How to Stop Clothes From Bleeding in Wash

Are you tired of your beloved clothing fading due to colour bleeding? We’re here to assist you.

We’ve all seen what occurs when a crimson sock is worn with white clothing. Everything changes colour to pink! But what if we told you there were a few things you could do to prevent this from occurring again?

We’ll show you how to stop garments from bleeding, making washing day easier and, in the end, less expensive. Because destroying an entire load of laundry is a costly error.

Colorfastness test: Check the colorfastness of your clothing. Soak the clothes in soapy water. Check to see whether the colour of the water has changed.
Use cold water to wash your garments since hot water breaks down the colours and causes them to bleed.
Sort your clothing as follows: Sort your garments into groups based on colour and weight. If bleeding happens, it will go undetected. When heavy and delicate garments are washed together, friction rises, resulting in greater bleeding.

This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

Why Do Clothes Bleed In The Wash?

Because not all textiles bleed, what is the cause of certain fabrics bleeding?

  • Crocking: Crocking occurs most often when garments are dry, although it can also occur while they are damp. Excess dye from one cloth rubs off onto another that is already dry. This is more common with darker hues. If you’ve ever worn a black sweater over a light t-shirt and then removed it to discover fresh stains, you’ve probably had this experience. However, it’s most prevalent with coloured raw denim. It’s generally caused by the colour not adhering to the cloth correctly.
  • Bleeding: Similar to crocking, bleeding happens when one fabric stains another while the garments are wet. While the clothing are wet, the dye runs off and colours the water, which subsequently stains more clothes. This is particularly common while wearing vividly coloured clothing.
  • Fading occurs when dyes in clothing are lost due to bleeding, crocking, bleaching, or exposure to sunshine. This can also happen as a result of the water, friction, detergent, and drying process employed on a typical laundry day. Clothes will appear brighter or darker than they were previously.

How to Stop Clothes Bleeding in the Wash

Crocking, bleeding, and fading are all frightening terms, but there’s no need to be concerned. You can simply stop garments from bleeding in the wash if you use additional caution and expertise.

Color Analysis

Do a colour test on the clothing before washing it with other garments. If an item will bleed, it will usually be stated on the care label. It might state to wash with similar colours or that the colours could run. However, if it doesn’t and you’re curious, there are two methods for colour testing.


Cover your colourful garment with a white fabric, such as a cloth or a sock. Iron on top of it. If the white clothing has any colour on it, the coloured item is not colorfast and may bleed in the wash.

Soapy Water

In a pail of soapy water, soak the clothing. Allow 30 minutes for the mixture to rest. The garment isn’t colorfast if the colour of the water has changed, and it may bleed in the wash.

When you know something isn’t colorfast, wash it separately or with comparable colours. It may be cleaned with other objects if it is colorfast.

Hand Wash Separately

If you’re concerned about colours bleeding, hand wash the item separately. This helps to save other articles of clothes from being ruined.

Hand washing instructions differ depending on the item.

Use Cold Water

If you wish to wash the garment with other items in the machine, make sure to use cold water. Because hot water may break down colours, it produces more bleeding and stains on other garments. Cold water is usually recommended for preserving colour and brightness in clothing.

Color Catcher

Color catchers are sheets that put into your washing machine to collect stray colours. They’re designed to keep clothing from bleeding by preventing colours from spreading to other fabrics. So, if you inadvertently tossed in a red sock, you shouldn’t finish up with pink towels.

Color catchers have had a mixed response. This is mostly due to the fact that your garments will still fade if you use them with hot water. Although the colour catchers may capture dyes and prevent staining or crocking, clothing can still fade.

In the end, cold water is ideal for these sheets. However, in such a scenario, the garments are unlikely to bleed or fade, so there’s little use in wearing them.

Dye Fixativ

Dye fixatives are used to prevent bleeding, fading, and, as a result, transfer to other garments in the washing machine. Depending on the product, these are often designed for at-home dyeing tasks such as tie-dying. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions to find out what the product is for.

The fixative molecules have a positive charge, whereas most dye molecules have a negative charge. As a result, the dye fixative may be used to bond the dyes in place.

Fixatives, on the other hand, have two major disadvantages. For one thing, clothing treated with a colour fixative are more susceptible to fading from light sources. Second, the colour fixative might be carcinogenic.

Sort With Similar Colors

Of course, this requires additional work and planning, but it is the most effective approach to avoid colour stains. Hues may still bleed, but if you wash with comparable colours, it won’t be visible.

Reduce Friction

Consider friction as a way to keep your clothes from bleeding. Clothing bleeds and fades as a result of friction.

To begin, use a mild cycle. This will reduce friction and abrasion, eliminating the chance of colour leakage, especially in cold cycles. Also, make sure the washing machine isn’t overloaded.

Second, turn your garments inside out and wash them. This prevents the clothing from fading on the exterior.

Heavy and fragile clothing should be washed separately. Heavy clothing might cause more friction in the washing machine, causing colours to migrate to sensitive goods.

FAQs About Stopping Clothes From Bleeding

Tips for Preventing Clothes From Bleeding or Fading

Refer to this fantastic list for our last top suggestions!

  • When washing your clothing, always turn them inside out. This still cleans the garments completely, but it decreases friction on the coloured side.
  • Cold water should be used to wash your clothing. Hot water relaxes the fibres, making it easier for the colours to bleed.
  • Make sure your washing machine isn’t overloaded. This might cause colour bleed and fading by increasing friction and agitation.
  • If you’re drying clothing outside, avoid hanging them in full sunlight to avoid fading.
  • Colorfastness should always be checked. Wash the item separately or with comparable colours if it bleeds.
  • To remove extra colour from clothing, wash it before wearing it. This not only prevents your clothing from fading or bleeding the next time you wash them, but it also protects your skin from dye stains.
  • Separate your garments by colour and weight at all times.
  • A cup of vinegar added to your wash won’t halt bleeding, but it will brighten whites and colours and prevent fading.
  • When feasible, use brief mild washing cycles or handwashing.

How to Stop Clothes From Bleeding in the Wash Bottom Line

You can keep your clothes bright and minimize fading by following these methods to stop them from bleeding. This is a typical laundry day disaster, and it might take some time to get into the habit of following our top suggestions. But before you know it, you’ll be sorting clothes by colour and weight like it’s nothing!

Not only will you avoid the misery of ruined garments if you follow these guidelines and practices. However, you’ll save money because damaging a whole load of laundry with a non-colorfast item is an expensive error.

Related Posts