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Removing the pink when red clothes dye whites

By Dr. Laundry August 20, 2013

How do I treat my white clothes that were turned pink from washing alongside red clothes?


You should be able to restore the white items that picked up a pink color with a bleach soaking solution as long as the white items are safely bleachable. Note that you should always avoid bleaching anything made with wool, silk, leather, mohair, and spandex. Assuming the items are not made from any fibers on the “avoid bleaching” list, you can try the bleach soak.

For that, fully submerge the affected pink items in a solution of ¼ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach (or 3 Tablespoons of new Concentrated Clorox® Regular-Bleach) diluted in 1 gallon cool water for up to 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Air dry the items and check for success (it’s important to keep the item out of the dryer so the heat doesn’t set any remaining dye). 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, then you may need to try RIT Color Remover, which can usually be found at drug and hardware stores. Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!