Holly asked: How do I remove dye bleed on a red and white striped shirt?
It’s very frustrating to wash a new shirt only to find the colors have blended during the wash cycle. It can be difficult to return the shirt to its original stripes, but there are times when the loose dye that has bled onto the white stripes can be removed. Try the applications below for the best chance at removing the misplaced dye.
You Will Need:
- Clorox 2 (color safe bleach)
- RIT Dye Fixative or
- Synthrapol (available at art supply stores and online)
Steps to Remove the Bleeding Dye:
- Begin by checking the care instructions on the shirt for any cleaning substances that should be avoided.
- Fill a bucket with water and add a small amount of Clorox 2 (about a teaspoon). You don’t need a lot of Clorox 2; adjust the amount based on the size of the bucket. (Check the label for more specific instructions of how much is needed based on the amount of water being used.) If preferred, you can use the wasing machine insead of a bucket and use the full amount recommended for the load size. In either case, swish your hand around in the water to mix it in well.
- Place the shirt in the bucket and allow it to soak for several hours. If you are hesitant to use the color-safe bleach, test a small hidden area of the shirt first to ensure it does not discolor the colored sections.
- The color safe bleach should remove the loose dye without affecting the other colors.
- If the dye that has bled out is not removed, try a special dye remover.
- RIT Dye Fixative is designed to bind to loose dyes and reduce color bleeding. It is designed specifically for this purpose and can be found at most drugstores and department stores along with the other RIT dyes. Check the label carefully as RIT also makes a dye remover that will essentially bleach the entire piece. This is NOT the one that you want. Synthrapol is a similar product that is designed to bond to loose dyes and remove them from the fabric. Since they only bond to loose dyes, they should not affect the other colors in the clothing.
- For either product, follow the manufacturer’s directions on the packaging for use.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- To avoid color bleeding with future clothing pieces, use Shout Color Catchers when washing multi-colored clothes or any clothes that have colors that may bleed. These sheets are available at any store and are designed to catch any loose dyes that enter the water during the washing cycle.
- If all else fails, it may be possible to bleach the white areas to remove the color. To do this, mix a small amount of bleach with water and apply to the areas where you wish to remove the color. Use great caution not to get bleach on the colored areas. Wash the shirt immediately to remove any remaining bleach.