how to fix white clothes turned pink after drying
Kristina Davis

Learning how to fix white clothes turned pink after drying can help you prevent permanent damage to your clothes.

Several folks run into this very frustrating and widespread issue. Many different things can go wrong, and knowing what those things are will help you avoid this problem in the future.

But, can you get pink out of white clothes? Yes, it is possible to undo the pink dye job, so long as you react quickly. But how do you do that?

You can fix white clothes turned pink by using non-chlorine bleach, vinegar, and even a stain remover. 

Dealing with White Clothes Turning Pink after Drying

removing pink stains on white clothes

Undoubtedly, it is quite frustrating to find your whites turning pink after drying, which can happen for many reasons.

It is common to make this mistake when a single colored object, like a red sock, becomes entangled in a load of whites

Causes of White Clothes Turning Pink After Drying

As mentioned, so many things can lead to whites turning pink after drying.

For instance: 

Transfer of Dye

mixing white and colored garments

Dye transfer is a leading culprit when white garments take a pinkish hue. This frequently occurs when whites are washed with dark colors like red or pink.

White clothes can readily turn pink if the red or pink ones spill even a tiny bit of dye. To a greater extent, this is true of newly purchased or never-before-washed red or pink garments

Excessive Detergent

Using too much detergent or fabric softener is another typical reason white garments become pink.

The residue left behind by these treatments, especially when used in excess, can stain white fabrics.

However, if your whites have been becoming pink over time, it may not be because you suddenly used too much soap or fabric softener. 

Water Quality

checking the quality of water

White clothing might become pink depending on the quality of the water.

Over time, the deposits left behind by hard water’s minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, can discolor clothing.

Tip: Use a water softener or laundry detergent formulated for hard water if you live in a region where the water supply is particularly hard. 

Excessive Bleach

If you put too much bleach on your whites, they may become pink.

Bleach can discolor or even disintegrate the fibers of white clothing if used immediately to the wash.

In addition, using bleach on colored garments can cause the colors to fade or bleed, making white garments pink in the process. 

Type of Fabric

synthetic fabric

The type of fabric may be the source of the issue.

Synthetic fabrics, in particular, are notorious for losing color over time. And it gets worse if you hang those clothes in direct sunlight.

Tip: Sunlight can hasten the process by which the cloth fades and deteriorates, so avoid hanging your laundry in direct sunlight. 

How to Fix White Clothes Turned Pink After Drying

Mostly, you notice discolored clothes after washing, but it can also happen after a drying cycle. Whatever the case, there are ways you can try to help fix your laundry. 

Quickly Take Action

removing the stain immediately

You have a better chance of entirely eradicating the stain if you treat it as soon as possible.

Removing the damaged article of clothing and treating the pink stain as soon as possible is recommended once you notice the stain. 

Pretreat the Stain

Before you throw those pink clothes in the laundry, you can use different products to remove the stain.

Vinegar is a popular kitchen staple. Soak the garment in a mix of equal parts water and white vinegar for 30 minutes.

Afterward, wash the item in the washing machine with detergent and cold water to remove the soaking water. 

Do Some Sorting

sorting the white and colored garments

Take out the colored item, and then sort out the discolored white items.

You can try soaking the garments for up to 15 minutes in a mild bleach solution by mixing 1/4 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of cold water.

You should wash your clothes in hot, soapy water, and rinse again if necessary. 

Try Some Detergent and Non-Chlorine Bleach

Repeat washing the discolored items in the washing machine using one cup of non-chlorine bleach in addition to the regular amount of detergent.

This works quite well if the staining lingers or if streaks of color appear.

Inspect those items thoroughly before tossing them in the dryer, as doing so could permanently stain your clothes. 

Try OxiClean

applying oxiclean

The stained items can be restored by soaking them in a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part bleach or OxiClean for the recommended amount of time.

You should wait for at least 90 minutes but be sure to check those items every 15 minutes. Remove them from the solution and finish with a wash cycle. 

Use Stain Remover

How do you get pink out of white clothes? Well, if you are dealing with pink stains, you need to stick to a good-quality stain remover.

For starters, you should first remove as much of the discoloration as you can by blotting it with a towel or tissue.

Similarly, using hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol directly on the stain also helps. And if you do not have any specialized stain remover available, a tiny amount of liquid laundry detergent should work just fine. 

Dealing with Stubborn Stains

rubbing the stain with lemon

In the event that the stain persists, lemon may help resolve the issue.

  • Simply slice a lemon in half.
  • Rub the juice directly into the stain.
  • Expose the garment to direct sunlight for a few minutes.
  • Wash those items again.
Tip: Clothes that have been damaged or stained should not be dried in a dryer since the high heat will permanently set the stain. 
An Important Consideration

Make use of a product designed specifically for removing pink stains. Such products as Zout, OxiClean, and Shout are just a few of many on the market.

Before washing the stained garment, pre-treat the stain as directed and follow all the instructions on the packaging 

Use a Whites-Only Detergent

using detergent for white clothes

If you want to keep your whites looking white, use a detergent made for whites only.

These cleaners are made to eliminate stains and shield against further discoloration. Stains can be removed and prevented by washing whites in hot water with a decent detergent

Expose to Sunlight

Pink stains on white clothing can be easily removed by exposing them to sunlight, which acts as a natural bleaching agent.

Hang the stained garment in direct sunlight after applying a pretreatment. If you hang the stained item outside in the sun, the color will fade and the stain will disappear.

Tip: Do not leave your whites out in the sun for too long, as that can fade or damage the fabric. 

How Do You Prevent Accidental Color Bleeding?

putting mix color garments together

While there surely are some ways to correct clothes that turn pink after washing or drying, it is not always possible.

Therefore, it is of immense importance to take preventive measures and ensure you do not have to deal with stained clothes in the first place. 

Sort Your Laundry First

The most straightforward method for avoiding color transfer while doing laundry is to wash different things in separate loads.

It is also important to check the washer properly after each use. You can avoid color transfer by washing things that you know are not colorfast separately from other clothes or by washing them by hand. 

Identifying Your Laundry

A simple approach can be used to determine whether or not an article of clothing will retain its color after being washed.

  • All you have to do is wet a small part of it.
  • Next, use a paper towel to wipe the damp spot.
  • Then pin it under the garment, and iron the top.

If the garment loses any of its colors when blotted using a paper towel, it is not colorfast. 


Discolored whites can cause even the most level-headed mother to temporarily lose her composure, whether the culprit is your daughter’s ChapStick or a wayward red sock.

You can get the whites back to their original brilliance with minimal effort if you learn how to fix white clothes turned pink after drying. If you react quickly, you can almost always save your clothes.

But, if you ignore this sticky problem, it will be too late by the time the laundry is dry.