How to Remove Color Bleed From Polyester Fabric

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Things You'll Need

  • Enzyme presoak or detergent

  • Cool to lukewarm water

  • Color stripper

Image Credit: Andrew Olney/Photodisc/Getty Images

Color bleeding is a common laundry woe, particularly if you have made the mistake of washing unlike colors together. When a color transfer occurs, this results in the dying of the lighter-colored fabric. Dye happens to be one of the most difficult stains remove. This is particularly apparent on polyester fabrics, which cannot be bleached. Nonetheless, you can successfully remove color transfer stains from polyester fabrics through a non-chlorine bleach method.


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Step 1

Pretreat stains with a detergent containing enzymes. For more extensive color bleeding, use an enzyme presoak product, following the directions on the packaging. Rinse the garment afterwards, using cool to lukewarm water.

Step 2

Launder your garment according to the directions on the care tag. As polyester fabrics cannot tolerate high heat, use cool to warm water.

Step 3

Allow your garment to air dry. If any color transfer stains remain, the heat from the dryer will set them.


Step 4

Use a color stripper to remove remaining color transfer stains from white or light-colored polyester fabrics. Be careful to follow the directions on the package.