I have a few clothes (coloured t-shirts and polo shirts) which have turned a different shade of colour due to a small amount of colour from other clothes being transferred to them in the wash.

One example is a t-shirt which was a pale yellow now has a blue tint added which makes the t-shirt look permanently dirty.

How do I restore them?

  • If they are white you could try soaking in bleach (read the label). But that won't restore colours. Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 17:30
  • Welcome! Could you please elaborate a bit - what fabrics and what colors are we talking about?
    – Stephie
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 21:33
  • @Stephie - please see my edit Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 8:57
  • Hi Chris, Welcome to Lifehacks. Several others have asked the same or very similar questions. Have you searched for their remedies? Your chances don't look good if the shirts have been dried.
    – Stan
    Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 19:10

2 Answers 2


You don't :-) Fabric does not get restored once dyed, and the reality is, you're looking at dyeing, effectively. What you can do, if you want to hack it, is get yourself some dyes and dye-grade bleach et cetera and re-dye your shirts until you like them again. Major craft stores have the chemicals. I keep a "vat" in our basement (a galvanized tub) with a hose and an immersion heater (you do need the heat). I don't use it very much, but it's good to keep around, especially in less certain times. Some dyes and bleaches work in ordinary washing machines, but not as well, you need real heat and I don't like the idea of those chemicals wearing down our washing machine. This is not a slam-dunk or a $5 fix, it's work, but it can be lots of fun, and you never quite know exactly what you will get.


Sometimes the dye that leached into your other items is fixed there and you can not do anything, other times you can wash it out.
Keep that shirt near the washing machine and wash it anytime you have a load where the colour fits and if lucky it will go back to the original colour.

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