How to remove dye stains from clothes

Dye stains can ruin your clothing if you don't remove them as quickly and thoroughly as possible. If stains are older, you may still be able to remove them, or at least lighten them up. You can use supplies you probably already have at home to remove dye stains from your clothes.

Lay the dye-stained garment on a clean towel with the stain face up.

Blot up as much of the stain as possible with a cotton cloth. Change to a clean cloth frequently to avoid spreading the stain. Continue this process until there's no more transfer of the dye stain to the cotton cloth.

Mix equal parts white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. Allow the mixture to froth, then apply to the dye stain using an old but clean toothbrush. Work the vinegar mixture into the stain and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Rinse with cold water.

Pour a small amount of washing powder onto the stain and rub the fabric together. Allow it to sit for a moment to loosen any remaining dye stain from your garment. Wash according to the directions on the garment's care label.


Blot the stain with a paper towel if you're away from home, removing as much as possible. Follow this by blotting with a dampened paper towel on the back side of the stain.


Avoid using hot water or an iron to remove dye stains. Heat sets the stain.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean towel
  • Cotton cloths
  • White vinegar
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Old toothbrush
  • Water
  • Washing powder
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.