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How to Stop the Dye From Bleeding in a Dyed Carpet

Mason Howard

Dying synthetic and natural fiber carpets and rugs allows manufacturers to produce many colors and styles. Sometimes, however, new carpets have an excess of dye, especially those that are dyed extremely rich or dark colors. This excess dye can result in bleeding. Also known as carpet dye transfer, bleeding also commonly occurs after a carpet has been dyed by hand. Extract excess dye and treat the carpet with fixative to end the battle carpet dye transfer.

Remove excess dye to prevent stains on socks and other items that come into contact with the carpet.
  1. Vacuum the carpet to remove all loose debris.

  2. Create a solution of dye fixative and water in a spray bottle. Use the manufacturer recommended ratio of fixative to water. Some brands may require hot water. Spray the carpet with the solution and work the solution into the carpet fibers by scrubbing with a dry, clean push broom. Leave the solution to sit for the time recommended in the directions.

  3. Vacuum the carpet with a carpet shampooer, using the recommended type of detergent, to reconstitute and suck up any excess dye. The excess dye, not the absorbed dye, causes the bleeding, meaning the fibers have a sufficient amount of dye. Therefore, extracting excess dye with a shampooer should not cause the carpet color to fade.

  4. Spray the carpet again with fixative and water solution and allow it to sit for the recommended time.

  5. Run the carpet shampooer over the carpet again, using no detergent, to rinse the carpet with plain water.

  6. Allow the carpet to dry for a few hours then rub it with a white cloth to make sure the bleeding has stopped. If not, repeat the shampooing process.