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How to Get Fabric Dye Out of Clothes

It can be quite a surprise to pull your wet clothes from the washing machine and discover your new white blouse is now light pink, along with all your other white garments, because you accidentally tossed your new red robe in the wash of whites.

Careless washing can result in contact stains.

Things You Will Need

  • Detergent
  • All fabric bleach
  • Liquid bleach

It can be quite a surprise to pull your wet clothes from the washing machine and discover your new white blouse is now light pink, along with all your other white garments, because you accidentally tossed your new red robe in the wash of whites.  To remove fabric dye from your clothing successfully, it is important to do the task immediately, and not let the clothing dry, which makes it more difficult or impossible to remove the unwanted color.

  1. Fill the clean kitchen sink with water and add about 1/8 cup of heavy duty liquid detergent. Cover the drain so the water stays in the sink.
  2. Soak the garment in the sink and hand wash. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water to remove the dye and soap.
  3. Soak the garment in a sink of water with diluted oxygen bleach (all fabric bleach). Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for the proper amount of water to bleach. Do this if the dye remains after completing the previous step. Thoroughly rinse with water.
  4. Wash the garment in the washing machine with laundry detergent. If the dye stain remains after taking the garment out of the washing machine, do not put in the dryer and try the next step.
  5. Soak the garment in a sink of water with liquid chlorine bleach for 15 minutes, if the dye remains after completing the previous step and the fabric is white or colorfast. Follow the instructions on the bleach bottle for the bleach to water ratio for that brand.
  6. Rinse the garment and rewash in the washing machine.

Things You Will Need

  • Detergent
  • All fabric bleach
  • Liquid bleach

About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.

Photo Credits

  • Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images
  • Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images