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How to get colour run out of clothes

Get rid of colour run on clothes

We’ve all been there. You put a load of washing in the washing machine, take it out and oh no – some of your favourite items are stained with dye. You’ve had a colour run disaster.

But all hope is not lost, as you can get your clothes back to their former glory. Here we’re looking at how to remove colour run from clothes and what you can do to stop it happening in the first place.

Why do colours run in the wash?

When any non-colourfast items are washed at temperatures that are too high, the dye bleeds out of the fabric. This happens most commonly with newer items on their first few washes. You might think that certain colours tend to run more than others – we’ve all heard the tale of the red sock that ruins a white wash – but it actually depends on how well the colour pigments in the dye bind to the fabric of the clothes.

If they have a fixer or mordant, that binds them the less likely they are to run.

One common method of dyeing fabric is ‘salting out’. When the clothes are dyed, salt is added to the water which encourages the dye into the fabric. But if the dye isn’t fixed to the fabric using a fixer or mordant it runs straight back out when you wash your clothes.

Clothes that are made with synthetic fibres where the colour was added at the same stage the fibres were being created, are the least likely to run. 

What can I do to prevent my colours running?

You have a couple of options to stop colours running when you do your wash: 

Use a Colour Catcher laundry sheet 

With a Colour Catcher laundry sheet you can wash all your clothes together without the need to worry about colour run accidents.

All you need to do is place the sheet in your wash when you wash a load of clothes. There’s no need to sort your colours. During the wash the laundry sheet effectively traps colours that bleed into the water – any dye that runs goes onto the sheet and not the clothes.

Each laundry sheet is made of 100% naturally derived fibres that are treated with special ingredients that act like a magnet to absorb and trap any loose dye during the wash. You’ll see this on the sheet at the end of the wash.

Now you can wash your colours together for less sorting, fewer wash loads and lower bills. 

Removing colour run from clothes

If you’ve had an accident with your washing and dye has run into your clothes, don’t fear as you do have a few solutions to work with.

Using a colour run remover

Our SOS Colour Run Remover restores clothes back to their former glory and turns back the clock on any colour run disasters. You can use it in either a hand wash or in the washing machine. 

How to use in washing machines:

  • Add the contents of both sachets directly to the drum.
  • Run a long wash cycle on either 40°C (synthetic mixes) or 60°C (cottons).
  • For top loading machines, choose the lowest water level that covers the garments. 


How to hand wash:

  • Fill a container or sink with enough warm (40°C) to hot (60°C) water to cover the clothes.
  • Add contents of one sachet and stir thoroughly.
  • Add the clothes to be treated.
  • Agitate by hand, leave to soak for one hour and stir regularly.
  • Rinse thorough, wash with detergent and dry as normal.

To wash your clothes effectively whilst doing your bit for the environment, discover more about Colour Catcher and our range of products. 

Discover our Products

  • Colour Catcher Max Protect

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  • Colour Catcher 2in1 Protect & Revive Colours

    Colour Catcher 2in1 Protect & Revive Colours

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    SOS Colour Run + Spray Starch