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Dress Bled on Itself in Wash

Brightly colored sections on a dress can bleed onto the surrounding lighter parts. This guide is about what to do when a dress bled on itself in the wash.

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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.

By 3 found this helpful
September 1, 2016

My daughter's dress's background colour has run on to the main colour. What do I do?

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March 7, 20171 found this helpful
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You could try rubbing salt into the areas that have run and leave for a day or two. It's worth a try.

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April 1, 20180 found this helpful
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Rewash with SHOUT color catcher sheets, they work fantastically!

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By 0 found this helpful
February 11, 2007

I have a red and white striped dress that has turned out pink and red when washed! How can I get it back to red and white again? Would appreciate any help.

Thanks,
Linda from Sydney, Australia

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February 11, 20070 found this helpful
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Here in the US there is a product that you can add to the wash, looks like a thick dryer sheet, and it traps the dyes that are floating around in your wash. That might help if you can find it, I believe it's made by Shout Detergent.

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Also try RIT fabric dye remover for these types of mistakes, they have a website and if you can't find there, I am sure you can order. Whatever you do, don't dry it!

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February 12, 20070 found this helpful
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Sorry if I'm late with this - have had computer problems for over a week. Dylon have a product called Runaway that removes dye that has run in the wash. I have used it succdessfully.

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By Sheryl (Guest Post)
February 13, 20070 found this helpful
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Sorry, I had this happen to a black and white dress of mine once. Unfortunately, it was ruined. Nothing worked. I was told it was a defect in the fabric - the manufacturer did not set the colors properly when making the fabric.

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My dress did say it was washable, so after trying everything, I was able to return it to the store "as defective" and got a refund. It was a bummer because I absolutely LOVED that dress too!

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By 0 found this helpful
January 24, 2018

I have a dress that is navy and white. I washed it on a cold wash, but the navy run into the white. What can I do to revive it? It is made of polyester.

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January 25, 20180 found this helpful
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I would also recommend Ritz Color Grabber. And for future reference, I've read many tips regarding white vinegar as a "color setter." For any items that might bleed - before washing the item for the first time - soak it overnight in a bucket of cold water to which white vinegar has been added.

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For a gallon bucket, it's usually ½ cup to 1 cup white vinegar. I've had VERY good results when doing this. Items don't bleed & also retain their colors much longer. I have a red tee that must be 10 years old now & has been laundered 100s of times but is STILL a bright vivid red! Good luck.

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January 26, 20180 found this helpful
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Years ago I had the same thing happen, the darker color of the dress bled onto the white trim (cuffs) of the dress. This is something you almost have be very "artistic about" removing- which is what I did, and it worked, but it wasn't very easy.

If you can cover the area (s) where the dark fabric meets the white fabric, then you can take a cotton q-tip dipped into a 1/8 bleach to 7/8's of water.

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Lightly blot the "bleed" part with that bleach and water dipped q-tip, then rinse it after the darker color lifts off of the white fabric part only, doing this until you've got the white part white again.
This works easier at the kitchen sink too.

You don't want to wash the entire dress to remove the bleach water on the area you've lifted the dark color out of, because that will cause a whole lot more color bleed everywhere.

Only rinse well, the part you've applied the bleach bath to.
That's what I mean about this being not very easy to do, as
it's tedious and very time consuming, but...it can be done.

As for keeping the colors separate in the next wash, I see it's posted here to use Ritz Color Grabber. I've never tried that,
as I can only mention what I've personally done when I have

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had a dark color bleed onto a white part of the same outfit.

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By 1 found this helpful
July 18, 2016

I have a white lace dress with a black zipper. It says dry clean, but I washed it in cold water. The dye as come from the zipper onto the lace dress. The dress is just lace no underskirt so it's see through. How can I get the dye out? Please help.

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March 12, 20170 found this helpful
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Shout color run remover. It is found in the laundry aisle.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 12, 2015

For silk cotton material dresses, dry wash can be replaced by a shampoo wash. Usually we do that, but this time while we washed a silk cotton dress (Chudi top) the dark dye mixed with the lighter dye. The dress color is magenta and sandal. After a shampoo wash, we saw that the magenta dye color mixed with the sandal dye color. Is there any chance to recover the actual sandal dye color by removing magenta dye color? The dress material is silk cotton where normal wash is not applicable.

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November 13, 20170 found this helpful
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You could try the Rit Color Grabber

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May 15, 20120 found this helpful

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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May 16, 20120 found this helpful
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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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By 0 found this helpful
January 23, 2019

I just got this great vintage dress. It is a dashiki from Etsy. I put it in Woolite in cold water and it bled onto the white background. The dress is still wearable, but if there is any way I can get rid of the bleeding part. I read about using a Q-tip to dab out the dye with bleach, but am not sure if it will hurt the material. I am so in love with this dress. Please help me restore it without ruining it!

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January 23, 20190 found this helpful

You can try color oops

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January 24, 20190 found this helpful

Nifty looking dress...
I would not use bleach on this as you may just end up with "white" spots.

Color Run Remover will usually work (works best if item has not been in dryer).
Several brands are sold in most large stores and online.

www.amazon.com/.../B00V4EVZEQ?tag=thrif06-20

You might also try using the Color Grabber when you wash it in the future.
Check these out as they usually work with all types of material.

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January 24, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you so much, obviously a person of good taste! Will definitely take a shot at ordering that item and hope that it works!

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January 24, 20190 found this helpful

I hope it will do the trick but be sure to try the color grabber for the next wash.
Both of these can usually be found at Target, Walmart, craft stores and maybe even Lowe's.
I keep them on hand just in case I have something that I like and it looks "speciously" like it may run as I love these types of color combinations and especially those flowing styles of dresses.
Good luck - even if it only lightens the run it may help.

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February 12, 20190 found this helpful

Great dress!!! I would let the person from ETSY know and get his/her feedback. The person should know that the dress bleeds too or he/she is going to start getting bad seller remarks.

Perhaps the seller will replace for free. Just my 2 cents worth!! If I were the seller I would want to know ASAP!!

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July 4, 20190 found this helpful

I am having a similar problem with a vintage dress I got from a thrift store. Did this work for you?? The busy print ran onto itself and onto the white part of the jumper. I want to cry. I wanted to brighten the cream part of the jumper and soaked the whole thing in oxy powder and water since it's done so well with other solid garments. Had no idea the colors and pattern would bleed onto the cream part and onto the pattern part itself. Let me know if the shout sheets worked for your garment!

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By 0 found this helpful
June 27, 2019

I have a black, white, and salmon colored dress that is polyester and spandex. I washed it by hand with cold water and when I hung it up to dry I noticed the black ran into both of the other colors. What's the best way to remove those stains while still washing by hand?

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June 27, 20190 found this helpful

The best thing to do is to return it to the store. The fabric is defective.

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June 30, 20190 found this helpful

If the dress is a recent purchase, then I would say to return it.
There are several thing you can try.
Try washing the dress again with a very small amount of liquid soap (I prefer Woolite for hand washing) and cold water. Let it rest in solution a few minutes and rinse several times. This is the difficult part as most of the time too much soap is used and all soap is not removed.
Sometimes this will work but if not you can purchase a product called 'color run remover' but follow directions closely for best results.
Product can be found in all the big stores - Walmart, Target or online.

www.amazon.com/.../B00V4EVZEQ?tag=thrif06-20

Do not confuse this with 'color grabber' as this product is what you use in the wash BEFORE the run or hopefully to prevent the run.

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February 9, 20140 found this helpful

I have a blue dress with white collar and cuffs. I washed this item and the white has turned grey. How do I get it white again?

By Carole from England

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September 24, 20130 found this helpful

I have a light blue dress with red cherries on it and the red ran when it was hanging to dry.What do I do? I didn't realize it was "dry clean only" and I hand-washed it in cold water. How do I get the bleed to go away without making it bleed more?

By Shannon G

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