Hi, amberko !
Oops, what a disaster ! I take it everything's come out in a murky
shade of not-quite-any-colour.
Note: Ace-researcher drew this question to my attention - thank you,
There are a couple of ways out of this, but be prepared for mixed
results depending on the fabric. Obviously you don't want to use very
hot water methods on the wool.
If what you've got is a blotchy wash, rather than a uniformly coloured
wash, try a a product called by Dylon called Dylon Colour Safe
Runaway. It is described as:
" the easy way to remove most stains caused by non-fast colours
running in the wash. Unlike other colour run removers this product is
completely safe and effective to use on coloured fabrics ensuring they
survive those mixed wash disasters." It is designed to be used in your
If you want to take drastic measures, particularly on the garments
that started out white, try common or garden household bleach,
available from the supermarket. Get the liquid kind if you can.
Wear old clothes in case of splashes, and protective gloves are a good
idea. Work where it's well ventilated (there'll be a strong smell of
chlorine), and you might want to wear eye protection. Remember, this
is the stuff made to clean the loo.
Make a fairly strong solution. Test - say the panties - by putting a
little bit directly on the fabric. You should see the colour simply
disappear. If that's what happens, soak the garment in bleach or a
strong solution of bleach until all the colour has gone, then wash
normally, perhaps with siome Nappisan thrown in.
With the jumpers, test first on some corner that isn't going to show.
If this seems a bit fierce, try Dylon fabric colour stripper. See web
This is sutable for natural fibres and for nylon, but not so good for
"wool or silk, polyester, acetate, acrylics or fabrics with special
finishes." It returns the fabric to a neutral shade suitable for
overdying. With the wool, be warned, and try to test first, preferably
on a jumper that isn't your favurite !
An alternative product is Dylon pre-dye.
Some of the Dylon range can be used in your washing machine making
them really convenient to use, though these are not colourfast, so
must be washed spearately or dry-cleaned after dying. The range is
widely available through pharmacies as well as craft shops such as
Spotlight and Lincraft. Big W and Kmart also have some stock. A
fabric chart and tips on using the products are also on their
Australian site at:
Whatever you try, you are unlikely to get back that really bright
white new look, though you may get a soft white that pleases you. If
not, consider dying the garments to anther colour. For bright fun
colours and simplicity of use use the Dylon colours again.
For wool, use their Cold Water Dye but follow their special
instructions for wool which include using hot (not boiling) water
instead of cold and fixing with vinegar instead of their Dye Fix:
The colours will come out softer than they will on cotton.
Gold Cross pharmacies stock a similar range of products of their own.
If you prefer very natural colours and can be bothered with the
trouble, boiled brown onion skins give a lovely natural gold, and old
tea gives an ecru. (Strain out the tea leaves or throw out the teabag
For onion skins instructions, go to:
For tea dying go to Quilt.com's FAQ page at:
Scroll down for a method of dying in your washing maching.
dye stripper Australia