I have dyed a pair of jeans with navy blue Dylon dye. What can I buy off the shelf or online to remove this colour ?

Name: Charlotte


Rit dye powder- color remover 2 oz

Rit Color Remover

Rit Color Remover removes or reduces fabric color before dyeing. It will also safely remove dye stains on solid white items washed by mistake with colored items.



Jacquard color remover

Jacquard Color Remover

This highly concentrated liquid takes existing color and stains out of fabrics while it whitens. Unlike bleach, it removes color gently, without damaging fibers.


Country or region: England

Message: I have dyed a pair of jeans with navy blue Dylon dye and they have come out a dark navy, almost black. I should have researched this before dyeing the jeans as I now know you cannot keep the jean look using dylon dye. What can I buy off the shelf or online to remove this colour and maybe dye a different colour, i.e. dark grey, or simply fade the blue. I have read lots of reviews that Dylon pre dye does not work. Can you suggest anything else? I have looked at your links but cannot see anything available online or in the shops? Thank you in advance for your help.

The reducing-type color removers, such as Dylon Pre Dye, are not effective on indigo, the dye usually used in the commercial dyeing of blue denim for jeans. However, they're a good type of discharge agent for removing Dylon dye colors. They will usually work, though not always. There are many different brands, inn addition to Dylon Pre Dye, but all are pretty similar in their effects, if used with sufficiently hot water: Rit Color Remover, Jacquard Color Remover (based on a different chemical than Rit Color Remover), Tintex Color Remover. (See my page, "What chemicals can be used to remove dye?", and scroll down to "Reductive Discharges".) All require very hot water; all are kinder to synthetic fibers than bleach is. If you can't find Dylon Pre Dye or another of these reducing-type color removers in the local shops, you can order sodium hydrosulphate and sodium carbonate from Kemtex Educational supplies, in the UK; see my page, "Sources for Dyeing Supplies Around the World".

If you want to remove some of the original color of the jeans, in addition to the Dylon dye you added, then ordinary household bleach, which contains sodium hypochlorite, is a good choice for 100% cotton. However, I recommend against using hypochlorite-containing bleach if your jeans contain any spandex, also known as Lycra or elastane. Hypochlorite bleach is highly damaging to spandex. Even for 100% cotton, you should be careful not to over-bleach, which may damage the cotton, and it's a good idea to neutralize the hypochlorite afterwards with Anti-Chlor, Bleach Stop, or hydrogen peroxide: see "How can I neutralize the damaging effects of chlorine bleach?". (Neutralizing does not work to save spandex from bleach damage.)

Sulfur-based color removers, such as Dylon Pre Dye, will only temporarily appear to remove the original indigo dye, as they chemically reduce it, but the indigo then returns to its original color when exposed to air. This means that you won't be able to immediately judge by looking at it the effectiveness of color remover, including Dylon Pre Dye, if you try it on indigo jeans that have been overdyed with Dylon dye. It will look as though the indigo has turned yellow, but the indigo itself will be unchanged afterwards, back to its original blue color.

That doesn't mean that a sulfur-based color remover won't work well to remove your Dylon dye. That will probably work pretty well, though there's no guarantee. It might remove all of the Dylon dye, returning your jeans to their original color, or it may remove just some of it; if it removes some of the Dylon dye, the result may be a surprising color, such as pink or brown. At least some types of Dylon navy blue dye contain a mixture of black, blue, and red dye; if the black and the blue dye were to discharge better than the red, then you would be left with pink. It's worth trying in any case. It may restore your jeans to nearly their original color, or it may only yield a lighter color that is more suitable for dyeing over.

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Posted: Wednesday - March 06, 2013 at 07:09 AM          

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