How to fix white clothes that have turned pink

Updated November 21, 2016

"Out, damn'd spot! Out, I say!" Although Lady Macbeth was talking about blood in the famous Shakespearean play "Macbeth," finding a shocking splash of pink on white clothes could easily invoke the same response from someone who finds out her white laundry has turned pink. However, finding out you accidentally put a red or pink item in a white laundry load doesn't have to mean the demise of the white clothes.

Pretreat the stained clothing with a heavy-duty liquid detergent and rinse with water. Pour the heavy-duty liquid detergent directly onto the pink area, or rewash the clothing with heavy-duty liquid detergent.

Saturate the pink clothing in a diluted, mixed solution of fabric bleach and water in a disposable plastic bucket, such as Clorox, following bottle instructions, for 15 minutes. The chemicals in fabric bleach are designed to take out the colour of the clothing item. Do not use liquid chlorine bleach on clothing made of silk, wool, spandex, polyurethane foam or rubber, or with those having rubber- or spandex-containing elastic, according to Iowa State University. Never use bleach full strength. Make sure bleach is diluted before using on a stain. Additional bleaching after 15 minutes will not remove the pink colour from the clothes, but will weaken the fabric, the Iowa State University Extension states.

Permanently dye white clothes that have pink. Use chemical- or natural-based clothing dye to dye the clothes a new colour. If you are unable to fix white clothes that have turned pink, dying the clothes another colour saves the item from being thrown away and gives it a new look.


Separate whites from colours before laundering to prevent turning white clothes pink accidentally.


Bleach may change the colour of the fabric as well as the stain.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty liquid detergent
  • Fabric bleach
  • Fabric dye
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