How to Get a Bleeding Color Out of a Sweater

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Fresh dyes in new garments are known to bleed in the wash and blend with other garments, creating dye transfer stains. These stains are irrefutably unattractive and often discernible, especially on light-colored sweaters. Fortunately, dye transfer stains are removable if you address the problem immediately. Dye stains become harder to treat the older they become. Promptly get bleeding color out of a sweater using basic techniques and products.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty liquid detergent
  • 2 oz. all-fabric powdered bleach
  • 2-gallon bucket
  • 1 packet commercial color run remover
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Clothes washer
  • Coat the entire dye stain with heavy-duty liquid detergent. Let the detergent permeate the unwanted dye for 30 minutes.

  • Rinse the sweater in fresh, cool water to thoroughly flush the liquid detergent out of the fabric.

  • Examine the sweater for remaining dye. If any dye lingers, combine 2 oz. of all-fabric powdered bleach with 1 gallon of clean, cool water in a 2-gallon bucket.

  • Submerge the stained portion of the sweater in the bleach solution. Let the sweater soak for 30 minutes.

  • Rinse the sweater in fresh, cool water to thoroughly flush the powdered bleach solution out of the fabric.

  • Inspect the sweater for remaining dye. If some dye remains, you can remove the dye transfer stain by also removing the fabric's original color. Begin by thoroughly mixing one packet of commercial color run remover with hot water in a 5-gallon bucket. Follow the color remover manufacturer's directions.

  • Submerge the entire sweater in the color run remover solution. Constantly stir the sweater in the solution until all dye comes out of the fabric.

  • Rinse the sweater in fresh, cool water to thoroughly flush the color remover from the fabric.

  • Launder the sweater according to the sewn-on care label's instructions. Let the sweater air-dry completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wash white garments and colored garments separately to prevent dye transfer stains.
  • Do not confuse all-fabric bleach with chlorine bleach.

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