How Do You Remove Dyes That Bleed in the Wash?


Quick Answer

If you discover the dye bled in the wash before the clothes are dried, it is often possible to remove the transferred color with one wash cycle using oxygen bleach. However, if you discover the mistake after drying, the dye is set and can be difficult to remove.

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How Do You Remove Dyes That Bleed in the Wash?
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Full Answer

  1. Remove the item responsible for the color transfer

    Look through the load to find the offending item. Red dyes are especially prone to transfer. The dye sometimes comes from the trim on clothes. Previously unwashed items have the most dye to transfer.

  2. Leave the other clothes in the machine

    Add the detergent and the manufacturer's recommendation of oxygen bleach to the load. Set the cycle to cold, and run the machine again.

  3. Inspect each item

    As you remove the clothing from the machine, inspect each article individually for discoloration. Set aside those with remaining stains, and dry the rest.

  4. Soak to remove difficult stains

    Follow the package directions on the oxygen bleach to mix 1 gallon of solution. Place the still-stained garments in the solution, and allow them to soak for 8 hours. Inspect for stains again. If they are still present, mix a new oxygen bleach solution and soak again. Launder the items as normal.

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