How to Remove Colour Stains from Your Clothes Like a Pro

Knowing how to remove colour stains from your clothes will help you keep them looking like new for longer. Here are some simple methods you can employ to keep your clothes stain free.

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How to remove colour from clothes
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The best way to keep your clothes stain-free is to prevent them from getting stained. However, there are some stains which are unavoidable like sweat, perfume, make up etc. On other occasions there’s the accidental gravy spill or a load mix-up of white clothes with dark coloured clothes which leaves behind tough stains. Read on to know how to remove colour stains from clothes. 

The method of treating the stains varies according to the type of stain and the type of fabric. You must be careful about the products you use to wash your clothes. If you are using a product for the first time, run a small test on a small area of the clothing to avoid any untoward reaction.  

Why Should You Wash Your Clothes After Every Use?

We suggest you to wash your clothes after each and every use. You may not notice some stains on the first glance like a sweat patch in the underarms. However, if you run a hot press over the garment before wearing it again, the heat will make the stain more prominent and permanent. For other kinds of stains like food stain or colour stains, you will have to act immediately. The stain will penetrate into the fabric if you do not treat it quickly.  

What Causes Colour Run in Wash?

You get colour run in the wash because the dye is loose and not colourfast. The problem intensifies when you are washing your clothes at a high temperature. You can easily avoid amplifying this problem. Always wash your dark and bright coloured clothes at a lower temperature, preferably cold water.  

How to Prevent Dye Transfers? 

A widely common laundry mishap is running of colour from one garment to another. You can easily prevent that from happening if you follow safe laundry practices. Here are some tips to help people avoid such accidents. 

The manufacturers might issue a warning for dark coloured items like your denim jeans. Read the care label to know if your garment needs to be washed separately. Another point to remember is to avoid washing your light and dark coloured clothes together. It increases the risk of dye transfers. 

Do not mix the questionable clothing items with the rest of your laundry load. Wash it separately. For example, if a red shirt is known to bleed colour, it is best to hand wash it separately in a bucket. Put out the clothes for drying as soon as the wash cycle ends. Ensure that you do not forget about the wet clothes in the machine drum. The longer you leave them wet in your washing machine, the greater the possibility of colour transfer. 

How to Remove Colour Stain from Clothes?

If you spot a colour stain on your clothes, it is important not to panic. You can remove the stain from your clothes. Follow the steps given here. 

You will need:

  • A tub filled with cold water 
  • Vinegar
  • Colour catcher
  • Bleach

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Method 1: For White Silk and Satin Clothes

  1. Step 1: Treat the Stain

    Delicate fabrics like silk and satin need gentle handling. Remove the stain by pouring 3-4 drops of mild liquid detergent directly on the stain. Gently rub with your fingers to work it in. Wait for 10-20 minutes

  2. Step 2: Wash the Stain

    Wash the stained area with plain water. Check if the stain is gone. Repeat step 1 once again, if needed.

  3. Step 3: Wash the Garment

    Once the stain is gone, wash your white garment gently. It’s good to wash your white silk and satin garments with hands. Use a mild detergent to do so. Delicate garments made from silk, wool and cotton require extra care and using a mild detergent can work wonders. We recommend Love and Care, which is available in the market. It is specially formulated for specific fabrics. Always check the care label to understand the right water temperature to be used for wash.

  4. Step 4: Dry the Garment

    Once the garment is washed, dry it under partial shade. Store it away properly. Always store lights and darks separately.

Method 2: For Coloured Silk and Satin Clothes

  1. Step 1: Pre-Treat the Stain

    Before washing, pre-treat the stain. Dampen the stained portion of the clothing and pour 3-4 drops of liquid detergent on it. Rub it gently with your finger for 1-2 minutes. Wash away with plain water. This step will make the further stain removal process effective.

  2. Step 2: Wash the Garment

    Now, separate the affected clothing item from the rest of the load. Run a gentle wash cycle again using an effective laundry detergent. If you prefer to wash your clothes in a washing machine, you can use Surf Excel Matic Liquid, which is specially formulated for washing machines and is easily available in the market. Always check the wash care label on your garment to understand the right washing temperature.  

  3. Step 3: Check if the Stain is Gone

    Inspect your clothes carefully to see if the colour stains have disappeared. If not, you may have to use a laundry booster like vinegar or lime juice, as explained in Step 3.

  4. Step 4: Soak in Vinegar

    Take a tub full of cold water and add 1 cup of vinegar to it. Soak your clothes in the solution for 20-40 minutes. Now, rewash your clothes using your laundry detergent. 

  5. Step 5: Wash the Garment

    Now wash your garment as you usually do. Prefer washing your silks with hands as they need delicate handling. However, if your washing machine has a ‘silk’ setting, you can use that. Remember to check the wash care label to understand correct washing method.

  6. Step 6: Dry the Garment

    Once the garment is washed, dry it under partial shade. Store it away properly.

Method 3: For White Cotton, Georgette and Chiffon Clothes

  1. Step 1: Soak in Bleach Solution

    Soak your white clothes in the bleach solution for the recommended time. Please read the instructions on the label carefully to get the best results. You can use a bleach (sodium hypochlorite) like Rin Ala. Rin Ala being sodium hypochlorite bleach is recommended to use on white clothes only. Do not use on coloured clothes. Check the pack to understand correct usage instructions.

  2. Step 2: Wash as you usually do

    Now, wash your white clothes using your regular wash method. The stains should have disappeared. 

  3. Step 3: Dry the Garment

    Once the garment is washed, dry it under natural sunlight. It acts as a natural disinfectant and a bleaching agent for white clothes. Store it away properly.

Method 4: For Coloured Cotton, Georgette and Chiffon Clothes

  1. Step 1: Remove the stain

    To remove the stain, pour 3-4 drops of liquid detergent directly on the stain. Rub the stain into the fabric using your fingers. Allow it to settle for 10-15 minutes.

  2. Step 2: Wash the Stain

    Now hold the stained part under cold running water to wash away the stain. Repeat step 1, if needed.

  3. Step 3: Soak the Garment

    If the stain is stubborn, make a solution of ½ bucket of warm water, 1 cup of white vinegar and 1-2 tsp. of detergent.  Drop your garment in it and allow it to soak for 40-50 minutes.

  4. Step 4: Wash the Garment

    Now drop your garment in your washing machine and start the cycle. Remember not to load white and dark coloured clothes together. Check the wash care label on your garment to know right washing method.

  5. Step 5: Dry the Garment

    Once the garment is washed, dry it under partial shade. Store it away properly.

Method 5: For White Polyester and Nylon Clothes

A colour catcher is a special piece of cloth which is designed to absorb the bleeding colours during a wash cycle. They are easily available at your supermarket or online stores. You can think of it as a small investment that’ll save you a lot of laundry troubles in the future.  

  1. Step 1: Add Colour Catcher

    Place the colour catcher in your washing machine as per the instructions on the packaging. 

  2. Step 2: Add Laundry Detergent

    Put the rest of your laundry load in the washing machine and set the wash cycle like you normally do. Use effective laundry detergent. We recommend Surf Excel Matic Liquid. It is specially formulated for washing machines. Check the instructions on the pack to know how to use it the right way. 

  3. Step 3: Dry the Garment

    Once the garment is washed, dry it under partial shade. Store it away properly.

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To Treat Stains On Your Coloured Polyester and Nylon Clothes

Make a solution of 2-3 tsp. of white vinegar and 2 tsp. of water. Pour it on the stained area and rub with your fingers. Allow it to stay for 15-20 minutes.

Now, wash the stain under tap water. If the stain persists, simply pour 3-4 drops of detergent on it and rub the stain. Wash again; by now most of the stain should be gone.

Make a soak solution by mixing 1 cup of white vinegar and 2-3 tsp. of detergent in ½ bucket of water. Soak your garment in it for 40-50 minutes.

Wash your garment in your washing machine on your regular cycle using a good quality detergent.  If you prefer to wash your clothes in a washing machine, you can use Surf Excel Matic Liquid, which is specially formulated for washing machines and is easily available in the market. However, check the wash care label on the garment to understand the right washing temperatures to be used. Once the garment is washed, dry it under partial shade. Store it away properly.

Now you know how to remove stain from colored clothes and white clothes. Preserving the brightness and shine of your white garments is not as difficult as seems. However, it does require some effort on your part. Simple laundry changes can make a huge difference. The next time you spot a colour stain on your white clothes or coloured clothes these solutions will come in handy. But, as they say, precaution is better than cure.   

Key Step

Before using bleach or bleach based detergent on your all-white clothing, always read the care label instructions on your garment. Bleach is a harsh chemical. Exposing your delicate fabric to this harsh chemical can ruin it forever. 

Frequently asked questions on tough stains

How do you get stubborn stains out of a shirt at home?

First one must understand the type of stain and the kind of ingredients one can use to pre-treat it. Usually most fresh stains can be pre-treated by emulsifying liquid laundry detergent and applying it on the inner and outer side of the fabric. Surf Excel Matic Liquid Detergent is a great pick to remove tough stains and also care for your clothes. After letting it soak/sit for some time, rinse well with cold water and the stain should fade away.

What are the different stain types?

While there are multiple types of staining that can occur on fabrics, the most common ones include, blood stains, oil stains, coffee stains, gravy/ketchup stains, ink stains, grease stains, sweat/dirt, cosmetic stains and wine stains. And there are a number of ways one can remove them with the right mix of laundry products!

How do you remove stain from clothes with toothpaste?

Toothpaste is a versatile cleansing agent and can remove many different types of stains, especially food-related stains. Take a pea size amount of the toothpaste, emulsify it with water and directly apply it on the stained area of the fabric. Gently rub the stain till it almost fades away and rinse with lukewarm water, and launder as usual.

Are stubborn stains (oil/ink) permanent on clothes?

It really depends on the type of stain and how long it has been. While some stains are permanent, most common stains caused due to household items can be removed with the right mix of laundry treatments. Surf Excel has a range of products that are designed for tough stain removal in the machine wash whilst retaining the original colour of the fabric.

What is the best stain remover?

When it comes to quick solutions, the most widely used bleaching agent includes vinegar and baking soda. While they are easy hacks they can be harsh on your fabrics, especially for delicate textures. Surf Excel has designed a range of products right from Surf Excel Matic Liquid Detergent to Surf Excel 3 In 1 Smart Shots for a superior cleaning experience that helps remove tough stains in the machines and cares for your fabric at the same time.

How to remove stains from clothes using baking soda?

It’s very simple to remove stains using baking soda. Simply wet the stained fabric. Then sprinkle some baking soda onto the fabric and let it sit for several minutes. Gently brush away the paste before putting it for a machine wash.

Can baking soda/vinegar remove tough stains from clothes?

Both are commonly known ingredients used to remove stains on clothes. While baking soda acts as a natural bleach or cleanser, the acetic acid in vinegar acts as a disinfectant to lift many different types of stains.

Originally published