How to Remove Dye Stains From Clothes, Upholstery, and Carpet

If you’ve ever accidentally let a colored sock slip into a load of whites, then you know about . The  occur when colors run in the wash or during drying, or when an overdyed item rubs against another. Unfortunately,  are a major offender. Pay attention to those tags that say  — they’re there for a reason. dye transferstainsnew denim jeans”wash before wearing”

But if your sofa cushion already has an indigo tint, it’s not too late. , Director of the Cleaning Lab at the , has got you covered with the best methods for removing dye stains from white and colored clothing, plus carpeting and upholstery. Carolyn ForteGood Housekeeping Institute


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This solution works for both colorfast and white washable fabrics, Forte says. Start by mixing four gallons of the hottest water that’s safe for the fabric with one packet of . Make sure the remover is fully dissolved. If the whole load has turned pink, you can use multiple packets depending on the amount of clothes. Carbona Color Run Remover

Add the dye-stained items to the mix and soak, stirring occasionally, until the unwanted color lifts. Rinse thoroughly in warm water. For stubborn dyes, you can repeat that process as necessary. Follow up by laundering.


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To save your sofa or chair, mix one tablespoon of , and one tablespoon of  with two cups of cool water. dishwashing liquid, like Dawnwhite vinegar

Using a , sponge the stain with the . Leave it on the stain for at least 30 minutes, blotting every five minutes with the cloth and more solution. You can use your phone timer to keep track. Then sponge with cool water and blot until the liquid is absorbed. clean, white clothdetergent-vinegar solution

Next, sponge the mark with  and blot to remove the stain. Sponge with more cold water and keep blotting. rubbing alcohol

If the stain remains, mix one teaspoon of  and one tablespoon of  with two cups of cool water. Sponge the stain with the detergent-ammonia solution. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes, blotting every five minutes with a clean, white cloth and more solution. Finally, sponge with cold water and blot dry. dishwashing liquidammonia

Still not working? Dab the stain with a cotton swab dipped in . “Hydrogen peroxide acts like an all-fabric, color-safe bleach, so it’s worth a try,” Forte says. “Just be sure to test it for safety on a hidden part of the fabric or carpet before applying it to the stain.” hydrogen peroxide

⚠️ Never mix chlorine bleach and ammonia. The resulting fumes are hazardous. ⚠️How to Remove Dye Stains From Carpet

First, mix one tablespoon of and one tablespoon of  with two cups of warm water. Using a , sponge the stain with the detergent-vinegar solution, blotting frequently. Flush with clear water and blot until the liquid is absorbed. dishwashing liquid, like Dawn, white vinegarclean, white cloth

Then, sponge with  and blot some more to lift the stain. Finish up by sponging with plain, cold water and blotting until the liquid is absorbed. rubbing alcohol

If the spot is stubborn, use the same detergent-ammonia solution that you would for upholstery, letting it sit on the stain for at least 30 minutes and blotting every five minutes with a clean, white cloth and more solution. Then sponge with cold water and blot dry. A cotton swab dipped in  can also help as a last resort.  hydrogen peroxide  

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