How to Fix a Fabric That Bleeds


Occasionally, when you buy clothing, especially clothing treated with fiber-reactive dye, the colors in the garment will bleed onto other areas, muddying other colors on the piece, or drip their dye onto other garments in the same wash load. This indicates that the dye was not set and rinsed out properly. You must either wash out all excess dye or use a professional grade dye setter to keep the dye from continuing to bleed.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • Iron
  • Scrap white fabric
  • Professional dye fixative
  • Wash the garment alone several times with or without detergent to rinse out excess dye.

    Warm or hot water are more effective at removing dye.

  • Place the wet garment against a piece of scrap white fabric and iron it dry. If dye has transferred onto the white fabric, there is still excess dye and you should return the garment to the washer.

  • Add a small amount of professional dye fixative into the beginning of a wash load containing only the dyed item.

  • Wash out excess fixative. Run the garment through a cold water cycle after using the fixative.

Tips & Warnings

  • Vinegar and salt are ineffective on many fabric blends and do not set already washed fabrics that have been dyed.

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