Dye transfer stains are one of the most common types of stains that people have to deal with. They are caused when a garment comes in contact with another article of clothing, either by touching it or rubbing against it. This can happen if you accidentally put on your shirt inside out and then wear it for the day without realizing what you did.
It also happens when two different colored shirts rub together during washing or drying or while being worn under a coat. The dye from one color is transferred onto the other color, leaving behind an unsightly stain that will not come out easily.
Dye transfers are notoriously difficult to remove because there is no way to tell which side has been stained until after they are washed and dried again.
How to Remove Dye Transfer Stains from Colored Clothes
If you have a shirt with dye transfer stains it is very important to get the stain out as soon as possible. That way you don’t end up with a faded and ruined shirt and won’t be left with stains that will never come out no matter what you do.
1. Rewashing with detergent
The first thing you can do to remove dye transfer stains is to rewash the clothes with detergent.
- Fill the washer with water and add detergent, then put in your stained clothes.
- Wash the fabric according to the garment label instructions
2. Stain Remover
This is another great method for getting dye out of clothes
- Damp a white cloth into a stain remover such as OxiClean (depending on how tough the stain is), you might also use rubbing alcohol or hairspray.
- Dab the stained clothes in and let them soak. You should wait until all of the dirt has come off the fabric.
- Once they are clean you can rinse them under warm water to remove any excess stain remover, then wash the clothes in the washer as usual.
Note: This method can damage colored fabrics and should only be used if other methods don’t work.
3. Soak in color bleach
You can also use color-safe bleach to get dye transfer stains out of color clothes
- Place 1 c (240 mL) hydrogen peroxide in a clean half-gallon container.
- Fill the rest of the space with water.
- Soak the stain in the color-safe bleach for about 10 hours
- Rinse, wash as normal, and air dry.
4. Try a color catcher
Another way to get dye out of clothes is to use a color catcher. A color catcher is basically a piece of absorbent material placed in the washer so that it catches any loose dyes during the wash cycle. It will help prevent fabric colors from bleeding onto other colored fabrics and helps maintain the brightness of your white clothes.
Put the color catcher in the washing machine and then wash the clothes as directed on the package.
How to Remove Dye Transfer From Clothes with Vinegar
One of the most effective dye transfer stain removers to remove dye transfer stains from clothes is with vinegar. You can either use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, but make sure that you dilute it with water before you try to wash the garment.
You might also want to use this process on oily stains or stains that are made from something other than dyes. Vinegar should be diluted enough to avoid ruining the fibers in the clothing. It’s best if you first test out an inconspicuous spot first to ensure that it won’t affect the colors on your clothes.
- To remove dye stain on clothes we need to mix a tablespoon of vinegar with one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and two cups of warm water.
- Then place the clothes in the solution and let them soak for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes of soaking, rinse out our clothes with cold water to remove any remaining residue.
- Then wash as normal and air dry
How to Get Dye Out of White Clothes
Washing white clothing in cold water may cause them to appear discolored for a short time, but the good news is that cleaning white clothes is simple. The best method to remove dye stains is with hot water, so check the garment care labels first to discover whether you can use them.
Using Heavy-Duty Laundry Detergent
- To remove dye from fabric, combine the heavy-duty laundry detergent and boiling water in a mixie.
- Then soak the stained garment for about 2 – 5 hours
- Fill a sink with hot or warm water. Rinse in the basin.
- Wash as normal in your washing machine.
- You can repeat the 1 – 3 steps if stains still remain
Non-Chlorine bleach solution
This method should be used for stubborn stains and if it is allowed on the garment care labels to be used.
- Simply mix a solution of cool water and non-chlorine bleach
- Soak the garment in the solution for a few hours, and then launder as usual.
- The bleach will help break down the color and get it out of your clothes or fabrics
How to remove dye transfer stains from white clothes after drying
When you wash white clothes and they get a dye stain, you can use these tricks to remove the stains.
- Mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (such as OxiClean) with cool water.
- Then soak the stained garment and let it sit for 7 hours.
- On silk or wool, do not use oxygen bleach.
- If the stains are gone, wash the garment as usual and let it dry.
Tips for Removing Dye Transfer from Clothes
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to reduce or eliminate dye transfer stains from your clothes.
- When you see a dye stain, promptly act. The longer a stain sits, the more difficult it is to remove.
- Before you attempt to remove a dye stain, test the stain remover on an inconspicuous area of the damaged cloth.
- Do not tumble-dry any stained garments before applying the treatment, as the intense heat might set the color stain.
- Read the garment’s care instructions listed on the label.
- If the color ran due to a non-colorfast item in the load, make certain it’s removed and hung to dry. Keep it separate from other clothes so that it doesn’t reoccur.
- If the two articles of clothing are not going to be worn at the same time, keep them separate and wash them separately. Avoid mixing colors together because this increases the likelihood of creating a dye transfer stain. Separate colors by turning one shirt inside out or by placing them in separate wash bags. Wash the articles of clothing separately, allowing at least 15 minutes between loads for the water to settle.
- If you can’t avoid having two different colors touch during washing, then place more detergent into the washer. The amount that you use should be enough to produce a thick, sudsy mixture. For top-loading machines, the standard detergent cap is for lightly soiled clothes. So use two or three capsful of liquid detergent or one scoopful of powder detergent instead. For front-loading machines, use one cup instead of the usual half cup.
- If using more detergent is not enough to get rid of the dye transfer stain, you should switch to a detergent that contains enzymes. These naturally occurring proteins help break down stains, which is exactly what they’ll do for your clothes. Look for a liquid laundry detergent or a powder detergent that has enzymes listed as one of the first five ingredients.
- Use a Stain Remover – A final method you can try is to use a stain remover immediately after removing your clothes from the dryer. Follow the directions for treating stains with enzymatic cleaners or pre-treaters.
Can vinegar remove color bleed?
“Yes, Vinegar is an effective method to remove color bleeding. It is an eco-friendly method as opposed to some of the other remedies.”
Can Vanish remove dye stains
“Yes, Vanish will remove it if it’s a dye stain. However, you do need to treat the stain as soon as possible, because the longer it sits the more difficult to remove it becomes.”
Can vinegar remove dye transfer?
“Yes, dye transfer can be reduced or eliminated with vinegar and water. Apply a mixture of white vinegar and water to the fabric, then rinse the garment until all the residual color has been removed.”
Will vinegar fade clothes?
Vinegar will cause clothes to fade. Vinegar is a natural fabric softener and can be used to remove stains and odors from clothing.
Does OxiClean remove color bleeding?
I think OxiClean is a great color remover for removing color bleeding. You could also use bleach or Tide with Bleach to get the same effect.
Can I soak clothes in vinegar overnight?
“Yes, you can soak clothes in Vinegar overnight to remove stains. Pour the vinegar on the soiled area and scrub with a brush or sponge. You can leave it on overnight or for a few days in a bucket of water before washing it.”
If you follow all of these steps, your clothes should be safe from dye transfer stains. The key is to do all you can before the article of clothing comes out of the washer and dryer. This way, you can avoid having to treat a stain after it happens.
It’s always best to wash different-colored clothes together in cold water because