How to Fix Dye Transfer on Clothing

Dye transfer is a stain that occurs when colour bleeds from one fabric to another. The resulting transfer of dye is what turns your white socks pink or a white blouse greyish-blue. Whether the garment that's causing the dye transfer is a new red shirt or pair of dark wash jeans, careful washing procedures prevent dye transfer. When the transfer of dye has already occurred and needs to be removed, the right supplies and techniques successfully fix dye transfer on clothes.

Dampen the article of clothing with dye transfer stains. Lay the clothing on a flat work surface, with the dye transfer stains facing up.

Pour heavy-duty washing powder over the dye transfer stains. Rub the detergent into the fabric then allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse the garment to remove the detergent.

Pour 1/2 cup oxygen bleach in 1 gallon warm water. Soak the garment in the bleach solution for 15 minutes to further loosen dye-transfer stains.

Wash the garment in the washing machine with washing powder and oxygen bleach. Check the garment, when finished in the washing machine, to see if any remaining dye-transfer stains are left. Treat remaining dye transfer on white clothing with a commercial colour remover. If the garment is made with coloured fabric or fabric with a pattern, repeat these steps, without drying the garment first, to remove what's left of the stain.


Use commercial colour remover on white clothing only because it also strips the original colour out of the fabric. Colour remover is most often found near the fabric dye. Avoid placing a garment in the dryer until the dye transfer stains are completely removed. Heat from the dryer can cause the dye stains to set.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty washing powder
  • Bucket
  • Oxygen bleach
  • Commercial colour dye remover
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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.