How to Remove Faded Colors From Clothes

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Remove accidental color bleeding from your laundry to maintain your clothing's natural color.
Remove accidental color bleeding from your laundry to maintain your clothing's natural color. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Clothing dye bleeds during wash cycles onto other clothing, which can give the appearance of a faded color on lighter clothing. Luckily, those faded colors are removable by using Carbona Color Run Remover, which lifts the fresh dye stain from the affected clothing without damaging the fabric. The color remover is a specially formulated product available at grocery stores as well as fabric stores, and is safe on white and colorfast clothing. Alternatively, chlorine bleach can be used to lift dye stains on your white clothing, but should be used in small amounts to prevent irreversible fabric damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Large bucket
  • Carbona Color Run Remover
  • Mixing spoon
  • Color-grabbing cloth
  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Laundry pre-treater spray
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent
  • Washer

Color Run Remover Use

Fill the bucket with 4 gallons of water at the highest temperature that is safe for use with the stained clothing.

Pour the entire packet of Color Run Remover into the bucket, and stir the mixture into the water until it completely dissolves.

Place the stained clothing in the bucket, and leave it in the mixture to soak for up to 1 hour. Stir the clothing in the bucket every 10 to 15 minutes to loosen the dye from the fabric.

Remove the clothing from the bucket, and squeeze out excess moisture from the clothing. Do not wring the clothing, as this can distort the shape of the clothing.

Rinse the clothing under warm running water, and set the washer to the appropriate temperature indicated on the clothing's cleaning tag.

Add 1 cup of laundry detergent, and place the clothing in the washer set for the normal wash cycle.

Insert the color-grabbing cloth into the washer during the rinse cycle, and remove the clothing from the washer after the cycle finishes.

Remove the color-grabbing cloth from the clothes, and dry the clothes as indicated on the cleaning tag.

Pre-Treatment and Bleaching

Spray the dye stain on the white clothing with a pre-treater spray, and allow the spray to set in the clothing for at least 10 minutes.

Set the washer to a normal wash cycle, and set the washer's temperature to the highest temperature that is safe for the clothing.

Pour 1 cup of heavy-duty laundry detergent in the washer, and add 1 cup of chlorine bleach to the wash. Do not use bleach if washing color clothing, as the bleach permanently damages the fabric.

Add the stained clothing to the washer, and launder as usual.

Remove the clothing once the wash cycle is finished, and dry as directed on the clothing's cleaning tag.

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