You try so hard to avoid it from happening, but somehow you still end up with the dilemma of having a favorite white blouse turn light pink, or a batch of clothes come out of the washer looking like workshop rags. One of the most annoying things that frequently happen in our homes is a color run in the wash.
A color run happens when a particular piece of cloth in the washer bleeds color after getting in contact with water and soap. Naturally, the color ends up getting transferred to the whole batch of clothes and you only find it out when you are about to pop them into the dryer.
The next time when something like this happens, don’t panic! Fortunately, a color run in the wash can be reversed or removed if you act quickly with a few simple steps.
Below are a few simple steps on how to reverse a color run.
Step 1 : Do not dry the clothes.
One of the most important things to remember when you end up with a color run is to NOT dry the clothes. Drying the clothes will only strengthen the dye molecules and help in setting the color permanently onto your clothes. Hence, never dry the clothing affected by a color run.
Step 2 : Remove the ‘culprit’ and rewash affected clothes.
Instead, identify and remove the clothing that bled the color and put the rest of the affected clothes into the washer for another round of wash. Washing the clothes right away will not give the color time to set and there are better chances of removing the excess dye from the clothes.
Step 3 : Soak the clothes in a non-chlorine, oxygen-based bleach and water.
If you have re-washed the affected clothes and are still unsuccessful in getting rid of the color run, you should then opt for the second option, which is to soak the clothes in water mixed with a non-chlorine, oxygen-based bleach. Soaking the clothes in a non-chlorine, oxygen-based bleach will help loosen the dye molecules and make it easier to lift from the clothes while keeping the original color of the clothing safe. Submerge the stained clothing completely in the solution and let it stay in there for at least 8 hours. The longer you soak them, the better. For heavily stained clothes, you might need to soak them for an additional 8 hours with a second round of fresh oxygen-based bleach and water.
Step 4 : Rewash the clothes.
Once the clothes have been soaked for a good period of time and you have successfully managed to remove the color stains from them, pop the clothes back into the washer and rewash them as usual. This will ensure that any left out color residue as well as the bleach used, are washed off from the clothes.
Additional tips :
* You can replace the oxygen-based bleach with distilled white vinegar or lemon juice if you prefer to be more gentle with your fabric. Yet again, this depends on how heavily your clothes are stained.
* Choose your bleach based on the type of clothing affected. If the affected clothing is white, then a chlorine-based bleach will be able to get rid of the stains. On the other hand, if the affected clothing is a colored one, you will need to invest in a non-chlorine, oxygen-based bleach, in order to keep the original color of the clothing intact.