I washed a new white top with spandex in it with light colors and now it is grey. How do I get it back to white?
Your issue is dye transfer after just one cycle. Unfortunately, the fact that your top contains spandex means you won’t be able to use a bleach and water soaking solution to remove the dye transfer since spandex (along with wool, silk, mohair, and leather) should never be bleached. However, you can give RIT Color Remover a try. You can usually find this product at drug and even hardware stores – it’s a reducing bleach that is safe for spandex and often is very helpful at removing dye transfer when you can’t use regular bleach. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and it should work.
For ongoing good cleaning so the shirt doesn’t get dingy, try soaking your white items with spandex for 8 hours or overnight with 1 scoopful of Clorox 2® For Colors Powder added to 2 gallons hot water. Following the soak time, drain the soaking solution and then wash the items in the hottest water recommended on the care label with detergent and more Clorox 2®. If you can, wash them separately or in a load with just white cotton/spandex items. I get lots of questions about these items after people have had them for a while – they get pretty dingy over time, especially if they are washed in cold water with a low quality detergent. Using Clorox 2® For Colors 3-in-1 Liquid on a regular basis (and the presoak whenever possible) will really help keep these items white, especially if you can wash the items in hot water. Air drying is also helpful at reducing shrinkage.