How to stop color from bleeding in laundry

Written by mary ylisela Google
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How to stop color from bleeding in laundry
Red fabric dye is notorious for causing dye transfer stains. (little boy in a red shirt image by Pix by Marti from

New clothes with bright colours sometimes bleed fabric dye when they're first washed. When this occurs, other clothing ends up with dye transfer stains which can be difficult to remove. Rather than working to remove a dye transfer stain, you can be proactive and prevent the fabric dye from bleeding in the first place. Home remedies help you to successfully set fabric dye and maintain the colour fastness of clothing while it's being laundered.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup table salt
  • Washing powder
  • 1 cup vinegar

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  1. 1

    Fill a bucket one-fourth of the way with white vinegar then the remainder of the way with cool water. Set your clothing in the diluted vinegar solution and allow it to soak for 30 minutes.

  2. 2

    Wash your garment according to instructions. In addition to using washing powder, add 1/2 cup table salt to the wash water to help set the fabric dye colour.

    How to stop color from bleeding in laundry
    Salt helps to set fabric dye. (Salt Shaker on Table- Portrait image by kellykramer from
  3. 3

    Pour 1 cup white vinegar into the rinse cycle of your wash machine. Adding the vinegar helps to further prevent colour bleeding in the laundry by helping to set the colour.

Tips and warnings

  • Wash bright colours, such as red garments, together to prevent problems with colour dye transfer.
  • Adding vinegar to the rinse cycle also freshens laundry, softens fabric and prevents static cling.
  • Should colour bleeding occur, do not put the clothing in the dryer as that will set the dye transfer stain.
  • Treat colour bleeding by applying stain remover to the dye and allowing it to sit in the fibres for several minutes before washing.

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