Susan wrote in with a dye dilemma regarding her daughter’s new school outfit:
I went to wash it [her daughter’s new outfit] and discovered a problem. It’s a white with blue striped shirt with a Tinkerbell picture on it. The shirt has a black vest attached to it and the black has RUN all over the white/blue areas. It’s awful.
I’ve soaked it in Biz in a feeble attempt to get it out and sprayed it with
stain spray, but no luck. Do you have any other suggestions for dye stains?
It’s not been in the dryer yet, just in case there’s a “miracle” cure.
First of all, Susan is a smart mama for not drying the outfit in the dryer yet! As we all know by now, dryer heat almost always sets in stains. So if the outfit can be saved, she still has a chance.
The bleeding of dye is a common problem, especially when washing garments for the first time. The dye hasn’t had a chance to ‘set’ prior to washing. The most known culprits are the dark dyes: black, navy, deep red, deep purple, dark green to name a few.
And some dyed garments continue to run, regardless of how many times they are washed. Have you ever had your whole load of whites turn gray because you accidently left in a pair of black shorts? Not fun.
It is true that sometimes the excess dye cannot be removed from the affected garments. There are some stain dilemmas that just cannot be resolved. Lots of dye issues fall in this category.
There are a couple of options:
- Try Oxi Clean or other oxygen-based stain remover.
Oxi Clean removes a plethora of stains, and I’ve had it resolve mild cases where dyes have bled. Try using the soaking method for stain removal.
- Try a Color Remover.
Rit makes a Color Remover that is intended to help restore the garment’s original hue. Be very cautious with all color removers. They can easily lift too much of the color causing a less-than-thrilling result. Follow the directions carefully. I would be extremely cautious when using a Color Remover on any colored garment (such as the case with Susan’s dilemma above). I would definitely spot treat with the Color Remover before I would submerge the whole item in the Color Remover solution. It is named ‘Color Remover’ for a reason, afterall.
As I said, removing unwanted dye stains are some of the toughest (if not impossible) types of stains to correct. To prevent dyes from bleeding in the first place, you can try a product like Shout’s Color Catcher.
I’ve personally used it several times with great results.
What tips to do you have regarding dyes that bleed?