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How to Use Rit Color Remover to Un-dye Fabric

You’re allowed to change your mind in design. Here’s how to use Rit Color Remover to change the color of fabric you’ve previously dyed.

“The only constant in life is change.” I’m not sure who said this, but I’m pretty sure they were talking about my teenage daughter. Specifically her consistent need for new things in her life.

We are redoing her room for the third time (more on that later) and now she’s going for a white-neutral aesthetic. It’s going to be beautiful, but I’m trying to get creative with my cost-saving measures because I’m sure this won’t be the last time we invest in decorating her space.

That means everything I can re-use, repurpose, or repaint is directly impacting my bottom line on this project.

Don't give up on that project! How to use Rit color remover to un-dye fabric

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Why would I need Rit Color Remover?

As part of her light and airy redesign, she wants plain white curtains. I love me some white curtains, and I’m happy to support her in this endeavor, but I feel like I just dyed her white curtains blue for her last room redo. We did a fun ombre dip-dye effect, which I still love, but it just doesn’t fit her vision.

Enter Rit Color Remover.

As I was mulling over the irony that we used to have white curtains, then we dyed them blue, and now she wants more white curtains, a little memory sparked in the back of my mind. I had been at the craft store recently, and saw a package of color remover on the shelf next to the dyes. At the time I wondered what it was for, and now I knew.

Maybe I can just un-dye the curtains we already have? That would save me at least $20-30 on new curtains.

It was worth a try.

I grabbed a package of color remover for about $5 and came home ready to experiment. What happened next was so fun and exciting I just had to share it with you.

If you’ve seen my other posts about dip-dying things, this process is very similar. Instead of dying your fabric, it just makes the color disappear, like in those old oxy-clean commercials.

Literally, all I did was mix up the powder in a bucket of hot water, and dip the curtains in. I could see the color disappear instantly! It was like a science experiment, where someone else had already done the hard science-y work, and I got to do the fun color changing reveal.

I’m guessing this will probably work best on fabric you have dyed yourself, but I would say give it a try on anything you want to un-color. It’s worth a shot before you go out and buy something new!

How to Use Color Remover

First, you’ll want to get a large 5 gallon bucket or utility sink to mix the solution in. In my case, I put the bucket in my garage sink. (The purple wash on the inside of the bucket is leftover from some previous project.)

A large bucket in a laundry sink, being filled with water

Fill the bucket about half full with hot water and pour in the RIT Color Remover powder. Mix gently with a large paint stir stick or metal kitchen tongs.

Next, carefully submerge the fabric that you’re un-dyeing in the solution. (I’m not sure what kind of chemicals they use, so take basic precautions not to splash any on your skin or eyes.)

Stirring white fabric in a large bucket to remove dye

Leave the fabric in for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until most or all the color is removed. (If you started with a dark or bright dye, the color may not be completely removed but you will be able to dye it a different color without the first color interfering.)

White fabric being lifted out of a bucket, after removing the dye

Take the fabric out and rinse it off. I would personally run the item through the wash if you can, before using or dying a different color.

That’s it, so easy!

Fabric Dyeing and Color Removing Tips

Most Rit dye and color remover works best for cotton and natural fabrics. They make some special dyes for synthetic fabrics as well, so be sure you know what type of fabric you are starting with.

Use gloves! All good science experiments start with safety gear. Gloves aren’t just to keep from turning your fingers blue (I speak from personal dip-dying experience), but also for keeping your skin safe from chemicals.

Be sure to read the instructions on the package before getting started. Most dyes and color remover have different options for use in a washing machine versus a sink/bucket.

For more fabric dyeing ideas, check out how these curtains got dip-dyed blue in the first place, along with this post on dying a cute tote bag.

Rit Dye Remover to the Rescue

I was so relieved that this worked for me to change the color of the fabric on these curtains back to the original color! I wish I would have known this on some of my earlier dip dye projects for my Etsy shop when I occasionally experienced a few dye stains that cost me money and time. This would have been the perfect solution to restore the fabric color to something I could work with. Next time I’ll try this before scrapping the project!

What’s Next for This Project

I can’t show you a finished picture of the curtains in place, or that would give away what we’re doing in her room redo. But check back soon for the whole project, and more thrifty room makeover ideas!

How to Use Rit Color Remover to Un-Dye Fabric

How to Use Rit Color Remover to Un-Dye Fabric

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy - no experience necessary
Estimated Cost: $5

Here's how to use Rit Color Remover to un-dye fabric when you want to change the color.




  1. Fill a large 5 gallon bucket about halfway with hot water.
  2. Add color remover powder and stir.
  3. Submerge the fabric into the bucket and stir gently.
  4. Allow to sit for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When the dye is removed, remove the fabric and rinse thoroughly with cold water.


It's a good idea to use gloves whenever you're working with dye and color remover!

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Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook

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