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Treating color bleeding in the wash

By Dr. Laundry February 13, 2013

My husband washed my white skirt with some red sheets and my skirt is now pink. Is there any way that I can get it white again?

You should be able to restore the skirt that picked up the pink color with a bleach soaking solution as long as the skirt is safely bleachable. Even though it is white, you still need to check the care label–don’t use the bleach soaking solution if the skirt contains even a small amount of spandex (which may also be listed as Lycra or Elastane on the care label). There are a few other fiber types that should never be bleached–always avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, and leather. Since I don’t know the fiber content of your skirt, it’s important to clarify this!

If the skirt is bleachable, then you can proceed with a bleach soak. Fully submerge the skirt in a solution of ¼ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach added to 1 gallon cool water (or if you are using New Concentrated Clorox Regular-Bleach, add 3 tablespoons bleach to 1 gallon of water). Allow the skirt to soak for up to 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Air dry and check for success (it’s important to keep the skirt out of the dryer so the heat doesn’t set any remaining dye if it wasn’t removed). Hopefully the fugitive pink color will be gone, but if it is lighter, then repeat the bleach soak again. However, if the bleach soak leaves the pink color unchanged, then you may need to try RIT Color Remover, which can usually be found at drug and hardware stores.