How to Remove Color Bleed From Polyester Fabric

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You can remove color bleed from polyester fabric.
Image Credit: Andrew Olney/Photodisc/Getty Images

The process of washing clothes has improved over the years, but one common problem remains: color bleeds and color transfers from washing unlike colors together. It can ruin an article of clothing and leave you feeling frustrated, which is why you need the best fabric color remover. Luckily, there are a few methods for removing color bleeds and dye from all kinds of fabric, including polyester.

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Removing a Color Bleed

There is one important tip to remember when attempting to remove color bleeds above all else: Do not put your stained items in the dryer until the color bleed is completely gone. The dryer heat sets the stain into the polyester fabric, and you won't be able to remove it at all. Once you have made a note of this tip, consider the fabric with which you are working. If you have a color bleed on a polyester item, you can apply about 2 tablespoons of liquid laundry detergent directly to the affected area.

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Use a toothbrush to scrub the stain gently. Some dye will lift out during this process, but your objective should not be to remove all of it now. Instead, you're trying to loosen it so that more color will come out when the article soaks. Soak the garment in about a gallon of water for 30 minutes. Depending on how the stain looks, you can either rewash it now or try scrubbing with the toothbrush and re-soaking.

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If the detergent doesn't work, move on to white vinegar. Add a cup of white vinegar into a gallon of water to dilute it. Soak your stained garment in this mixture for 30 minutes. If the stain has faded, rewash the garment. You may need to soak it in vinegar and wash it a couple of times to remove the color bleed altogether.

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The Best Fabric Color Remover for Polyester

Using oxygen-based bleach is one of the easiest methods for removing color from polyester. All you need to do is substitute the oxygen-based bleach for detergent in your regular wash cycle. Read the manufacturer's instructions to determine how much oxygen-based bleach to use. Most also recommend washing your stained article by itself. Once the wash cycle is complete, line dry. Don't dry the garment in a machine dryer until you're sure the stain is out.

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If your whites have a color bleed on them, you can use a 1:1 hydrogen peroxide and water mixture. Soak the garment in that mixture for 30 minutes and then wash. Repeat as needed.

If none of these methods work for you, you can try a commercial stain remover, such as Rit or Carbona. Follow the instructions for those products for use on your polyester clothing. Commercial stain removers might also work, even if you've already dried your stained garment.

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The Best Fabric Dye for Polyester

If you accidentally bled on or stained a solid article of clothing, another option you have is to dye it rather than try to get out the stain.

Rit makes some of the best stain removers and dyes for polyester. Its DyeMore Liquid Dye line is excellent for these situations and for rejuvenating clothes. Jacquard is another good option. Its iDye Poly line also works well on polyester.

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