it bleeding? I really like the coat.

By Rosemary from Nottingham, UK

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October 26, 20130 found this helpful

To be honest, if it were me I'd replace the lining for something more sensible. This is something you can do if you sew, or you can hire it out - usually the dry cleaner will have a tailor/seamstress on staff.

It may cost you a bit but a wool and cashmere coat is an investment so the cost of replacing the lining is well worth it!

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October 26, 20130 found this helpful

If you really like the coat and think its worth it, why not change the lining to a fabric which wont bleed? I know some dry cleaners in the u.k. would do the alteration for you for a fee. if you know how to sew yourself, then just unpick the lining and use it as a pattern.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 14, 2013

I recently bought a red cardigan and when I wore it, it transferred the red dye onto my white t-shirt. I have managed to remove the red dye from the t- shirt, but I am wondering is there a way I can stabilise the dye in the cardigan to prevent it transferring to my other clothing when worn together.

By yvie

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April 16, 20130 found this helpful

Add 1 cup salt to a washer full of cold water, soak item by itself overnight, then wash by itself. Should not "bleed" color after that.

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Anonymous
May 17, 20160 found this helpful

Shout colour catchers

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February 13, 20140 found this helpful

I'm knitting an afghan for my grandson who's going to Michigan State. The colors are dark green and white. The yarn is 75% acrylic and 25% wool. Is there anything I can do before I give it to him to prevent the dark green from running?

By Betty

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March 5, 20140 found this helpful

I do this with all my cottons... I think it would work for wool if you take the necessary precautions in drying it. I rinse all my cotton fabrics in cold salt water and then rinse the salt away in cold water then dry in the dryer. My mama did this with all my fabric she used to make my school clothes when I was a little kid. I am allergic to wool so I don't use it but I'm sure you can move from my cold salt rinse to whatever method you use to dry it.

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July 23, 20140 found this helpful

I doubt you have to do anything in particular. With acrylic yarn the color is actually spun into the fabric - I believe it is part of the chemical process (ie they don't make the yarn & then dye it). I've never had a problem with color drift on any man made yarn & I doubt the 25% wool would change that. The mostly acrylic with some wool yarns I've used have generally pretty much acted like 100% acrylic yarns. You could try washing it in cold water with salt or vinegar & then machine drying as always before you give it to him.

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March 3, 20150 found this helpful

My daughter bought a material school bag from a surf shop. It is yellow. The problem is that from sweating, the yellow from the straps has come onto her white school shirt. How will I stop the yellow dye from the bag staining her shirt?

By Kat

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March 4, 20150 found this helpful

Check this out: http://www.joan  nce/2181311.html

and read the reviews! I have not used this product but it sounds like it might work. I have used the old vinegar and salt tricks in the past... worked some time, not so much other times. The kind of fabric matters I think. Good luck!

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July 17, 20130 found this helpful

How do you keep the colour in the shirt when you wash it? Is there something you can spray on it to hold it in the fabric?

By Ellen S

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July 19, 20130 found this helpful

The first time you wash it, wash in cold water with a cup of salt and a cup of white vinegar. That should set the color.

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July 23, 20130 found this helpful

Also, wash it in cold water; that helps prevent colors running, although sometimes I have found that there is nothing to be done!

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November 5, 20140 found this helpful

I received an old sweater that was my grandfather's. It was originally white and his mother dyed it red, I'm sure with some kind of cheap home-dyeing kit, maybe Rit. I washed the sweater because it was dusty and it's bled and bled red dye everywhere. I've read about soaking in salt; does that actually work? Any other tips for setting the dye? I'm willing to do some experimenting. The sweater isn't particularly beautiful or complicated work, so it's more of a sentiment thing. Any help is appreciated!

By CG

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November 8, 20140 found this helpful

Contact the Rit company for information. i am sure they would have a website. You may be able to find info just by googling "setting dye".

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By 0 found this helpful
September 24, 2013

My brother bought a white cotton tunic with a red cotton cross stitched on it. Is there any way to wash it without the red bleeding on the white?

By N.Hale

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September 28, 20130 found this helpful

Wash it in cold water.

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September 15, 20130 found this helpful

I made an organic dye using flowers, but the color changes when i wash using detergent. How do I make the color permanent? The color of the dye originally was light red, but when I wash it in detergent, it turns blue. If I soak it in vinegar, it turns back to the original color again. How do I let the original color stay even when washing? Please help. Thanks

By Marie from Philippines

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September 23, 20130 found this helpful

You need to use what is known as a mordant with natural dyes. The one I use is washing soda. After dyeing, rinse the fabric in a solution of water and washing soda. Make the dye solution a little stronger or brighter than you actually want. Google natural dyeing to get more.

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May 1, 20130 found this helpful

What can I use to set the dye on a purchased skirt so I can wash it safely?

By Patty

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May 2, 20130 found this helpful

I've heard that soaking it in cold water and salt works. Also I've heard the same for 1 cup of vinegar in cold water. But these methods may not work on cottons.

Rit sells a dye fixative. Maybe try the salt or vinegar, if the fabric still bleeds look into getting a dye fixative.

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November 29, 20140 found this helpful

Every time I buy new sheets they go patchy in the first few washes and even change color. I have had 2 sets of sheets that were a duck egg green that changed to more of a blue after washing. I follow all the instructions, cold water wash and dissolve wash powered before adding sheets. I have hard water and no access to hot water for my washing machine just cold.

By Sandra

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By 0 found this helpful
July 20, 2009

How do you set dye in a silk garment? I would like to use old thin silk blouses to make a quilt. Some of them just run and run every time I wash them. What kind of dye does the manufacturers use for these silks? I have tried white vinegar, but it didn't work. Will the dryer or ironing help set it?

By Gorius from Gilroy, CA

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July 20, 20090 found this helpful

When you use food coloring or cake decorating paste with white vinegar as fixative for protein fibers (wool, silk are protein fibers) you want the temp to get to 180 degrees plus or minus a few degrees. Not a simmer, below that. The color will 'strike' at that temp when you have about 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of water. By that it means the fiber will suck up/take up the color and water will be clear or close to it.Take off heat, let cool, rinse, hand wash gently with a little dish soap and rinse again. Keep rinsing until there is no color in water.

You don't want to simmer or boil silk; it can start to dissolve, but does take dye well.

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July 27, 20090 found this helpful

Update on original question: These are handkerchief silk garments that are commercially dyed. I have no idea what they use for dye. Do you mean that I should use the vinegar/water recipe and heat the water with the garment in the water? I tried soaking one of them in straight vinegar overnight, but only got pink vinegar. Rinsed several times after the vinegar, but it still bleeds.

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February 2, 20120 found this helpful

My niece bought me a homemade swimsuit cover from Cuba. It's red with cream knit edging. When I put it on the red stained my skin right away. What can I do to stop the red from going on to my skin? It's a beautiful top and I don't want to ruin it. Please help.

By Kristen

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February 3, 20120 found this helpful

I always use a cold water and salt rinse. I am 75 and when I was a little kid not all "yard goods" were color fast so Mama always rinsed new fabric in cold salt water to set the dye. You can also use cold water and vinegar.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 10, 2014

How to set the dye in a new handmade quilt?

By Bea from Reston, MB

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March 26, 20140 found this helpful

How do I prevent black bleeding into white on new black and white striped dress?

By Amanda E from Orange Park, FL

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December 20, 20130 found this helpful

I have a jean sweat jacket and the blue dye got all over me. It's new, but I washed it once. How can I stop the dye from coming out?

By Jillian

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