Laundy Mishap! Can I fix the damage?

I have this shirt that I love to wear to bed, and it’s bright fuschia tie-dye. I’ve had it forever (since the 80s) but it always bleeds horribly in the wash. I try to wash it with very dark materials.

However, this shirt stowawayed its way into a load of work clothes inside another shirt!

I have a work shirt that is a mustard-yellow sweater with cuffs and collar like a white shirt, but they’re actually one unit… well, I should say a formerly white shirt, as it is now bright pink!

In the past pink-shirt-mishaps, I’ve just bleached the affected undergarments or towels, but I can’t do this without disassembling the shirt or ruining the mustard yellow part…

Any ideas how to make it at least a bit whiter?


If you look at the damaged item as a “goner,” then anything you do to it can only be an improvement, right?

If it’s not impossible, removing the white parts for separate bleaching would be best. But, given how modern clothes are assembled, it’d be a pain.

Next up is spot bleaching. Boldly featured on the latest bottle of Clorox that I bouth recently are the availability of bleach in a gelled form (primarily to make it not splash when you pour it) and a bleach pen. Whatta co-inky-dink! :slight_smile: The gel may work well - you can probably “paint” it on the white parts and not have it soak all over the place. Stay away from the yellow areas - the stuff will spread within the fabric - so you can control its progress.

You may also want to try something like RIT color remover.

After turning all of my whites…pink (I’m a guy), I can tell you that your odds of fixing the damage are better if you haven’t put the shirt in the dryer.

If it has escaped the heat, chances are that the ink hasn’t set. Try a soak in something like Shout or other stain lifter. If that doesn’t work, try a mild bleah bath. I’m guessing that the sweater portion isn’t a dyed synthetic, so it should be fairly colorfast.

If none of that works, you may want to fire up the “Way-Back” machine and get a new one. Then again, you might just want to update the 'ol wardrobe.

No, I caught the problem before the dryer. I’ll try using some Shout gel that I have sitting around and really douse it, and maybe soak it overnight and see what happens. Then I’ll start experimenting with bleach if no results. Thanks!

If the fuschia dye is so unstable that it still bleeds after years of washing, a weak bleach solution should remove it from the sweater without noticeably affecting the yellow. WARNING - Do not try this method if the sweater is made of silk, wool or other animal fiber. Use 1/2 ounce per gallon of water. Agitate and check color frequently. Rinse well and launder immediately. Instant whitening means the solution is too strong - stop and rinse immediately. Your sweater may appear a bit brighter after this treatment, but it should not be a total loss as it is now.

Red-based dyes are notorious for unfastness. They don’t want to stay in your fabric, but have an unholy affinity for everything else. I’ve used the following (generally successfully) when I do not know the method or type of offending dye. Soak the shirt in hot, near boiling, salt water for an hour. Use 1/4 cup per gallon. Rinse until the water runs clear. Follow with a vinegar rinse (1/2 cup per gal. water). This may not completely stop the dye migration, but will certainly lessen it. YMMV

You also might consider the use of an oxygen bleach. I believe the most common may be Oxy 5 or Oxy Boost. These products don’t contain chlorine so it is safer for use on colors. Something like this.