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How to Remove Color Run Stains

Updated April 17, 2017

When new clothes get wet, the colours often bleed and run onto other garments. This can occur when it's raining outside or in the washing machine. When colours run in the washing machine, many other garments will be affected by the colour bleed. It's also common for coloured trim on clothing to bleed onto the other sections of the garment. Colour run stains can be difficult to remove.

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  1. Wash or rewash the garment immediately in the washing machine, using washing powder and warm or hot water. Before dye dries completely, it can usually be washed off because it has not yet set.

  2. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with cold water and add 1 cup of washing soda. Soak the garment in this solution for an hour.

  3. Transfer the garment from the bucket to your washing machine. Add dye remover powder to the washing machine.

  4. Run the washing machine on permanent press, using warm water.

  5. Place the garment in a 5-gallon bucket again. Fill the bucket with cool water and add 2 capfuls of liquid bleach. Allow the garment to sit overnight in the solution.

  6. Machine-wash the garment with washing powder, using the permanent-press setting on your washing machine and warm water.

  7. Tip

    If the label on your garment says dry-clean only, take it to your dry cleaner immediately after the stain occurs.

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Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • Washing powder
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Water
  • Washing soda
  • Dye remover
  • Liquid bleach

About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Susan Raphael has been writing technology-related articles since 1991. Her work has appeared in “Wired” magazine, and “Mac Addict” magazine. Raphael received the Janet B. Smith Literary Award in 2002. She holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from New York University.

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