Unilever
Coronavirus (Covid-19) information: How to keep yourself, your loved ones and your home safe.

How to wash new coloured clothes & prevent colour from running

Get top tips for how to prevent colour bleeding from your clothes and what to do if you still end up with colour stains.

Updated

basket of pink stained clothing from colour bleeding

Buying new clothes is always enjoyable, but the last thing you want is for the dye from your new threads bleeding in the very first wash. If you’re wondering how to stop colour bleeding from clothes, you will get top advice right here.

Always remember to separate your coloured and white clothing before putting on a wash.

You will need:

  • Clean cloth
  • Washing machine
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Cold water
  • Commercial stain-removing product

How to prevent colour bleeding and staining in 6 steps

Whilst taking your clothes to a professional cleaner may feel like the easy option, there are simple steps you can take when it comes to how to prevent colour bleeding and staining at home.

  1. Wash colours and whites separately

    Always wash colours and whites separately. If you have any new garments in strong colours, you may want to wash these with similar colours only or hand-wash them the first time you wash them.

    Wash your clothes on a low heat cycle, preferably 30ºC.

  2. Don't tumble-dry clothes as this can set the stain

    Avoid drying clothes with stains as high heat can set colour stains into your clothes.

  3. Dab the stain with a clean cloth to lift as much as possible

    If you still end up with a stain, dab at the stain to lift as much liquid as possible from it, avoiding rubbing as this will push the stain deeper into the fibres.

  4. Wash the clothing again

    Try washing the clothes again, following the instructions on the label. You should ideally wash clothes with colour bleed separately – if there are a few items that have been affected, you can use a short programme on the washing machine, but if it’s a single item, you’re best off washing it by hand.

  5. Add a cup of distilled white vinegar to cold water and soak the stain

    Try adding a cup of distilled white vinegar to a bowl of cold water and soaking the stained area. Be sure to test a small area of the clothing first to check it won’t be affected by the vinegar. Then wash again as normal.

  6. Use a commercial stain-removing product and wash normally

    If all else fails, try using a commercial stain-removing product. Ensure you read the directions on the label and test the product on a small area first. Once you have treated the stain, rinse the clothing and wash as normal.

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

Now you have some easy-to-follow tips for how to stop colour bleeding from clothes, you are prepared to keep your clothing looking great from wash to wear every time.

Originally published