How to Remove Blue Jean Dye Stains from Clothes

Although indigo is traditionally a natural dye made from plants, today's denim manufacturers often use a synthetic form. Garment-care tags usually recommend laundering jeans – especially a darker wash – in cold water before wearing to prevent the indigo from bleeding onto other fabrics. However, excess dye sometimes continues to bleed and stain in the wash, or when the jeans rub against light-colored fabric. You may be able to remove the dye from washable clothing if the stain is fresh.

Treat the stain with a pre-treatment spray, liquid or gel. Alternatively, you can also use a heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent. Rinse the garment thoroughly.

Launder clothing with diluted solution of chlorine bleach if the garment is white and the tag indicates that bleach is safe for the fabric. Fill the washing machine with the hottest water appropriate according to the tag. Add your regular laundry detergent and 1/2 cup of liquid chlorine bleach before adding the garment. Wash normally.

Launder colored garments with color-safe, non-chlorine bleach. Fill the machine with the hottest water appropriate for the garment, then add a capful of liquid non-chlorine bleach or a scoop of powdered non-chlorine bleach. Add the garment, then wash normally.

Inspect the garment carefully to be sure the stain is gone. If the dye is still visible, repeat the appropriate steps.

When the stain is successfully removed, dry the garment as directed on the care tag. Never dry the garment if the stain is still visible. Usually, set-in dye stains are impossible to remove.