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Not quite white
December 5, 2011 12:54 PM   Subscribe

I left a red sock in my white laundry and now everything is pastel pink. How can I safely and simply make everything white again?

Will bleach work and 'can you ask if is it safe for a Jil Sander t-shirt'?

Asking for a fashion dude friend.
posted by dontjumplarry to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Very important: Did the load of clothes go through the dryer?

If they haven't gone through the dryer, you can use either non-chlorine bleach or even just regular laundry detergent + a cup of vinegar (vinegar is a miracle cleaner).
posted by muddgirl at 12:57 PM on December 5, 2011


...and don't send them through the dryer until the color has come completely out.
posted by muddgirl at 12:57 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


muddgirl, they didn't go through the dryer BUT he did try soaking them in Napisan (like a mild pre-soaky bleach stuff) and washing them again and they are still pink.
posted by dontjumplarry at 1:02 PM on December 5, 2011


I've always used Rit color remover for this sort of thing (again, assuming they haven't gone through the dryer).
posted by scody at 1:03 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


How long did you soak? This site recommends at least a 24-hour soak in something oxygen-based like Oxyclean (it sounds to me like Napisan is similar). If that doesn't work soak it for another 24 hours. Make sure you have sufficient water for the whole load, or try doing one garment at a time.

I've also had good luck with citrus-based stain removers.
posted by muddgirl at 1:05 PM on December 5, 2011


I did the very same thing with a white apron that was part of a costume for a play - and said apron was vintage. Our costume designer suggested a little bleach in boiling -- not just hot, but boiling - water. I think I did a lot of rinsing in boiling water as well.

Seconding to NOT SEND THEM THROUGH THE DRYER until the red is out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:10 PM on December 5, 2011


White Brite might be worth a shot. Note I've only used it to brighten dingy whites, but the product description says it will lighten or remove transferred dye stains.
posted by needled at 1:55 PM on December 5, 2011


I use bleach, detergent and hot water. Cool water if things might shrink.
posted by theora55 at 4:16 PM on December 5, 2011


I did the very same thing with a white apron that was part of a costume for a play - and said apron was vintage. Our costume designer suggested a little bleach in boiling -- not just hot, but boiling - water. I think I did a lot of rinsing in boiling water as well.

DO NOT DO THIS! EmpressCallipygos got lucky. I've seen an entire pair of blue jeans reduced to disintegrated patches of clothlike tissue, when I tried to bleach the color out of them.

Obviously, there's a curve from "safe bleaching color out" to "destroy the very fiber of the garment", but the curve is nonlinear with temperature, and boiling water pushes bleach to its reactive limits!

Try something cloth-safe(r) like Oxyclean. It works for me, in similar cases.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:23 PM on December 5, 2011


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