Cleaning Dye Stains from Fabric

by Karen Bates
(last updated July 6, 2020)

There are various ways that dye can end up on fabrics in your home. A brand new red shirt might be washed with a load of whites, dye might spill onto fabric, or you might sit on a light-colored sofa while wearing a dark colored wash of jeans. Whatever the cause, these dye stains might make you worry that your fabrics can never return to their original color.

Although dye stains can be tricky to remove, there are some things you can try to get rid of them. When dealing with dye stains, remember that the sooner you clean the stain, the better. If you give the dye too much time to set in, removal will become a lot more difficult. Also, if you wash fabric with a dye stain, be sure that the stain is gone completely before you put the item in the dyer. Once it goes through the dryer, the stain will be set in and won't be removable.

If dye ends up staining fabric in your home, here are some tips to help you get it out:

  • If dye gets on fabric that is not washable, start by carefully dabbing the area with a damp sponge. Find a cleaner or stain remover that is meant for the type of fabric you are cleaning, and apply to the stain, following the directions carefully.
  • With washable fabric that has been stained, try soaking the item in warm water with a little detergent and ammonia added. After waiting 20-30 minutes, remove the item and rinse it out. If the stain is still there after this process, use rubbing alcohol or vinegar to attempt stain removal.
  • If colors have transferred from one item to another in the washing machine, one good idea is to try a commercial color run removing product. A product like Shout Color Catcher can help take out the dye. Washing your stained item with a product like Oxy Clean can also be quite effective.
  • Another way to save clothes that have been stained in the wash is to remove the bleeding item and rewash everything else, this time adding vinegar or bleach to the load. It is important to remember to do this right away while the clothes are still wet. Do not dry the clothes in the dryer first, as this will permanently set the stain.

Prevention is the safest bet that fabric won't fall victim to dye stains. For example, wash new dark-wash pants before wearing them and sitting on furniture. Sort your laundry to prevent dye running in the wash. Consider using washable slip covers on your nice furniture.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

MORE FROM KAREN

Organizing Parties

If you are throwing a party, you will need to prepare for the event beforehand. Organize a date, guest list, food ideas, ...

Discover More

Kitchen Cleaning

Having a clean kitchen is important to your health and the overall feel of the room. Be sure to clean different areas of ...

Discover More

Wheel Cleaning

When cleaning your vehicle, don't forget the wheels. You can wash your car's wheels by following just a few simple steps.

Discover More

Tough Cleaning Jobs Require Brawny! Brawny paper towels provide the versatility you need: the strength for demanding jobs and the softness to clean up your child's messy face. This 24-roll pack of pick-a-size sheets can handle just about every cleaning task in your home. Check out Brawny 24-Pack Giant Paper Towels today!

More Cleaning Tips

Removing Stains from Clothes

Clothing stains are common, but must be treated differently depending on the type of stain and clothing. Water and liquid ...

Discover More

Making Yellowed Silk White Again

So maybe you inherited your grandmother's silk wedding dress or your grandfather's silk hankie. Or maybe you have some ...

Discover More

Remove Blood Stains from Clothing

Blood stains are common on clothing, but removing them from fabric isn't very easy. It is best to tackle the stain when ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 9?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.