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Bleaching Colored Clothing White

I have this pink skirt that I hate, but my friend needs a skirt for a costume she's making. However, she needs a white skirt, not pink. How do I dye/bleach the skirt white?

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By emma from FL

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July 17, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Either use it color remover or hot water with lots of bleach in it.

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Anonymous
September 29, 20180 found this helpful

Never ever EVER use bleach with HOT water. Only ever cold.

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July 21, 20100 found this helpful
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Rit Dye makes a product to remove color from fabric. I don't remember the exact name but it is located with the regular Rit Dye. You should be able to find it in your local Wal-Mart type store or grocery store.

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July 21, 20100 found this helpful
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Commercially dyed pink skirt is going to react differently. May come out spotted. If the fabric is cotton, you have a better chance. A poly fabric will not undye itself!

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December 25, 20122 found this helpful
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Bleaching, or 'discharging' clothes to lighten or remove color can be helpful if you are going to cold-water dye, tie dye, and even to enhance the dramatic effect of printed or painted images. Bleach is a strong chemical, so here we will learn how to use it safely while effectively removing color.

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(If you are looking for information on using bleach to remove stains, here are bleach stain-remove tips.)

First off, know that over-bleaching will significantly weaken your clothing. When you use bleach, think more about lightening dark clothing, not completely whitening them. Many dyes are that are applied to fabric actually become part of the fabric molecules, so it can be impossible to totally remove the color.

Safety First. Bleach is strong stuff, so work outdoors if you can. Bleach is a very potent chemical with toxic fumes, and can stain wood floors and carpeting. At least work in a well-ventilated area if you can't go outside. Wear rubber gloves and an apron- you do not want to get this stuff on your hands.

Dip Dying: You may need to experiment with the strength of bleach that best fits your purposes. Try using 1 part bleach to 4 or 5 parts water. Always dilute the bleach, as straight bleach can damage clothing, irritate your skin, and ruin the other clothes in your next few wash cycles. Leave your cloth submerged for at least 5 minutes.

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Check it every minute to see if it has lightened to your liking. Keep in mind that it will be a shade or two lighter when it is dry.

Spray dying: Bleaching to remove color is best done in small areas of the clothing where you want the lightened area to stand out. For jeans, use a spray bottle to get a spattered look that won't take a lot of life out of your jeans. Try tying up clothing for a tie-dye bleach dip, or placing objects like leaves or stencils on the fabric for a resist bleach dye. For more ideas, see our many ways to dye clothing.

Neutralizing the Bleach: After you are done dying, you need to stop the process of the chlorine. Rinse the fabric with water. You can use professional-grade bleach stoppers, but the most common household solution is hydrogen peroxide. It usually sells for under a buck at your local pharmacy. Soak your project in 2 parts hydrogen peroxide to 10 parts water. Soak for at least 10 minutes.

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Tips for Success:

Bleach works best on cotton, rayon and linen. It will also work on synthetics like polyester.
Use warm, fresh bleach for the best results. Used and cold bleach are least effective.
Do not use vinegar to neutralize bleach because it can create a toxic gas.
Specialty bleach stoppers include Anti-Chlor and Bleach Stop.
Not all fabrics were created equal, and not all of them are prepared for the punch that bleach delivers. It will disintegrate wool and silk fibers.

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July 7, 20180 found this helpful

No, do not use chlorine bleach on linen, unless you are aiming for a buttery yellow color. Chlorine reacts with compounds in the linen fibers making them appear yellow. There is no way to reverse the reaction or remove the color since the color is not caused by dye stuffs. Trying to cover the yellow with dye is similar to over-dying. For instance if you try blue dye you might end up with green or blue green. If you try red it will likely be orangey.

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If you're happy with yellow great, but if not you can over-dye to orange, green or brown but that's about it.

To remove or reduce colors on linen I use RIT Color Remover unless it's a poly/linen blend. Poly might not give up it's color but the linen will. The effect can be a heather look which is sometimes cool itself. The downside is the color remover stinks to high heaven so use it outside or some ventilated place where there aren't any people to complain about the smell.

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July 21, 20100 found this helpful

You will probably only lighten it, never make it truly white.

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