Help Fix My Stained Pink Pants
Q: I washed my pink pants with blue jeans and ruined my pink pants!
A: I’m sorry to hear about your pink pants! The good news is you might be able to use a bleach and water solution to get any blue color off the pink. You can only do this if the pink color is colorfast to bleach AND the pants don’t contain any spandex, which you should never bleach. You should also always avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, and leather. Even though these are less commonly used in pants, I still like to mention it.
Assuming there’s no spandex (even a small percentage), then you need to check for colorfastness to bleach. You can do this easily by adding 1 ½ teaspoons bleach to ¼ cup water and applying a drop to a hidden part of the pants (like the hem or the inside facing on a front pocket). Wait 1 minute then blot dry. Look for a color change to the pink (which may be tricky depending on how blue the pants are). If the test area looks more white than pink I would assume the pants are not bleach fast. But if it looks like the original pink, then you should be able to restore the pants using a bleach soaking solution. Start by adding 3 tablespoons Clorox® Regular-Bleach to one gallon of water in a plastic dishpan. Fully submerge pants in the bleach solution for up to 5 minutes. You may notice the color coming off immediately, or it may take the full 5 minutes (but don’t let any item soak for longer than 5 minutes). After 5 minutes just drain the soaking solution and thoroughly rinse the pants—or you can just run them through a regular wash cycle with a little detergent. Hopefully the unwanted blue color will be gone, but if it is lighter, then you can repeat the soak for eventual success.
But what if your pink pants are not bleach-fast, or they contain spandex? In that case, you can try RIT Color Remover, which is available at craft and fabric stores, as well as some drug stores. When using RIT for this purpose, the trick is to mix up the solution so it is just strong enough to remove the unwanted blue color, but not so strong that it strips off the original pink color. You’ll be working with your hands in the solution so be sure to wear gloves. Start with a very weak solution by just using only a small amount of the powder, not the whole package, and dissolve it into a gallon of water in a plastic dish pan. Dip the pants (all of them) into the solution and check to see if the unwanted color comes off. The quicker you do this the more likely you will preserve the original pink color. Hopefully the color will come off right away and you can quickly rinse the pants very thoroughly in a little warm water. If the RIT solution is too strong, you may see the original color coming off right away, so if that’s the case rinse the item as fast as you can.
I hope this is helpful. Good luck, and thanks for writing!