How to Remove Color Bleeding from Colored Clothes

How often does this happen to you? You put your favorite garment in the wash, and when you pull it out, there are all these unexplained stains. The color has bled onto other parts of your clothes! This can be frustrating and expensive if not dealt with properly.

In today’s blog post we discuss how to remove color bleeding from clothes so that your wardrobe is always looking fresh.

One of the most effective methods for removing color stains is to use white vinegar. Fill up a sink with water and add 1 cup of white vinegar. Place your stained clothing into this solution and wait until they are fully submerged before you begin scrubbing at them with dish soap or baking soda. Scrub away any tough stains while the fabric is wet–this will make it easier for all of the dirt particles to come off without leaving behind any residue on your garment.

What Causes Color Bleeding

There are a number of possible causes for color bleeding.

Certain types of clothing, such as those that contain a dye that is highly soluble in water, have been known to have this problem. The garment can also have been washed with other fabrics that were dyed with the same color, causing the original colors to run together.

Another potential cause is exposure to heat or chemicals which will weaken the fibers and make it easier for them to release their dye even if they’re not being agitated. When the clothes are agitated during washing, these weakened fibers will break open and release more dye–usually going onto clothes that are close by in the washload.

Related: Can You Tie Dye a Colored Shirt? ( The Ultimate Guide)

How to Remove Color Bleeding from Colored Clothes

It is possible to get off dye transfers on clothes when they are still wet. However, it can be hard when the color bleed once they set in, so act fast.

Pretreat Color Bleeding Stains with a Liquid  Laundry Detergent

how to remove color bleeding from colored clothes
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Most of the time, dried-up color bleed stains are impossible to remove. And if you don’t pretreat them first with a cleaning agent before washing clothes then removing any remaining stain may be near impossible due to their delicate nature and stubbornness for drying up again quickly even after being washed successfully!

Follow these methods to pretreat color bleed stains before they become permanent marks.

  1. Sort the clothes according to the color ( white and colored)
  2. In a bucket with a gallon of warm water, combine 2 tablespoons of heavy-duty liquid detergent.
  3. Let the color bled garment soak for about 20 – 30 minutes
  4. After soaking, rinse with cold water to remove the remaining residue.
  5. When the affected area lightens, wash it as usual with your preferred laundry detergent.
  6. If the stains are still visible, repeat the entire process before hanging to dry

Removing Dye Transfer From Colored Clothes With Vinegar

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Vinegar can be an effective way to remove color bleeding stains from clothes.

  1. To do this, mix a cup of white vinegar with a gallon of water
  2. Soak the stained garment in the mixture water for 30 minutes.
  3. If the color has faded, rinse well and air dry.
  4. Repeat the process if there is a remaining residue

Related: How to Remove Mold from Colored Clothes | Proven Ways

Removing Color Bleeding With Hydrogen Peroxide

Another way to remove color bleeding stains is with hydrogen peroxide. It is a great alternative when it comes to getting dye transfer stains out of colored clothes. 

Hydrogen peroxide will break down the dye molecules faster and does not react badly with most fabrics–unlike bleach which can damage clothes.

  1. Mix an equal amount of water and hydrogen peroxide
  2. Soak the affected garment for about 30 minutes until the color stains fade.
  3. Rinse and wash the garment
  4. Let it dry

Using Oxygen Bleach to Remove Color Bleed

Washing stained items with oxygenated bleach is a safe approach to get rid of discoloration from dye transfer. For white and colored garments, you can utilize oxygen-based bleach.

Before using bleach, be sure to check the instructions on your clothing’s care labels first.

  1. To remove dye stains, follow these instructions: Submerge the stained item in a solution of 1 cup oxygen-based bleach to one-gallon water.
  2. Allow it to soak for 30 minutes before rinsing it thoroughly.
  3. Rinse the clothes with cold water.
  4. In a regular cycle, wash the clothes in the machine.

Tips to Avoid Color Bleeding in Clothes

Keep the garments segregated according to their colors, especially if they are white or colored. This will help minimize the risks of color bleeding.

Use cold water when soaking stained clothes for best results. Coldwater is ideal for washing because it keeps colors from bleeding and fading.

Hand washes new clothes to observe for color bleeding because are more likely to bleed since the dye isn’t always set.

Pay close attention to the care instructions on your clothing for washing directions.

Related: How to Fix a Messed Up Tie Dye Shirt (The Easiest Ways)

Frequently Asked Questions About Color Bleed Stains

Can vinegar remove color bleed?

“Yes, vinegar can is an effective way to remove color bleed from clothes. however, it may not work if the color bleeds as dried.”

Can baking soda remove color bleed?

“Baking soda can remove color bleed, however, it is not an effective method of removing color bleed.”

What to do when wash colors bleed?

“When color bleed occurs, dissolve oxygen bleach in hot water and soak the affected garment for about 30 minutes.”

Can you fix clothes that bled?

“Yes, you can fix clothes that bled, however, some dyes cannot be fixed from bleeding if it is dry. Before attempting any of these remedies on a garment, read the care label on the clothing first.”

Does OxiClean get rid of color bleeding?

“Yes, OxiClean is one of the best removers for getting rid of color-bleeding stains.”

What colors bleed in the wash?

“Red, black, purple, navy blue are the colors which are prone to color transfers when in the wash. These colors can create unwanted or unplanned results in other clothes when in the wash cycle.”

Can Reds be washed with darks?

“You should wash reds separately with darks. Darker dyes can ruin red clothes.”

What can I wash with reds?

You can wash reds with other colors oranges, pinks, and purples with fiery reds and bright oranges mesh together. but if the red fabric contains dark dyes then it may discolor it. It’s best to wash them separately.

What colors are OK to wash together?

 “Reds, hot pink bright oranges, and deep purples are colors which are ok to wash together”

Can I wash whites and reds together?

“No, it is not a good idea to wash whites and reds together. To prevent color bleeding, you should wash reds separately.”

Can you wash reds and greens together?

“Yes, Reds and greens are colors that can be washed together. Other colors include purples, reds, oranges, and bright yellows.”

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