I love Easter and everything that children love about Easter too. We dyed Easter eggs when we were children and my husband and I have enjoyed continuing that tradition with our daughter each year. However, I now understand why my own mother dreaded the entire project each year – – the Easter egg dye stains on everything from the countertop to my clothing. Removing Easter egg dye from clothing may seem like a tough job but not when you know the Easter Bunny’s secrets for removing dye from clothing.
I try the easy way first (no sense in doing more work than is necessary when you would rather be hiding Easter eggs with your child). Act quickly, apply a liquid laundry detergent directly to the dye stain and leave on the stain for at least five minutes (no more than six or seven minutes). Rub the laundry detergent into the stain while rinsing the stain with cold water. Apply a pre-treatment stain remover and according to the directions before washing the garment as normal. Allow to air dry to make sure that the egg dye is completely gone.
If the simple method of removing the egg dye does not work, try soaking the garment in a solution of warm water and oxygen-based bleach overnight. If the stain remains in the morning, repeat the process one more night and then launder as normal. This may or may not remove the egg dye depending on the type of dye used in the kit but it seems to work well for food coloring stains on clothing.
White vinegar is always a good stain-removing agent; therefore, if you have tried the soaking and the laundry detergent with no luck, apply white vinegar to the egg dye stain. Cover with a clean cotton pad and apply pressure to soak up the vinegar (and hopefully the stain). Repeat several times before you launder and allow to air dry.
Rubbing alcohol is a popular stain remover that you may want to use as a last ditch effort before throwing the garment in the rag bin. Rub the alcohol into the stain, rinse and launder. Furthermore, some people swear by hairspray as a stain remover for all sorts of things including Easter egg dye. Spray the dye stain with a generous amount of hair spray then launder as normal and allow to air dry. Hydrogen peroxide is also an excellent stain remover that may be worth a try if none of the above methods has worked. Apply 3% hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain, rinse well and then launder as normal.
Easter egg dye can be very difficult to remove from clothing and may require repeating the method several times before removing the stain.
Cornell University, College of Human Ecology