How to Dye Clothes White: 2 Easy Ways to Remove Color

Опубликовал Admin
9-05-2023, 21:10
Looking to transform that faded, colored blouse into a crisp, white top? Maybe you just need to whiten some old denim so you can dye it a fabulous new color. In either case, you’ve got easy options. While there’s no white dye you can add to your clothes, zapping the color out of them with other products can leave your garments colorless and looking fresh. In this article, we’ll show you how to do just that with either chlorine bleach or commercial color removers for clothes. Let’s get started!
  • Bleaching Colored Clothes White
  • Using a Commercial Color Remover
  • Q&A
  • Tips
  • Warnings

Bleaching Colored Clothes White

  1. Combine 1 part chlorine bleach with 4 parts cold water in a clean bucket. Add the water first and then slowly pour in the bleach to avoid accidentally splashing it outside the bucket. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or other utensil (never your hands!). The exact amount you need depends on how big your garment is—mix enough water and bleach to thoroughly coat and soak it.
    • Use chlorine bleach to turn your clothes white rather than all-purpose or color-safe bleach, which may not bleach your clothes evenly.
    • Chlorine bleach puts off toxic fumes that are dangerous to inhale. Work in a well-ventilated area and wear a face mask if necessary to avoid exposure.
    • Do not use bleach on sensitive fabrics like spandex, wool, silk, mohair, or leather. It will ruin the color and could even damage the fabric.
  2. Place your clothes in the mixture and stir them around. Put your clothes into the bleach solution and use a wooden spoon or another utensil to push them under the surface so they’re fully submerged. Stir the clothes around in the solution so they’re evenly saturated and the bleach is soaked into all of the fibers.
    • Stir the clothes gently so the solution doesn’t splash outside the bucket and damage other surfaces.
    • Consider wearing disposable gloves to protect your hands from rogue bleach droplets or splashes.
    • If you do get some of the bleach solution on your skin, rinse it off under cool water immediately.
  3. Soak the clothes for 5-10 minutes, then check to see if they’re white. Leave the clothes undisturbed so the bleach can work its magic. After about 5 minutes, use your utensil to lift up some of the clothes so you can inspect them. If they’re not white enough for you, submerge the clothes back into the solution and wait another 5 minutes before you check them.
    • Take the clothes out after 10 minutes regardless of how white they are. Prolonged exposure to bleach can weaken fabric fibers and destroy your clothes. Repeat the entire bleaching process the next day if you need to get them whiter.
  4. Run the clothes under cold water to rinse away the bleach. Place the clothes into a clean sink or bucket and run them under cold water. Bleach will continue working on your fabric (and ruin it) unless it’s rinsed away, so make sure not to skip this step! Rinsing will remove the bleach chemicals and protect other garments your bleached item comes into contact with, too.
  5. Soak the garment in diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide for 10 minutes. Hydrogen peroxide will neutralize any remaining bleach left in the fabric fibers. While your clothes are still soaking in the bleach, mix 1 part peroxide with 10 parts water in a separate bucket. Once the clothes are rinsed, add them to the peroxide mix for about 10 minutes.
    • If there’s enough bleach left in the clothes, you may notice some fizzing happening when you put your clothes in the peroxide. This is normal and won’t damage your clothes.
  6. Run the garment through the washing machine and dryer like normal. Make sure the bleach is fully flushed out of the clothes by washing them in your washing machine as you normally would (same water temperature and detergent as always). When they’re done, toss them in your dryer or air dry them, depending on what the care instructions on the tag say.

Using a Commercial Color Remover

  1. Fill a large bucket with 4 US gal (15 L) of hot water. Turn on a faucet and allow it to reach the hottest temperature possible, then fill a clean bucket or container with the hot water. Alternatively, fill a large pot and set the stove to high heat. When the water starts to boil, turn off the heat and wait 5 minutes to allow the water to cool down slightly.
    • Make sure the water isn’t so hot that it will burn you before you start working!
  2. Add 1 oz (28 g) of powdered color remover to the water. Many powdered color removers come in individual packets that are measured out. Add 1 packet of the color remover to the hot water and give it a good stir. If the color remover doesn’t come in individual packets, measure out 1 oz (28 g) of the powder, add it to the water, and stir it to combine the mixture.
    • Always check the instructions on whichever product you choose. The amount of product you need or the method of mixing may vary from brand to brand.
    • Color removers work best on natural or semi-natural fabrics like cotton, linen, silk, wool, ramie, and rayon.
    • Powdered color remover is also known as color run remover. Popular brands include Rit Color Remover and Carbona Color Run Remover.
  3. Submerge the clothes into the mixture. Place the clothes you want to turn white into the hot water and use a wooden spoon or another utensil to submerge them so they’re fully saturated in the water. Swish the clothes around in the mixture so every part of the garment is evenly soaked.
    • Move the clothes back and forth with your spoon or utensil so the fabric soaks in as much of the color remover as possible.
  4. Allow the fabric to soak for 30 minutes. Leave the clothes undisturbed so the color remover can work its magic and start to release the dye in the fabric. Avoid moving, stirring, or touching the clothes for at least 30 minutes.
    • Set a timer on your watch, phone, or stove to help track the time.
  5. Check on the clothes and remove them when all of the color is gone. After 30 minutes, use your spoon or utensil to lift the clothes out of the water. If they still have a lot of dye on them, submerge them back into the water. Wait another 10 minutes and then check them again. Keep the clothes in the solution until they turn as white as you want them to be.
    • After about 2 hours, the color remover will have lifted as much of the dye as it can.
    • If the clothes still have a little bit of their original color or appear splotchy, repeat the process to remove all of the color.
  6. Wash and dry the clothes by themselves to flush out the color remover. Place the wet clothes into your washing machine and wash them as you normally would, but do not put any other clothes in the machine with them. When they’re finished, put them into your dryer or air dry them, depending on what the care instructions on the tag say.
    • The clothes are wearable as soon as they’re dried.
    • The washer and dryer will neutralize the color remover, so you can wash the clothes with your other clothes in future cycles.


  • Synthetic fabrics, colored stitching, and indigo-dyed denim may not become fully white, even after several treatments.
  • Test your bleach or color remover on a small, hidden spot of your garment before saturating the entire thing. If the garment doesn’t whiten or turns a different color, don’t try to whiten it.
  • There is no commercially available white dye to add to your clothes. To whiten, you have to remove the color with products like bleach or color remover.


  • Chlorine bleach can be toxic if you breathe in the fumes. Work in a well-ventilated area and wear a face mask if you need to.
  • Never use undiluted bleach on clothes. It’s strong enough to destroy the fibers of your garment (especially fragile ones like silk or wool) and ruin your clothes.
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