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Setting Colors in Clothing So They Don't Bleed

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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 page about setting colors in clothing so they don't bleed.


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March 2, 2010

Is there anything you can use before washing red clothing so it will not bleed afterward?

By lisa from Grand Rapids, MN


March 4, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Put the item(s) in the dryer for a cycle-the heat should help set the color. Also, when you wash the item, use cold water and add about a half a cup of salt to the water. Red is a toughie though, there are no guarantees-sorry.

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July 24, 2005

How do I set the dye for my new pants that are blue? A friend bought the same outfit and said when she rinsed the pants there was alot of color in the water. Should I do the top also, it is shaded in blue colors?

Thank you,


By bekkicat (Guest Post)
July 25, 20051 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can do one of two things: Either soak the garment in a sink of cold water with (1) a handful of salt--swish around and let sit for an hour or so (2) 1/4 cup whte vinegar with cold water. Also, let sit for and hour or so. With either ingredient, return to the sink (or wash basin) a few times to swish the garment and squeeze lightly.


After an hour or so, take out the garment and squeeze excess water out. Some dye might "bleed" into the water but let the garment hang until damp-dry. Then wash with like colors.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 31, 2010

My daughters were cheerleaders for 12 years and here is what we did to protect their clothing:

Fill washing machine 1/2 full with "cold" water, and add 1 quart of clear vinegar. Agitate for about 30 seconds, then add clothing and agitate for about 2 minutes (long enough to thoroughly mix all together). Turn off "Timer" and let set for 10 minutes. Repeat on/off method for about 5 times. Set timer to "ON" and let it run its full cycle.


Colors should be set and not bleed. If vinegar isn't available, use 1 cup of table salt. This works just as well.

By Cajun62234 from Collinsville, IL


Setting Colors in Clothing So They Don't Bleed

Great idea.
My Mom taught me to throw in a handful of salt in the sink with the clothes in cold water and let it sit awhile (an hour should do it). Always do socks this way. They hold their colors just fine. (04/07/2008)

By Linda Jones

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March 2, 2010

How do you set dye in clothing? I am looking for a solution that really keeps it from bleeding. The clothes from Indonesia are great, but they all bleed horribly.

By denise ducroix from Le Veurdre, France


Setting Colors in Clothing So They Don't Bleed

My former mother-in-law used to tell me to use vinegar in the water, also salt water, but I never had really good luck with them. The last few years I have started using the Shout color sheets, I don't think that is the exact name, but they are made by Shout, and are in the laundry aisle of the stores. They work really well. (02/01/2010)


By Joan

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