Dye Cast-Off Could Be Why Your Whites Aren't White

February 28, 2020

Oops, I did it again, and this blog is not a sing-along to a Brittany Spears song; instead, somehow, your new florescent yellow sweatshirt ended up in the laundry with your load of whites. The dye cast-off deposited onto many of the other items in the wash load. Your yellow tints sparked a series of questions about why, what, and how the heck can I reverse this. You're mad at the florescent yellow sweatshirt that you loved so much. So, to tame your fashion temper tantrum, first, take a deep breath and began to ask, "Can I get my whites back to white again with Powerizer?"

Here is what we began to brew in our minds.

  • Could it be possible that the dye was not set into the fabric correctly?
  • Some garments in that load absorbed the dye, and others didn't.
  • The mostly cotton items absorbed more yellow than the synthetic items.
  • What are the best tricks to prevent dye from bleeding onto other garments? 
  • Sorting like clothes to be washed together is the best advice; however, we're sure the same yellow dye that bled from the sweatshirt would have also bled onto the other colored garments too. 

This oops load prompted these four (4) simple experiments you can try at home too. 

For the first experiment, we soaked a new Target Washcloth Opal House Maroon, 100% cotton, and one previously washed 100% cotton baby t-shirt in a container together with 1800 ml of room temperature distilled water for thirty (30) minutes. 

For the Second and Third experiment, we wanted to observe if washing in cold water with Powerizer Complete, verses hot water would trigger more or less of a dye cast off. We made the same wash solution as above only we added 2.5 g of Powerizer one (1) container with Room Temperature water and the other with Hot water. 

The Fourth Experiment, we placed the washcloth and baby tee in a mixture of 1/4 cup of pickled salt and one (1) cup of white distilled vinegar in room temperature distilled water.  

Well, the pictures are compelling, and we certainly have a few simple recommendations for taking care of your white and bright clothes but first check out the photos.  


 Results after 30 Minutes soaking in room temperature distilled water.

 Results after soaking in Room Temperature distilled water for 30 minutes with 2.5 g of Powerizer added to the water.

Results after soaking in Hot distilled water for 30 minutes with 2.5 g of Powerizer added to the water.

The results after the items were soaked for 30 minutes in vinegar and salt. 

Experiment #4 shows why Salt and Vinegar are your best allies for keeping your clothes safe from dye cast off.  The picture shows the water remains clear, no dye was cast off into the water keeping its vibrant color, and the white shirt remained bright white. 

Now take a look at the image below, which shows each container side by side.  Experiment #1 and #2 reveals virtually the same amount of dye cast off.  Experiment #1 had no detergent, and Experiment #2 did have 2.5 g of Powerizer Complete added to the water.  It's safe to assume that the detergent was not the cause of the dye cast off. It appears the dye would have cast-off into the water regardless.

Experiment #3 had the same wash solution as #2; however, the container was filled with HOT water.  This is the real catalyst for causing dye runoff.  So yes, washing in COLD is better, and yes, you should turn your bright or dark clothes inside out before placing them in the wash.  However, the best step is to make a dye set bath for all your dark or bright colored clothes before washing them for the first time.  Check out Experiment #4.    

Experiment #4 shows the benefits of soaking your dark or bright colored garments in a dye set bath.  The water remained clear, and the white tee remained white.  

Now that the shirt #3 has a slight pink tint to it, the next step is to make a concentrated soak solution in a bowl with just enough hot water to cover it and pour one (1) Scoop of Powerizer into the container.  The stain lifting ingredients will work to bring the garment back to white.  This is why we say with Powerizer your whites continue to get whiter and your brights get brighter.  As you sort and wash in like colors at the correct temperature, you will experience brighter clothes. 

 For more information on how to use Powerizer in your everyday cleaning, check out the blogs on the website.

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