I'm having the hardest time keeping my white lab coat clean without the embroidery ink fading/spreading. Any tips? I wash in cold water and dry on low heat.

  • 1
    I want to clarify: your white lab coat has colored embroidery on it, and the dye in the embroidery is bleeding out into the lab coat. Is that right? Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 1:35
  • I see there is a lab coat embroidering service, but the website does not include any "care" advice. It might be too late now, but if I should want one, I might have a separate embroidered patch fixed on with velcro. Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 11:58
  • Hi Christy, Welcome to Lifehacks. Is there more than a single colour in the embroidery affected? Is the same thing happening to others?
    – Stan
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 1:49
  • Are you averse to embroidering onto a patch? Are you doing the embroidering?
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 9:49

1 Answer 1


You're already doing the right thing to minimise dye colour bleeding.
Here are some reasons you may be having a problem.

Dye Bleeding You Cannot Control
If the color loss happens due to the following reasons, it is beyond your control:
(especially if only one of the embroidery yarns colour is affected.)

  • Incorrect dyeing techniques or poor quality dye were used during manufacturing
  • The incorrect dye was used for the type of yarn (not all dyes work on all kinds of yarn)
  • The dye was not properly rinsed out leaving an excess of unattached dye in the yarn
  • The manufacturer did not use a fixative or mordant to bind the dye to the yarn

Maybe you can contact the company that provided the embroidery service to consult with them regarding some remedy. Perhaps the materials were faulty and there have been other complaints that can be tracked to that particular colour.

One source I found suggested "setting" the dye colours using salt and vinegar. Several other sources strongly discouraged the practice as ineffective and a waste of materials and effort.

Good luck.

  • It could be worth trying to set the dyes as you mention. Salt and vinegar are cheap and plentiful so not much of a waste if it doesn't work. Use white (clear) vinegar though. Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 8:55

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