Removing Fabric Dye Stains?


September 1, 2020

A number of years ago, I ordered an ivory cotton tote bag stenciled with dark gray fabric dye. Since then, the images have faded quite a bit. I have an idea for repurposing the bag and ways to redecorate it; but I'm wondering if there's any way to remove the rest of the old fabric dye?


Soaking the bag in bleach got me only so far.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
September 2, 20200 found this helpful
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If bleach has not removed all the dye from this older fabric then trying some of the dry removal methods will sure not work. In order to not ruin the bag so you can repurpose it again, I would try to do a few more soaks in bleach and leave it for 10 minutes at a time and then rinse it out. Try and get out as much of the color as you possibly can. Then you can redye the bag a new color and start again. This would be the only way you can get out any more of the dry because the dry has been in the fabric a very long time and you have already tried the bleach soak on it.

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11 More 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.

May 14, 2011

During storage of our pop up camper, we forgot to remove the curtains which are a red wine color. The roof developed a leak and the dye from the curtains transferred onto the light grey canvas. I purchased a canvas cleaner, however it failed to remove the stains. Short of replacing the entire canvas, does anyone have any suggestions for any products that would remove the red dye without damaging the canvas material? I have also thought of using fabric paint to try and get as close a match as possible, but this is a last resort.

By Dave K.


May 16, 20110 found this helpful

You could try using dye remover. It has to be dissolved in hot water first, but then could be sponged on. The canvas would have to be sponged with clean water to rinse it.


The dye remover is sold wherever fabric dye is sold.

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 407 Feedbacks
May 17, 20110 found this helpful

Is it really that bad? I camp in a popup. You are camping! So long as the canvas is good, it certainly isn't thrifty to replace it. You could spend that money on so many other things!

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August 5, 2009

Our babysitter sat on our almost white sofa and left the stain of her new jeans in a perfect outline on the cushions. Is there anyone who knows what to do to get out the dye? Our fabric protection policy says that it will only remove food stains. So I will have to do it myself. Please help.

T. Davis

By teresa from Atlanta, GA


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 102 Feedbacks
August 7, 20090 found this helpful

You don't say what kind of fabric is on your couch.

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August 10, 20090 found this helpful

My sofa fabric is thick cotton.

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So I sat down on my new white, faux leather bar stool and the dye from my clothing stained the seat. I tried alcohol, Magic Eraser, and WD-40.

Nothing has worked. Anything else that might work? I seriously need some help.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
November 11, 20170 found this helpful

Try hydrogen peroxide in a hidden spot first.

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March 15, 2015

My cheetah print sheet has faded onto my mattress and it's blue so I was wondering how to get it off?

By Mariah


December 15, 20170 found this helpful

Spray clorox cleanup on it and just let it dry...from mary

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January 31, 2015

pink stain on white leather seatMy daughter put on her new Christmas pjs right from the package and when breakfast was over we noticed two of our white leather bar stool/chairs were distinctly pink. They aren't 'plush' but rather firm/hard.

Any thoughts? The retailer has been no help in terms of finding out the composition of the dye.

By Lesley M.


December 15, 20170 found this helpful

Clorox clean-up

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July 4, 2011

How do you get the red stain, from the curtains, off of the canvas in a pop up? What cleaning product will work?

By Phyllis M.


July 7, 20110 found this helpful

This is a really strange thing to try, but what about wetting the canvas and holding one of those dye catching cloths to it to see if that would work. The cloths work amazingly well in the washer so if your back is against the wall it might be worth a try.

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August 3, 2009

How can I remove fabric dye stains from my cement driveway?

By Cathy from Elgin, IL


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
August 3, 20090 found this helpful

You can use a Dye Remover:

But before you spend the money on it, I'd try pouring bleach on a small area & letting it soak for a bit to see if this will work... Be sure to stay in the area to make sure no neighborhood pets get into the bleach!


* You might also want to call the Dharma people (above). They know all about dyes & all about removing them! - 1(800) 542-5227

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November 26, 2014

My son was working with this transfer dye at school, but someone bumped into him and he has got it on the back of his school shirt. I don't know how to get the transfer dye out of it.

By mw

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April 24, 2014

I accidentally left an old microfiber cloth, colored dark purple, in my white painted model car. The microfiber cloth is compressed to the model car and unfortunately its color is printed unto to the model car's white paint. Any idea, how I could remove the purple dye without damaging the model car's paint? Thanks.

By Ryo Hansel A

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November 19, 2009

My dog's bed was outside and got soaked in the rain. I put it in my bathroom to dry out and the dye ran out of the bed and onto my linoleum floor. I have tried everything I could think of and nothing is getting it out. Any suggestions please? I would be very grateful for any tips, advice etc.

By Claire from Scotland

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June 5, 2008

I have a fabric Oroton handbag that has got dye transfer from my jeans. It has been Scotch Guarded, but I am concerned about how to get it clean. Can anyone help?

Natalie from Blue Mountains, Australia

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