How to remove color stains from clothes

Have you ever had a white shirt that turned brown after wearing it? Or, have you ever had a spill on your blouse and found the color has leaked all over the front? Washing your clothes by hand might seem like the answer to this problem, but it’s not always as effective as you might think. In fact, there are some ingredients that can actually make stains worse.

Washing clothes by hand is a traditional way of cleaning clothing that many of us grew up with. However, this method doesn’t always work well when it comes to removing stains. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the ways in which washing clothes by hand can actually make stain problems worse. We’ll also explore some of the ingredients that you can use to help clean clothes more effectively.

remove color stains from clothes

Color stains on clothes can be frustrating, but with the right techniques, you can eliminate them successfully. The key is to act quickly and choose the appropriate method based on the severity of the stain. Remember, always check the care labels on your garments to ensure compatibility with the methods mentioned.

Using a Commercial Stain Remover or Clear Solvent

One of the easiest ways to tackle color stains is by using a commercial stain remover or a clear solvent that contains at least 90% alcohol. Here’s how:

  1. Dampen a white cloth with the stain remover or solvent.
  2. Gently dab the stain repeatedly, allowing the dye to transfer onto the white cloth.
  3. Rinse the garment in warm water.
  4. Proceed with a normal wash to ensure the complete removal of the stain.

White Vinegar Soak

White vinegar is a versatile household ingredient that can help remove color stains effectively. Follow these steps:

  1. In a bucket of cold water, mix 1 cup of white vinegar and stir.
  2. Submerge the stained clothes in the vinegar solution for at least 30 minutes, up to a few hours.
  3. Rinse the garments in hot or warm water.
  4. Wash them as usual in your washing machine.

Oxygen Bleach Method

For color bleed stains, oxygen bleach can be highly effective. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. In a washtub or sink, prepare a solution of oxygen bleach and cool water as per the product instructions.
  2. Submerge the stained items in the solution and allow them to soak for a few hours.
  3. Rinse the garments thoroughly.
  4. Wash them as you would normally.

Non-Chlorine Bleach Solution

When dealing with stubborn color stains, you can try a non-chlorine bleach solution, but only if the garment care labels permit it. Follow these steps:

  1. Mix a solution of cool water and non-chlorine bleach.
  2. Soak the stained garment in the solution for a few hours.
  3. After soaking, wash the garment as usual.

RIT Color Remover

For colored items that have picked up unwanted color, RIT Color Remover can be a useful solution. Follow these steps:

  1. Prepare a solution of RIT Color Remover, ensuring it is strong enough to remove the unwanted color but not too strong to strip off the original item color.
  2. Soak the clothes in the solution and work with your hands to ensure thorough penetration.
  3. Rinse the garments well.
  4. Proceed with a regular wash to eliminate any remnants of the stain.


Color stains on clothes can be distressing, but with the right techniques, you can remove them effectively. By using methods such as commercial stain removers, white vinegar soak, oxygen bleach, non-chlorine bleach, or RIT Color Remover, you can restore your garments to their former glory. Remember to act promptly, follow the instructions carefully, and always check the care labels to prevent any damage to your clothes.


Q1: Can I use bleach on all types of fabrics? A: No, you should always check the care labels on your garments before using bleach. Certain fabrics can be damaged by bleach, so it’s important to ensure compatibility.

Q2: Are these methods suitable for delicate fabrics? A: Some methods, such as vinegar soak, may be gentler on delicate fabrics. However, it’s still crucial to check the care labels and perform a patch test before applying any solution to the entire garment.

Q3: How long should I soak the stained clothes in the solutions? A: The duration of soaking depends on the severity of the stain. For mild stains, 30 minutes may be sufficient, while more stubborn stains may require several hours of soaking.

Q4: Can I use these methods on colored garments? A: Yes, the methods mentioned in this article are suitable for both colored and white garments. However, always perform a patch test to ensure colorfastness.

Q5: What if the stain persists after trying these methods? A: If the stain persists, it’s recommended to consult a professional cleaner or tailor who specializes in stain removal. They may have additional expertise and tools to tackle stubborn stains.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.

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