Removing Dye from a Cotton Blouse

Advice from Dr. Laundry
Q.

I had a favorite white cotton (casual) blouse. I just washed it in cold water with my husband’s red bathing suit also in the wash. Now I have a pink blouse. It is not uniformly pink—it has splotches of darker pink throughout. What would you suggest? Pre-soaking in Clorox? If so, in what proportions? I did not put the blouse in the dryer – I just left it as is.

A.

Great that you didn’t dry the blouse, as that would have made your job harder. Since it’s a white cotton blouse and it is a blotchy dye pattern, I would try the following:

  • I would do a quick liquid bleach soak (1/4 cup Clorox® Regular Bleach2 in a gallon of cool water for 5 minutes), then wash the item immediately in hot water using detergent and 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular Bleach2. Check for success after the wash cycle and before dryer-drying. It might require multiple treatments to get the desired result.
  • If more drastic action is needed, you may have to consider using something like Rit Color Remover.