How to Repair Clothes Dyed By Accident

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Repair Clothes Dyed By Accident
Repair Clothes Dyed By Accident (Image: Morguefile.com/Michelle Kwajafa)

Whether you are working with rusty tools that have discolored your beloved white jeans or accidentally tossed in your white blouse with a red rag and now are faced with blotchy stains on your favorite garment, repairing clothes dyed by accident is often a hit or miss proposition. Factors such as heat applied after the dyeing process, utilization of incorrect stain removers, or even just the application of a complete dyeing process only to realize that the color came out all wrong can determine the failure or success of your repair efforts. Not every piece of clothing can be saved; however; there are several distinct steps to take when learning how to repair clothes dyed by accident. By following these easy steps your odds of saving your favorite garments are a lot better.

Things You'll Need

  • Concentrated pure lemon juice
  • Rit Color Remover
  • Rit Rust Remover
  • White paper towel
  • Hair spray
  • Clean sponge
  • OxiClean Stain Fighter

Take white clothes that may have gotten dyed by accident during a washing cycle and do not dry them. Instead, immerse them in a bucket with concentrated pure lemon juice and let them stand overnight. After 24 hours you may wash them as you normally would and put them through the dryer as well.

Add Rit Color Remover to the water when washing whites dyed by accident. This is especially effective when the discoloration is due to washing the white clothes with other garments dyed with Rit. Depending on the depth of the stain, you may need to repeat this process as the first wash may lighten but not completely remove the unwanted dye spots.

Rinse white clothes, accidentally dyed due to contact with a rusty gadget, under cold water until the stain changes from an angry red to a tan or yellow discoloration.

Use Rit Rust Remover on such clothes and also for whites dyed accidentally due to exposure to clay and rust contained in water. This product only works on white clothes and will remove the yellow discoloration usually within one washing.

Blot with a white paper towel any white clothes dyed by accident with ink. Spray hair spray on a clean sponge and gently rub the ink stain. Rinse the garment completely. Finally, wash as usual, adding OxyClean stain fighter.

Soak any white garments that do not respond to your dye removal attempt overnight in hot water and OxyClean. This is a matter of last resort and should this step fail, repairing your clothes dyed by accident, will require covering up the stains with either patches, whimsical shapes that may be ironed on, or a swatch of color that closely matches the white of the garment.

Tips & Warnings

  • Resist the temptation to use household bleach. Bleach is advertised to be a stain fighter but it will actually yellow the whites overall. In some cases it may set stains—usually red and purple—and it is not possible to get them out after a complete washing and drying cycle when chlorine bleach is used.

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