How to Treat Mixed-Wash Accidents

by Contributor ; Updated September 28, 2017

Who hasn't accidentally tossed a soon-to-be bleeding garment into a load of laundry? When clothing dye runs and your garments pick up the wrong colors in the wash, there's good news: It's often possible to get the stains out.

Act quickly before the stain sets. It's much easier to remove a new stain than an old one.

Rinse the stained clothing immediately with cold water. Then wash the garment in cold water using liquid detergent.

If step 2 doesn't do the trick, soak the garment in a diluted solution of all-fabric bleach. Chlorine bleach isn't advisable unless you're certain it's safe for the fabric.

Wash the garment in detergent, and use bleach that you've tested on the fabric. To test your fabric, mix a small spoonful of bleach in 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) water. Place a couple of drops of the solution on a part of the fabric that doesn't show. If you don't see any color change or bleeding after a minute, the bleach is OK to use.

Be patient--up to five washings may be required.

Tip

  • If you need to rewash the garment in a machine with bleach, keep in mind that bleach works best in hot water. Warm water is the second choice, and cold water is the least effective option.

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