I washed plaid cotton blend (navy blue and white) with white cotton terrycloth robe. Now have pale blue blotches on robe. Thx for any help you can give me?
Hi Dr. Laundry,
I tried your remedy for my blue splotched bathrobe. Worked perfectly, didn’t have to repeat. I’ve used Clorox products for nearly 5 decades, ESPECIALLY the bleach. I’m a retired registered nurse and it’s still the best, safest product available. I recently moved to an apartment without a dishwasher, and my trusty Clorox stays right on the kitchen counter for adding to dish water and mopping.
You can definitely blame the blue plaid fabric for the dye transfer you see on the white robe! You would think that a blue and white plaid item wouldn’t lose any blue color in the wash because it would be nice if the white part of the plaid shirt stayed white! It sounds like you may need to handwash the plaid shirt a few times in warm water with a little detergent to get any more excess blue dye off before machine washing the shirt with other items in the future.
I do have a technique for using Clorox® Regular-Bleach₂ with CLOROMAX® to remove dye transfer from white and colorfast fabrics that could be adapted to restore a bathrobe. You want to be careful because a bathrobe is large, bulky and highly absorbent, making it a little cumbersome to work with. You also should double-check the care label to make sure there’s no spandex (always avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, leather and spandex). I wouldn’t expect that with a bathrobe but it’s still important to confirm the fiber content.
The basic technique is to submerge the item with the dye transfer in a solution of 3 tablespoons Clorox® Regular-Bleach₂ with CLOROMAX® added to 1 gallon water for up to 5 minutes. A gallon of the bleach and water solution is probably not enough for a bathrobe; 9 tablespoons of bleach added to 3 gallons of water is likely enough, and you should also work in a 5 gallon bucket to make sure you can easily move the bathrobe around in the solution. Here’s what you can try:
If the color is lighter, then you can repeat the treatment to get the dye all the way off. If the bleach treatment leaves the color unchanged (or if the robe actually has a little spandex) then you can try RIT Color Remover, which can be found at drug, craft and hardware stores. Follow the package directions, including all the safe use guidelines.
Another consideration (because your item is large and bulky), is to expect that some of the bleach and water solution may drip onto your clothes as you are working, so wear old clothes like you would if you were painting a room. If you have a cloth shower curtain, be sure to drape it over the shower curtain rod so it is out of the way.
Please let me know if you have any other questions, and how it turns out. Thanks for writing!