How to Get a Dye Stain Out of Wool

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Things You'll Need

  • Two clean white cloths

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Lighter fluid or turpentine

  • Wool-safe detergent

  • Small washing tub

  • Water

  • Two clean, thick towels

Keep wool items stain-free.

Dye stains of any kind, including hair dye, are among the most dreaded stains out there. Since they are formulated for permanence, dyes create some of the most difficult stains to remove. Dye stains on wool fabric are particularly daunting as wool must either be dry-cleaned or carefully laundered by hand to avoid shrinking or felting the fabric. Remove dye stains using household items and detergents that are safe for use on wool.


Step 1

Dab at the stain immediately using a clean white cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol. Remove as much of the stain as you can by this method.

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Step 2

Soak another clean, white cloth in lighter fluid or turpentine and dab at the stain. This should remove most if not all of the stain.

Step 3

Hand wash the garment. Mix the recommended amount of wool-safe detergent in a small tub or sink of lukewarm water. Lay the garment in the water and push it down so it absorbs the water. Pick the garment up and gently squeeze out the water without wringing the fabric. Repeat as necessary.

Step 4

Fill another tub or sink full of lukewarm water to rinse the item using the same gentle method described in Step 3. Do not rub, wring or scrub the garment.


Step 5

Lay the garment flat on a thick towel to dry. Roll up the towel to remove excess water, then unroll the towel. Place the garment flat on another clean towel in a sunny area and allow it to dry.


Wool garments that contain 50 percent wool or animal fiber are still at risk of shrinking, even when hand washed. If the stained garment is not 100-percent wool, refrain from letting it soak in the tub or sink to avoid shrinking the item.


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