How to fix clothes that have been dyed?

How to remove dye stains from clothes

The home fabric dye that gives your jeans a new lease of life isn’t quite as welcome on the rest of your clothes. The good news is that accidentally sticking your sleeve into a tub full of fabric dye doesn’t mean you have to live with your new look – it’s possible to remove dye stains from clothes. Take a look at the handy fabric dye removal tips below to find out how.

How to get dye out of clothing

Before we get on to explaining how to get dye out of clothes, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Read your labels. Not just the care label on the garment, but the label on the cleaning product you choose to use for the removal process too.
  • Test first! It’s also good to check that the method you’re about to use is a safe bet – test it on a hidden part of your clothing (like the inside hem) before treating the whole stain, especially if it’s an eye-catching place.

How to remove dye stains from clothes that are white

Even though fabric dye stains on white clothes tend to look worse than stains on any other shade of clothing, they can actually be more straightforward to remove. This is because you’re more likely to be able to use bleach, which can remove dye from clothes very easily.

You have a few different methods to choose from, depending on the nature of the garment and the fabric:

  1. Non-chlorine bleach. When you need to remove dye stains from clothes, bleach can be your best friend – at least when it comes to white, durable clothing. Remember to look for the bleach symbol on the garment’s care label before using it, as more delicate fabrics might not react well to it.
    If the care label confirms that the item can be bleached, you have two options. The first is to pop a cup of bleach into the detergent tray of your washing machine and simply wash the stained clothing as usual. Your second option is to dilute the bleach with cold water, fill up a tub, and let your stained clothes soak for a couple of hours. Then you can wash your clothes on the usual setting.
    Remember: Bleach is a powerful cleaning product! Read the information on the product label for dosing and safety guidelines.
  2. OMO Ultimate Liquid. Heat water until it’s at the hottest temperature your fabric can withstand, then pour it into a basin and add OMO Ultimate powder or liquid – check the packaging for dosage guidelines. Leave your stained clothes to soak for up to three hours and then wash as normal in the washing machine, still using the hottest temperature recommended for your garment. Repeat this method until the stain disappears.

If you’re wondering how to get dye out of clothing that has been tie-dyed, you might want to try the one of the methods above. Soaking is a good way to dissolve dye stains that are spread out over wide areas.

How to remove dye stains from clothes that are dark, or coloured

If you’re removing fabric dye from dark or coloured clothing, you can potentially try one of the options above, but you want to be careful about using bleach – check the product label to see if it’s suitable for your garment. Otherwise, you run the risk of removing more colour from the fabric than you originally intended!

If bleach isn’t suitable, our colourfastness test can tell you if soaking with OMO for a long period of time is a viable option. If not, you may want to try using these products to remove dye from clothes:

  • Solvents. If your stained item isn’t colour fast, a good option may be rubbing alcohol or a similar solvent. Use a white cloth to apply the solvent, then dab at the stain. The dye should start to come off very soon. Continue until the stain is almost gone and then rinse the garment in warm water. Finally, wash it in the machine according to the instructions on the care label. If the stain is still there, repeat the process.
  • Stain removers. There are commercial stain removal products around that have been created for the sole purpose of removing dye stains from clothes. Keep an eye out for one that’s suitable for coloured items. Again, read the instructions on the product label for the best results.

Remember: No matter which stain removal method you use, it’s important to let the item dry naturally after washing, as the heat from a tumble dryer can help to set the dye – and you might not be able to spot lingering dye stains while item is still wet.

Got another laundry quandary to solve? For more tips on how to remove tricky stains, check out the rest of our stain removal tips.

Just as one bad apple spoils the whole bunch, one red sock can leave an entire load of whites looking pretty in pink. When this disaster strikes, don’t despair. Just follow the advice of cleaning coach Leslie Reichert and your white clothes will return to being bright and light in no time.

3 laundry myths debunked

April 22, 201501:27

3 rules for avoiding a color bleed disaster in the first place

  1. First, sort clothes according to color before washing them. Keep a dedicated mesh zippered laundry bag, like this, on hand to contain socks and other small laundry items.
  2. Thoroughly check pockets, pant legs and sleeves and remove colored items like mittens, scarves and socks that may be hiding there.
  3. Make sure all clothes have been removed from the washer and the dryer before adding another load. Red socks are almost invisible when clinging to the inside walls of these appliances.

How to treat spots of discoloration

If only one or two spots of color have transferred onto a piece of clothing, Reichert recommends trying an oxygen bleach first. To start, dissolve oxygen bleach in hot water, then add enough cold water to cool the mixture. Soak the garment in this solution for 15-30 minutes, then rinse.

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If the stain remains, try wetting the stains with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Allow it to sit for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

If that doesn’t work, Reichert suggests using chlorine bleach. Begin with 1/8 cup of chlorine bleach to a sink full of water. “Be very careful not to splash any in your eyes or onto your skin,” she adds. Allow the garment to soak for 15-30 minutes, then run it through a wash cycle. Repeat as needed. Don’t machine dry the item until the stain is fully removed.

What to do if your entire load of laundry becomes discolored

Remove the item that caused the problem.

Re-wash the affected clothing using oxygen bleach (per package directions), your regular detergent and the hottest water recommended on the care labels.

It the stain remains, and the care labels allow the use of chlorine bleach, wash the clothes again, this time using just 1/8 cup of chlorine bleach, your regular detergent and cold water. Repeat as needed. Once the discoloration has been removed, run the entire load through another rinse cycle to remove any residual chlorine.

In addition to Reichert’s recommendations, the American Cleaning Institute recommends using a packaged color remover to restore white fabrics that have picked up color from other fabrics. After color has been removed, launder as usual.

Note: Some color removers are for whites only. For colorfast articles, look for products, like Carbona Color Run Remover, that are safe for whites and colorfast articles.

Removing the pink when red clothes dye whites


You should be able to restore the white items that picked up a pink color with a bleach soaking solution as long as the white items are safely bleachable. Note that you should always avoid bleaching anything made with wool, silk, leather, mohair, and spandex. Assuming the items are not made from any fibers on the “avoid bleaching” list, you can try the bleach soak.

For that, fully submerge the affected pink items in a solution of ¼ cup Clorox® Regular Bleach2 (or 3 Tablespoons of new Concentrated Clorox® Regular Bleach2) diluted in 1 gallon cool water for up to 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Air dry the items and check for success (it’s important to keep the item out of the dryer so the heat doesn’t set any remaining dye). Hopefully the fugitive color will be gone, but if it is lighter, then repeat the bleach soak again. However, if the bleach soak leaves the dye transfer color unchanged, then you may need to try RIT Color Remover, which can usually be found at drug and hardware stores. Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!

  • Bleach stains: Chlorine bleach should never be poured directly onto fabric. If adding chlorine bleach, mix it with a quart of water before adding to the washer. Bleach dispensers can drip at inopportune times and deposit undiluted bleach on garments. This can happen even after the final spin cycle.
  • Ripped Clothing: Sashes, jacket strings, and thin straps can become entangled and even rip away from clothing. To prevent damage, remove loose embellishments or tie them closer to the garment. Wash delicate items on a delicate cycle. Always mend loose buttons or small seams before washing. The agitation in the washer can cause small rips to become much larger.
  • Holes in Clothes: Sharp items left in pockets can cause holes. Even zippers can tear fabrics. Check all pockets, zip zippers, and snap or hook fasteners before loading garments into the washer. Snags or holes can also be caused by a rough spot along the washer tub wall. Use a flashlight to check the washer drum for chipped finishes and repair promptly.
  • Rust Spots on Clothes: If rust spots appear on your clothes, there is probably a chip in the washer basket. The exposed metal will rust and stain your clothing. Again, use a flashlight to carefully inspect every inch. When you find the chip, use washer drum repair paint to correct the chip. Check the outside of your washer and dryer to be sure that rust is not getting on your clothes as you load and unload them. Follow these tips to remove the rust stains.
  • Black Spots on Clothes: The black spots could be mildew if you have allowed clothing to sit in the washer too long. Always remove wet clothes promptly. The black spots could also be grease if you have a problem with the washer motor. Open the back of the washer and if there is any spattering of grease on the washer case, repairs must be made. Follow these tips to remove the mildew or grease stains.
  • Grease Stains on Clothes: The grease spots that mysteriously appear are probably deposits of undissolved fabric softener or detergent. Clean dispensers and do not pour products directly on clothes. Follow these tips to remove the stains.

How Washing Machines Can Damage Your Clothes

It’s the dreaded moment we can all relate to. You take off your new outfit after a long day and get ready to throw it in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry, only to have your eyes fall in disgust on the care label now poking, almost mockingly, out of the collar: Hand wash only.

So begins the tiring but inevitable argument with yourself:

“Do I really need to hand wash this?”

“Can’t I just use the gentle cycle on my washing machine?”

“What’s the worst that could happen?”

You begin weighing the value of the item and its importance to you up against the likelihood of damage and the potential cost of repair or replacement, all in an attempt to determine whether you can justify risking a machine wash, and I don’t blame you! The convenience of the washing machine is, after all, almost too powerful to resist when compared to the often messy, skin-damaging, and time and energy consuming process of washing by hand.

Nevertheless, you should keep resisting, because washing machines, even on gentle cycles, can damage certain fabrics, contributing to both immediate, short-term damage like rips and tears, and more subtle, long-term fading and fibre erosion, all of which ultimately reduce the longevity of our garments.

If you’re feeling a little powerless against the allure of your washing machine, never fear, because we’ve compiled some handy facts about these machines that are bound to motivate you to at least occasionally opt for the safer, hand wash routine. So the next time you find yourself reaching for your washing machine, try to remember that:

  • Machine washing certain clothes risks the breakdown of fabric and antimicrobial properties, and more easily clogs up fibres, reducing moisture wicking properties.
  • Although washing machines may seem hassle-free, they require regular maintenance and routine checks. This is because faulty internal components expose your clothes to risk of damage. Website notes that even something as basic as a faulty agitator, the appliance that helps to agitate clothes during washing, can prevent proper removal of detergents, leading to fibre breakdown and colour fading, not to mention potential skin irritation.
  • Any loose embellishments or straps can easily become entangled in the washing machine, leading to potential tearing. Such loose components should therefore be removed or tied tightly to the garment before machine washing, making it generally much safer and sometimes even more time effective to wash these items by hand.
  • Even small holes and tears should be patched up before washing, as exposure to a machine can greatly exacerbate minor damage. In such instances, it may be safer and more time effective to wash by hand.
  • Machine agitation, even on a gentle cycle, can snag, tear and stretch fabrics, leading to potential damage. As fashion designer Kate from Kat the Label shared during our recent Q&A: “I know from experience that throwing them in the washing machine is never a good decision … Garments with fabrics as delicate as mine can get caught on other garments, zips, hooks etc., which can tear the fabric. The actual spin cycle of the washing machine can also damage the fabric as it was not designed for such conditions.”

  • Garments with zippers, Velcro and hooks can actually harm the washing machine itself by scratching the drum and eventually leading to costly repairs or replacements. Hand washing or at least using a mesh bag for such items is therefore recommended to keep your machine in good working order.

It’s clear, therefore, that washing machines can both affect and be affected by a number of fabrics in a myriad ways. Although throwing all your clothes in the washing machine may be tempting, checking labels and following care instructions is the most important step in preserving your garments and potentially saving you both a lot of time and money in the long run.

Can’t be bothered with conventional hand washing? Try the new Allurette gentle washer, the portable, electricity-free device that makes caring for “hand wash only” items easy thanks to its internal, ultra-gentle wash board. Combining the care of a hand wash with the convenience of a machine wash, Allurette promises to safely clean your clothes in just minutes, all while saving electricity and keeping your hands clean and dry.

The next time your laundry becomes the arena of that all too familiar machine vs. hand wash debate, retrieve these facts from your arsenal to defend against the allure of your washing machine! It’s the best way to keep your clothes looking as new and fresh as possible!

Sources consulted:

15 Ways You’re Washing Your Clothes Wrong 

Everyone knows that washing clothes is a dreadfully time-consuming chore. In fact, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends more than two-and-a-half hours each week doing laundry. But despite the hours we spend waiting for the wash to finish, many still make major mistakes in the laundry room—and that can cost serious time and money in the long run.

While some of these mistakes will ruin clothes, others can affect your home and health. So before you ruin another beloved item of clothing, make sure you know all the ways you might be washing your clothes wrong. And when you want to want to make your whole home shine from top to bottom, check out these 20 Genius House-Cleaning Tricks That Will Blow Your Mind.

1 You put new clothes in a hot cycle.

It’s not always necessary to separate your darks and your lights every time you wash your clothing—especially if you use cold water—but throwing brand new clothes into your laundry willy-nilly can have some devastating effects.

New clothes—particularly brightly-colored ones washed in hot water—have a tendency to bleed color onto other fabric, meaning that beloved white shirt could be on its way to becoming a pink one before you have the chance to say “tumble dry.” If you have colorful new clothes to wash, put them in with your dark laundry or run them separately at first, so they don’t stain your lighter clothes. And when you want to make every load of laundry come out cleaner, This Is the Best Way to Load a Washing Machine.

2 You overload your machines.

Just because you can fit all of your laundry into one load doesn’t mean you should. Overloading your washer not only means your cleaning supplies won’t get evenly distributed, but it also means that the agitator in your machine is more likely to break. If you regularly overload a front-loading machine, it may also mean a costly drum repair is in your future.

3 You put clothes that should be hung in the dryer.

Is tossing everything into the dryer convenient? Yes. Is it a mistake? Yes. If your clothing labels specifically recommend against tumble drying, not hanging them or drying them flat means you’re potentially misshaping them with every cycle. Worse yet, you can also easily shrink your clothing into unwearable shape by doing so. And when you want to keep your wardrobe in tip-top shape, discover these 20 Easy Tips for Keeping Your Closet Organized.

4 You leave wet clothing in the washer.

Forgetting a load of laundry in the washing machine is more than just an inconvenience. In a warm, wet environment like your washing machine, it doesn’t take long for mildew to start growing—in fact, in just 24 hours, your clothes can develop hard-to-remove mildew that can eventually eat away at fabrics. To keep your clothes looking and smelling fresh, move them to the dryer or a rack as soon as the wash cycle has ended.

5 You let stains sit.

Letting a stain sit on your clothing might just mean it’s there for good. If you don’t treat a stain in an expeditious manner, it has time to set, meaning it will take more than your average wash cycle to get it out. If you stain an item of clothing, make sure to treat it with a stain remover immediately, even if you’re not going to throw it in the wash right away.

6 You don’t measure out your detergent.

Think you can just eyeball it when it comes to your detergent? Think again. Using too much detergent in your wash cycle may mean that your clothes aren’t actually getting as clean as you think. If your detergent to water ratio is off, detergent residue can linger in your washing machine and on your clothes, making them feel hard or sticky and potentially staining them, too.

7 You wash clothing every time you wear it.

Washing your clothes every time you wear them only shortens their lifespan. While certain sweat-gland-adjacent items—like underwear, gym clothes, tights, or socks—certainly deserve a wash after a single wear, if you’re throwing a cardigan you just wore to dinner in the wash, you’re likely to see it lose its color and shape quickly. And when you want to stop wasting money on new clothes, check out the 30 Best Ways to Save Money on Clothes.

8 You use too much fabric softener.

If you’re using too much fabric softener, your clothes will wind up anything but soft. Much like with detergent, adding too much fabric softener to your loads of laundry will leave your clothes sticky and stiff.

9 You don’t clean your dryer filter.

Every time you leave lint on your dryer filter after doing a load of laundry, you’re putting everyone in your home at risk. In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 dryer fires—the bulk of which stem from uncleaned dryers—occur in the United States each year, causing more than $35 million in damage.

10 You add detergent at the wrong moment.

If you have a top-loading machine, there’s a science to when you should pour the detergent in. For the best results, fill the washing machine with water first, then add your detergent, then put your clothes in. If you pour your detergent on top of your clothes, you may risk staining them or not having other items get adequately clean.

11 You rub stains.

Despite what you may believe, rubbing a stain isn’t actually a surefire way to get it out faster. What it is likely to do, however, is cause hard-to-remove pills (an irritatingly tiny ball of cloth) on your garment, or potentially wear down the fabric over time.

12 You don’t separate out delicates.

If you want to preserve those delicate garments, it’s time to invest in a mesh bag for your laundry. Lacy items, tights, or gauzy material can easily snag on zippers or buttons in the wash, or may even get wrapped around your machine’s agitator. To better preserve your delicates, place them in a mesh bag first before adding them to your laundry load.

13 You use too much bleach.

Using more bleach than the bottle recommends won’t actually get those whites whiter. Since most bleach is concentrated, it’s not necessary to use much of it in a laundry load. In fact, if you’re using too much bleach, not only can this cause your fabrics to lose softness over time, it may also make those bright whites yellow as the fabric breaks down.

14 You’re using the wrong wash cycle.

All wash cycles are not created equal. The cycle that’s perfect for your dirty sneakers might just leave your delicates misshapen, while a hand-wash cycle is unlikely to tackle seriously grimy clothes. Whenever possible, separate your clothes according to the wash cycle they need and you’ll end up with cleaner laundry every time.

15 You don’t clean your washing machine.

Your washing machine isn’t exactly a self-cleaning machine. In fact, research suggests that there is a wealth of bacteria living in your washing machine that you’re inadvertently re-depositing on your clothes if you’re not cleaning the machine properly. If you want to limit the number of bacteria lounging on your wardrobe, make sure to run the washing machine with nothing but bleach and hot water in it on a regular basis and wipe down the interior whenever possible. And when you want to keep the whole family healthier, make sure you know these 20 Items in Your Home Making You Sick.

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No One Colour Runs in the Wash More Than Another

Surely reds run more than any other colour, right? Well… it’s not as simple as that. It’s really about the quality of the dye and the way your garment was dyed – not the colour of the dye that was used. This article explains all you need to know about they way clothes are dyed, preventing colour run and how to remove colour run – so you don’t need to panic next time you have a colour catastrophe.

Why Does Colour Run in the Wash?

There are many different dyes (natural and man-made), dyeing techniques and fabrics around these days, but for the dye to stay on the fabric rather than sharing its beautiful hues with everything else in your wash, the colour pigments in the dye need a ‘fixer’ or ‘mordant’ to bind them to the fabric.

So for example, a common method of dyeing fabric is called ‘salting out’. This method involves adding salt to the water, which encourages the dye into the fabric. However if the dye isn’t also fixed to your fabric using a fixer or mordant, when you come to wash your clothes the dye may just run straight back out into the soapy water.

The clothes least likely to run are those made of synthetic fabrics where the colour was added at the melt stage when the fibres themselves were being created. Those colours aren’t going anywhere.

How to Prevent Colour Run

Hot water tends to encourage colours to run by opening up the fibres so dye can escape; therefore a cool or cold wash is best to prevent colour run in the wash. And, as all our detergents are designed for great cleaning even at low temperatures, you don’t need to worry about this affecting your washing results. (Plus, by washing at a lower temperature, you save energy at the same time.) It’s not just new clothes that run.

There is the chance that a fixer could wear off after repeated washing, so it’s always a good idea to wash similar colours together to avoid any nasty shocks. And don’t leave wet washing in a pile or sitting in the machine for too long as it gives it time for colour from one damp garment to leech onto the one next to it.

Why No Colour Runs in the Wash More Than Another

If everything is dyed to the highest standards, with the colour bonded to the fibres of the fabric with a high quality fixer, there is no reason why any colour should run more than any other. If this doesn’t match your experience of the tiniest red sock or pair of pants dyeing everything else pink, or your new jeans turning the water indigo, this is because different methods of dyeing work better for different colours and fabrics.

For example, deep reds have a chemical construction that does make them harder to fix. So if a dyeing process isn’t quite up to scratch, it’ll be the red fabrics that run first. But it’s not impossible to fix red dyes, so that doesn’t mean your daughter’s fabulous new party dress will automatically run.

Whether colours run in the wash all depends on how well the garment was dyed. And indigo, the dye used for our jeans, is actually intended to fade, although washing jeans inside out will keep them darker for longer (and help protect anything else in the wash).

The Colourfastness Test

If in doubt about how colourfast a new garment is – that is, whether the colour is likely to stay on the fabric when it goes in the wash – you should try our colourfast test on an inconspicuous part of the item (the back of a hem or an inside seam for example) before you wash it.

First dampen a small patch, place something absorbent like a white cotton handkerchief or piece of kitchen paper on top, then iron it. If the handkerchief or paper soaks up the colour, then your garment is not colourfast.

How to Get Colour Run Out of Clothes

Like any stain, a colour run is best treated if caught as soon as possible – while it’s still wet. Rewash the stained item on its own with Persil small & mighty to rinse out the unwanted dye. And if you do find yourself with a dye disaster, make sure you thoroughly rinse out your washing tub or run an empty wash through your machine to clean it out so that you don’t contaminate the next load.

So next time you hesitate to buy that patterned top your daughter would adore, or worry about a red and white striped scarf ending up as a pinkish one, remember that no colour is necessarily a worse colour-run culprit than another.

Any garment that’s been dyed properly and washed with care is your laundry basket’s friend.

For more expert advice on colour running, see our advice page for information about doing a colour-fastness test.

It’s an inevitable cycle. After constant wearing and never-ending rotations through the washer and dryer, your favorite t-shirt has faded to a dulled out version of the bright hue it once proudly flaunted. You’ll probably wear it anyway (It’s a classic!), but how do you keep your other colors from succumbing to the same shabby fate?

You could pump the wash cycle full of the petroleum-based chemicals found in commercial color guard detergents, but you greenies wouldn’t do that. Instead try these four natural methods to keep your colors as vibrant as your personality.

1. Vinegar

Add one cup of white vinegar to a load during the rinse cycle. Vinegar helps “set” colors and prevents build-up of detergent residue, which contributes to color fading. Plus, it’s a natural clothing softener.

The vinegar won’t leave your clothes smelling like salad dressing—it should evaporate during the rinse cycle. If any of that potent smell does linger, let the clothes air dry outside.

2. Black pepper

Spice up the colors in your laundry by shaking a few teaspoons of black pepper into each load. Don’t worry about flakes of pepper dotting your clothes. The pepper will wash out during the rinse cycle.

3. Salt

It’s like cooking—for clothes. Pour ½ cup of salt in the wash cycle to prevent the dyes in colored fabrics from bleeding. This method works especially well on new clothes. Salt can also help restore the once-vivid colors in fading fabrics.

4. Baking soda

This handy dandy cleaner helps brighten whites AND colors. (There’s no end to this pantry staple’s amazing uses.) Add ½ cup of baking soda to the wash cycle and watch your vibrant colors stay that way.

Good laundry practices

Using these four natural color protectors isn’t enough to keep your colors colorful. A few easy laundry methods (you probably do some of them already) will keep your colors brilliant and help your clothes last longer.

1. Sort by color
Anyone who has ever accidentally washed a red sock with the whites, knows the importance of this step. Washing like colors together not only prevents unwanted pink underwear, but it also keeps colors from fading.

2. Turn clothes inside out
Prevent colorful clothes from turning drab by flipping them inside out before tossing them in the wash. Doing this will add one more step to the laundry routine (go ahead, groan), but it will make your colored clothes more vivid in the long run.

3. Use cold water
Double score! Using cold water is better for your clothes and the environment.

4. Line dry
Heat can quickly zap the color from your clothes. Line dry clothes whenever possible. Be sure to keep bright and dark colors out of the sun.

Related on Organic Authority

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image: suzettesuzette

Can Faded Clothes Be Fixed?

We have all had that favorite piece of clothing that we wore and washed a million times until one day we noticed it wasn’t it’s vibrant colorful self anymore. It is like losing a family pet in many ways to see our favorite shirt faded and sad. Unfortunately restoring it to its original glory is not all that feasible and best to enjoy it to the end of its days.

Clothes fade due to oxidation from light exposure, laundry soaps and many municipals put chlorine in the water supply before it hits your washer and while diluted it still takes its toll on colored material. Repeated washings leach the color out of items as do wearing them. Some people prefer to have their jeans dry cleaned to prevent the contact with treated city water.

Solid colored clothes can be dyed again if you can find a matching color and the fabric is able to hold the color. If your garment has a logo, design or pattern then dying them is not feasible as the logos will be ruined, patterns and designs lost due to the new dye. As for any design whether stamped or sewn on it too will be dyed, especially embroidered designs and may cover the designs or leave odd coloring. Dying clothes also changes the feel of the clothing so that favorite ultra-soft T-shirt may not feel the same after being dyed. Also with dying you have the bleed off factor again. The item will have to be washed separately several times until the color is set. Consumers say that dying an item may brighten the item but does not bring it back to the original glory.

In order to prevent fading it is suggested to turn your clothing inside out to prevent them from rubbing against the agitator in the center of the washing machine. Newer front load or agitator-less machines don’t have this problem but for pressed on designed like logos turning the item inside out help extend the life regardless of the machine.

Washing your clothes with cold water will help reduce fading but depending on the color, makes it harder to remove stains. There are new detergents that have color guard in them to protect colors longer but in the end, when an item fades it is very difficult and in most cases impossible to restore it to near new status.

How to Brighten Colors While Washing Clothes

Just about every laundry detergent in the world claims to whiten whites and brighten brights, so why do our most colorful clothes seem to come out of the wash looking less vibrant than before they went in?

Keeping your colors bright may not be the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning, and we hope you’re not losing too much sleep over it at night, but unless you’re going for that comfortably faded look, there’s no denying that clothes look their best when the colors are crisp and new. Preserving the original color can also help you save money by extending the life of your clothing, since the best techniques for brightening colors tend to be gentler on fabrics than the old tried-and-true method of jamming as much as you can into the washer and hitting “start.” (It’s OK, we’ve all done it!)


Some of the best tricks for keeping colors bright rely on inexpensive, environmentally friendly ingredients you probably already have in your home. If you enjoy doing laundry as much as we do (which is to say, not much at all), you’ll be glad to know that these color-saving tips are almost as simple as the throw-it-all-in-there approach, but with much better results.

Ready to wow your friends and family with your newfound knowledge of how to brighten colors while washing your clothes? Read on!

To buy colorful clothing only to see it fade as soon as you wash its it’s very frustrating and will make you unhappy. Luckily, there are a few different ways you can restore the vibrant color to your garments. Sometimes, detergent can build up on laundry, making it look dull. In that case, washing your clothes with salt or vinegar may help your clothing look like new again. If the fading is from normal washing and wear, dyeing the garment back to the original color can give it a new life! You may also be able to restore your clothes with some common household supplies, like baking soda, coffee, or hydrogen peroxide.

Method One of Two:
Restoring Brightness with SaltEdit

1. Place your faded clothes and regular detergent in the washing machine. If you have clothes that seem to have faded after just a few washes, the culprit may be detergent buildup. Adding salt to your regular wash can help break up that buildup, making your clothes look like new again.Powdered laundry detergent is more likely to leave behind residue than liquid detergent.

2. Add 1/2 cup (150 g) of salt to the wash cycle.Once you’ve placed your clothes and detergent in the washing machine, pour about 1/2 cup (150 g) of salt into the drum. In addition to restoring colors, it can also help prevent new clothes from fading in the first place.You can add salt to every load of laundry, if you’d like.Regular table salt or ultra-fine pickling salts work well for this, but avoid coarse-ground sea salt, as it may not dissolve fully in the washing machine.Salt is also an effective stain remover, especially on blood, mildew, and sweat stains.

3. Dry your clothing as usual. After your clothes are finished washing, take them out and check the color. If you’re satisfied with it, you can either air dry them or place them in your dryer. If they still look faded, try washing them in vinegar, instead.You may need to redye your clothes if the color has washed out over time.

Method Two: Using Vinegar to Combat Detergent BuildupEdit

1. Add 1⁄2 cup (120 mL) of white vinegar to your washing machine. If you have a top-loading machine, you can pour the vinegar directly into the drum, or you can add it to the fabric softener dispenser if you have a front-loading washer. The vinegar will help break up any detergent or minerals left behind by hard water, so your clothes will look brighter.The vinegar will also prevent this buildup in the first place, so it’s a great way to keep your clothes color-fast while they’re still new.

Tip: For a deeper clean, you can also dilute 1 cup (240 mL) of white vinegar in 1 gal (3.8 L) of warm water. Soak the item in the vinegar mixture for about 20-30 minutes before washing it as usual.

2. Wash the clothes in cool water on a normal cycle. Place your faded clothes into your washing machine, add laundry detergent, and turn on the machine. In many cases, soaking your clothes in vinegar then washing them is all it will take to get them looking brighter. Choose the cycle that’s appropriate for the clothes you’re brightening. For instance, if you’re washing items made from a delicate material like silk or lace, you’d want to use a gentle wash. For more durable fabrics like cotton or denim, a normal wash is fine.

3. Air-dry your clothes or place them in the dryer. The vinegar will wash out of your clothing during the rinse cycle, so your laundry shouldn’t smell like vinegar when it comes out of the wash. You can either hang the clothes to dry or place them in the dryer, depending on the instructions on the care label or how you normally prefer to dry your clothes.

If a little of the smell does linger, either hang the item to dry outside or put a fabric softener sheet in the dryer. The smell should be gone by the time it’s dry.If your clothes still look faded, the dye might have washed out, so you may need to dye the clothes instead.