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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Happy Labor Day!

By Dr. Laundry September 4, 2012

Happy Labor Day! It’s bittersweet to see summer coming to an end, but with fall comes hayrides, apple cider, and plenty of holidays to celebrate. I hope everyone was able to celebrate and enjoy a relaxing holiday.

Last week, I provided some tips on how to treat your summer whites before putting them away for the season. Today, I have some instructions on what you can do if you accidentally get dye from another laundry item on bleachable clothing.

You should be able to restore the item that picked up the color with a bleach soaking solution as long as the item is safely bleachable. Even though they are white, you still need to check the care label–don’t use the bleach soaking solution if the clothing contains even a small amount of spandex. You should also avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, and leather–these should also never be bleached.

If the clothing is bleachable, then you can proceed with a bleach soak. Fully submerge the slacks in a solution of ¼ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach added to 1 gallon cool water for up to 5 minutes, then rinse the slacks thoroughly. Air dry and check for success (it’s important to keep the slacks out of the dryer so the heat doesn’t set any remaining dye if it wasn’t removed). Hopefully the fugitive color will be gone, but if it is lighter, then repeat the bleach soak again. However, if the bleach soak leaves the dye transfer color unchanged, you may need to try RIT Color Remover, which can usually be found at drug and hardware stores.