It is frustrating to wash clothes only to discover something red has snuck in the laundry and bled all over everything, staining them with dye. It can be difficult to return the clothes to their original colours, but often the loose dye that has bled is removable. Try these methods below in solving your problem.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 1/2 cup Clorox 2
- 2 tbsp ammonia
- RIT dye fixative
Check the care instruction on the stained clothes to make sure you avoid using cleaning substances that will ruin clothes fabrics. Ammonia, distilled vinegar and alcohol will remove bled dyes from clothes but they also will break down the natural organic fibres in fabrics like cotton or linen if allowed to soak in too long, causing holes and frailty.
Soaking the clothes while still wet will prevent stains from permanently setting. Fill a bucket with 1/2 cup of Clorox 2, 1 quart of warm water, one tablespoon of ammonia and allow clothes to soak for a half hour to two hours. The colour safe bleach will help to loosen the dye without affecting the colour.
Rinse cloths well with warm water. If the dye has not bled out, next use a special dye remover. Try RIT Dye Fixative. It is designed to bind to loose dyes, reduce colour bleeding and is created specifically for situations like these. Find it at any chemist, department store or fabric store with other RIT products. Check the label carefully to make sure you do not buy dye remover with bleach.
Hand wash clothes in 2 tablespoons of Synthrapol detergent, which is a special detergent used to pre-score fibres before dyeing but used also as a surfactant or wetting agent to remove dye penetration before it sets. It is another way to remove red dye without causing fading on the bled item.
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