How To Remove Red Dye Stains

By Subodh / May 4, 2015

Dye transfer problems can be really disheartening. And if it is a red dye, it is no less than a nightmare, specifically if it has stained white clothing. While some types of red dye can be removed easily, others might not be that easy to remove. The reason is not only the type of dye, but also the type of cloth that has been stained makes a difference. Some clothing can be washed, while others are not washable.

However, with so many chemicals available in the market today, it has become very easy to remove these dye stains. Besides these chemicals, there are also some effective tips that can be labelled as “tried and true” home remedies. Removing red dye stains is a task that demands time and experimentation.

red dye

Instructions to Remove Red Dye Stains

Read on the following instructions to remove red dye stains.

  • Check if the stained clothing is washable or not. Tablecloths, clothing, and placemats usually contain a care tag with washing instructions. Some fabric types that are not always washable include silk, woolens and some rayon clothing.
  • If the stained fabric or clothing (cotton, linen and polyester) is washable, soak it in a solution prepared with tepid water, dish detergent and ammonia. This would loosen the red dye. The mixture should contain ½ tsp detergent and 1tsp ammonia per quart of water. Make sure to soak the fabric for about 30-45minutes.
  • Follow the soaking by rinsing the fabric thoroughly in plain water. Assess the intensity of stain of the red dye.
  • If the ammonia solution doesn’t remove the stain from the fabric, try a vinegar-water soak for more effective results. Prepare the solution by adding 1tsp white vinegar to a quart of warm water. However, it is important to be cautious with this step as some linen and cotton materials might get yellow on reacting with vinegar. To confirm this, do a patch test by trying the solution on a hidden or inconspicuous area of the clothing before you put the entire clothing into the solution.
  • If your clothing has a red dye stain that is set by the clothes dryer, dab it with rubbing alcohol. Make sure to put an absorbent cloth below the stained fabric before you apply the alcohol. Also, it is important to use a clean sponge to avoid causing additional stains. The alcohol will loosen the stain, so keep a clean rag handy to wipe it off.
  • For un-washable clothing, use warm water to remove the red dye. Use a clean cloth to dab water over the affected area to loosen the stain.
  • Another alternative to remove colorant stain is combining a stain pre-treatment or carpet cleaner with ½ tsp of ammonia. Use this cleanser to rub the stain. If you are working on a clothing or fabric that is not carpet, make sure to use padding beneath the fabric. This would prevent the dye from bleeding onto other surfaces
  •  Follow the above step with thorough water rinse to do away with the stain remover and the red dye as well.

While removing dye stain using any of the aforementioned methods, you may find the stain getting lighter. So, repeat the cleaning method 2 to 3 times to get rid of the red dye stain completely. Also, if you are using bleach and water soaking technique, make sure the fabric or clothing can be bleached. Otherwise the color will fade.

It is important to ensure the stain is removed completely before you conclude the process of removing dye stain from the fabric.

Hope you find these tips to remove red dye stains helpful and now you can save your favorite clothing or carpet instead of discarding them.