How to Remove Dye Transfer Stains From Clothes and Upholstery

July 02, 2020
clothes in washing machine

It happens to the best of us. You go to remove a load of laundry from the dryer, only to realize something has dyed all your clothes red. Or you sit down on your easy chair with a new pair of pants only to get up to muffled blue stains. It’s easy to unknowingly throw a piece of new clothing in the washer that bleeds dye or rub against your furniture and cause stains, and dye stains aren’t the easiest to treat. Here are some tips on how to remove dye transfer stains from clothes and upholstery.

Always Sort Your Laundry

There’s a reason we were always taught to sort our laundry. Some dyes just aren’t stable. So dark and bright colors should always be washed separately from your lighter colored and white clothing. This way, even if dyes were to bleed out, they wouldn’t be noticeable.

Don’t Dry Until Stain is Removed

If dye stains do occur after washing, don’t put stained clothing in the dryer. This will only allow the stains to set in, and they’ll be even harder to remove. Instead, remove the piece of clothing in question from the washing machine, and allow it to air dry. Then move on to stain removal for all the clothes that have been affected.

How to Remove Dye Stains from Clothing

The first step to remove dye transfer stains is to rewash all the effected clothes again, this time with detergent and color-safe bleach. This may be enough to remove any spots, but if not, use a stain pre-treat spray. Light or white clothing can even be soaked in oxygen-based bleach for stain removal. Remember to always check your labels before washing. Dry clean only items will need to be taken to the best dry cleaner in your neighborhood for stain removal.

How to Remove Dye Stains from Upholstery

Blue jeans are a common culprit for dye transfer stains on upholstered furniture. To remove these pesky denim stains from your chairs and couches, make a solution of oxygen-based bleach mixed with cool water. Use a clean cotton cloth to blot the mixture directly onto the stain. Gently move the cloth to a clean area as it’s picking up the transferred dye. Allow it to completely air dry and repeat if necessary.

Remember, if you don’t feel comfortable removing dye stains from your clothing yourself, you can always use Utopia Cleaners’ dry cleaning service. We are experts in stain removal and will take care of your stained clothing for you! For large loads of clothing, or heavy household items, we recommend using our free dry cleaning pickup service.