Does Rit make a white dye?

Name: Milly
Message: Hi, I purchased a 100% cotton duvet and sham set for my bedroom. However, it's a sort of cream color (which I detest). I would like to have it be a nice clean white. Is this possible? Does Rit make a white dye? Or do I just use the Whitener? Or?


Rit Color

Dyers like to say that white dye is called water. Dye is transparent, so a white dye would have no effect on the color you place it on top of.

Removing dye from fabric is called discharging. Discharging agents include chlorine bleach and sodium hydrosulfite. (See What chemicals can be used to remove dye?.) Synthetic fabrics cannot be discharged, but often cotton can be. Does your duvet have a care label telling you not to bleach it? If not, you can choose between household bleach and Rit® brand Color Remover, which is sodium hydrosulfite. Sometimes one works better, sometimes the other does. Sometimes neither one has any effect. Just do not combine them; use only one at a time, and wash the duvet thoroughly in between the two products, if you decide to try both. Rit Color Remover may be less damaging to the fabric than chlorine bleach. You will need several packages. Be sure to follow the package directions carefully.

Rit® White-Wash is another product that contains sodium hydrosulfite; it also contains soda ash. I suspect it to be a less powerful formulation than Rit Color Remover, for removing color.

Rit's manufacturer, Phoenix Brands, also sells an optical whitener, called Rit® Whitener & Brightener, which can make a fabric treated with it look brighter. It does this by absorbing invisible ultraviolet light and changing it to white light. It will not change a cream colored fabric to white, but it may make a white one more attractive. Your best results would probably come from using two or three boxes of Rit Color Remover, washing that out, and then using Rit Whitener & Brightener.

[Updated January 20, 2007]

Posted: Thursday - January 27, 2005 at 08:07 PM          

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