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Color Bleeding in Spandex

By Dr. Laundry February 20, 2013

I washed a new white top with spandex in it with light colors and now it is grey. How do I get it back to white?

Your issue is dye transfer after just one cycle. Unfortunately, the fact that your top contains spandex means you won’t be able to use a bleach and water soaking solution to remove the dye transfer since spandex (along with wool, silk, mohair, and leather) should never be bleached. However, you can give RIT Color Remover a try. You can usually find this product at drug and even hardware stores – it’s a reducing bleach that is safe for spandex and often is very helpful at removing dye transfer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and it should work.

For ongoing good cleaning so the shirt doesn’t get dingy, try soaking your white items with spandex for 8 hours or overnight with Clorox2® Stain Fighter and Color Booster added to 2 gallons hot water. Following the soak time, drain the soaking solution and then wash the items in the hottest water recommended on the care label. If you can, wash them separately or in a load with just white cotton/spandex items. I get lots of questions about these items after people have had them for a while – they get pretty dingy over time, especially if they are washed in cold water with a low quality detergent. Using Clorox2® on a regular basis (and the presoak whenever possible) will really help keep these items white, especially if you can wash the items in hot water.