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Color Bleeding When Washing a Quilt for the First Time

Category Fabric
Despite prewashing your fabric before sewing it into a quilt, sometimes the colors run onto other parts of the block. This is a page about color bleeding when washing a quilt for the first time.


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April 30, 2009

I have a neighbor who recently completed a quilt she has been working on for 2 years. When she put it in the washing machine on delicate cycle she had some red bleeding. She has made many quilts over the years and never experienced this situation. Any ideas to get out the red bleeding?

Marti from Venice Florida


Color Bleeding When Washing a Quilt for the First Time

It sounds like she may have not pre-washed her fabrics before she began the quilt. Seems there may be some products on the market for that. I think I had read something about putting the article in a salt water solution to set the color. You might try doing a search online or find a quilt shop in your phone book and ask the experts. I'm sure too you will get more advice here at thriftyfun! Good luck to your neighbor. (09/05/2006)

By Debbie Dzurilla

Color Bleeding When Washing a Quilt for the First Time

Shout makes spot remover in a cloth form. What you do is throw it into the wash. Hopefully she didn't put it in the dryer the first time, as the spots may be set in if she did. I am also a quilt maker and this is what I use.



By Rose

Color Bleeding When Washing a Quilt for the First Time

Whenever washing a quilt for the first time, wash in cold water and add 1 cup of vinegar to the wash cycle. This will set the colors. I don't use fabric softener since some of them tend to stain. (09/06/2006)

By Anne Smith

Color Bleeding When Washing a Quilt for the First Time

Ever since "Color Catchers" came out I swear by them. Found in the laundry aisle. Worth the little extra $ to save lots of goodies, esp. when something slips into the wash you didn't know was there. I also use only cold water. (09/07/2006)

By aardvark

Color Bleeding When Washing a Quilt for the First Time

Woolite makes a product called Dye Magnet. It's disposable sheets that go in the washing machine which catch the dye. I hope your friend will be able to remove the bleeding color. What a shame.

By Rosemary

Color Bleeding When Washing a Quilt for the First Time

I wasn't sure if salt or vinegar. Thanks for the info. (04/23/2008)


By hope

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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 14, 2009

I made a quilt from squares of blue flannel (with white dogs in the pattern) and white flannel. I washed it and dried it first. When I was done sewing it I washed it again and the blue ran in to the white squares. How can I get the white squares white again without changing the blue squares?



January 23, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

Thank you so much for saving me today. I was soaking a stain on a quilt that my friend made me, and was shocked to see the blue squares bleeding all over the white ones. I rushed to the internet and found your advice for the Shout color catchers, then rushed to the store and back to the laundry room. Two of the sheets made the dark blue disappear completely!

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September 14, 2009

I washed a beautiful handmade red and white quilt that my 91 year old mother made many years ago. The red bled into the white cotton. Please help. This quilt is priceless. Both fabrics (red and white) are cotton broadcloth.


By Carole Beam from Whitby, Ontario


Color Bleeding When Washing a Quilt for the First Time

You didn't mention if you used hot or cold water to wash it.

Fill your washer with cold water then add one or two scoops of Oxyclean and let the quilt soak for a while. I do believe that will take care of your problem.
You can buy a generic brand Oxyclean in either Dollar General or Family Dollar stores. It works exactly the same, because I use it every week when I do the laundry. (04/30/2009)

By Marjorie

Color Bleeding When Washing a Quilt for the First Time

Woolite has a dye catcher product that I would recommend using if you ever wash it again which I would not recommend. Old cottons tend to bleed especially red ones, if I were you I would look up a quilt museum and call them and explain your problem and see what they suggest. At the very worst find a textile restorer that specializes in quilts and see what they can do to remove the color from the white.

Rit dye makes a color remover, but it might remove the color from the whole quilt. I would talk to a museum or textile restoration company and then wash it in the Woolite product with the dye holder in "cold" water and see if you can't get it out, otherwise send it in to be restored as it is a priceless keepsake. Good luck. (05/06/2009)


By Anna Shobe

Color Bleeding When Washing a Quilt for the First Time

I just read your post about red fading on your quilt. I have discovered that a product called Awesome removes red stains like magic. It only costs a dollar at the Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, or Dollar General. I just spray it full strength on the white part. I always spray a little and then just scratch it with the nozzle on the sprayer or a finger nail. I have removed terrible stains with this stuff. I seems to work on red the best. I hope it works for you. Elaine (05/08/2009)

By Elaine Leffler

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