How to Get Fabric Dye Out of Clothes

Ann Johnson

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.

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.