Tie Dye Stain Removal

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Tie dying your clothing can be a creative way to individualize your wardrobe. Whether going it alone or creating pieces as a group activity, tie dye is a great way to add a pop of color to your style. However, when working with any dye there is the possibility that the dye will stain areas and articles of clothing it shouldn't. Although hard to remove, a few techniques can allow you to remove most, if not all, unwanted tie dye stains.

Washable Fabrics

For fabrics that are machine washable, you can be more aggressive when removing unwanted tie dye stains. Place the stained clothing in a sink or tub filled with very hot water, 1/2 cup of ammonia and 1/4 cup of dish detergent. Let the clothing soak in this solution for at least one hour, until the tie dye stain begins to loosen. After the hour has passed rinse the clothing with fresh cold water. Assess the severity of the stain and repeat the process, if necessary.

Set Stains

Tie dye stains that have been set in the fabric by either a spin in the dryer or by hanging on the clothesline in the sun are substantially harder to remove. The only way to remove a set tie dye stain is to try to absorb some of the stain into a white cloth that you place underneath the stained clothing. Using a sponge, dab rubbing alcohol onto the stain until it begins to bleed through to the cloth underneath. The properties in the rubbing alcohol cause the dye to loosen and should remove most or all of the tie dye.

Unwashable Stains

Fabrics that are considered unwashable leave you with few options when removing a tie dye stain. To begin, take a sponge and dab the stain with warm water until it begins to loosen. A major problem with this method is that it may cause the stain to bleed and spread. If the stain does not loosen and it starts to spread, take 1 tbsp. of laundry detergent and mix with 1 tbsp. of ammonia in 1 gallon of water. Sponge the affected area until the stain lifts. After the tie dye is removed, thoroughly clean the area with warm fresh water and allow to air dry.

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