How to Get a Fabric Dye Stain Off a Purse

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Dye from your clothing can transfer to your purse if it brushes up against your new blue jeans or red T-shirt. If that happens, you should take steps as quickly as possible to remove the fabric dye stain from your purse. The method may vary depending on whether you're dealing with stains on a fabric purse or a leather purse.

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Things You'll Need

  • Liquid dishwashing soap

  • White vinegar

  • Clean white cloths

  • Fabric-safe bleach or chlorine bleach

Removing Dye Stains From a Fabric Purse

If your purse is made of fabric, you can try spot-cleaning the stain to try to remove it.

Step 1: Make a Cleaning Solution

Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 2 cups of cold water. Dip a clean white cloth into the solution and wipe it on the stain to fully saturate it.

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Step 2: Blot off the Stain

Allow the solution to remain on the stain for at least half an hour. Blot the stain with a clean cloth every five minutes or so to soak up any stain that's been removed. After each blotting, add more solution and allow it to sit for another five minutes before blotting again.

Step 3: Remove Soapy Water

Wet a clean white cloth with cool, clean water. Wring it out and blot the stain to absorb all the remaining soapy solution.

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Step 4: Try Bleach if Needed

If some of the fabric dye stain remains, you can try treating the spot with a solution made from water and fabric-safe bleach using the same soak-and-blot technique. If the purse is made from a white or colorfast fabric, you can try using a mix of chlorine bleach and water. Before using chlorine bleach, test a small, inconspicuous area of the purse to make sure the fabric really is color safe.

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Removing Dye Transfer From a Leather Purse

If you're dealing with color transfer on a leather purse, your best bet is to apply a commercial leather cleaner to the stain. Follow the package directions for applying the cleaner to the handbag and removing it.

If the leather cleaner doesn't work, you may be able to use a commercial, solvent-based cleaner such as Goof Off. Before applying such a product to your leather purse, test it on a hidden area of the handbag to make sure it won't remove color.

The University of Iowa Extension Office warns that stains are difficult to remove from leather because the material is highly absorbent and dyes soak in deeply. Additionally, any technique you use to try to remove a stain can remove the dyes used to color the leather in the first place. For that reason, many experts recommend that you not try to remove stains from a leather purse yourself. Instead, take it to a professional cleaner who knows how to treat leather.

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