About Color Remover, Discharge Paste, and Bleach
  • We get a lot of questions about the workings of and differences between color remover, discharge paste, and bleach. In textile dyeing it's often usefull to know not only the steps to achieve a result but also what's happening behind the scenes, so to speak.

    To that end our intrepid chemist, Michael Katz, has put together a detailed explanation of the inner workings of these three chemicals. See it at: About Color Remover, Discharge Paste, and Bleach.
  • I can't see the article attached to this link. Since I am changing the color of a formal that I bought at goodwill.
  • Thank you for bringing this to our attention - we'll see about repairing this link in the next couple of days. In the time being you can find this article at our website in the FAQ's.
  • I use thiox, soda ash and heat to do my discharging and have come across items that will not discharge or as you stated in your article return to their original color after the discharge bath.
    You mentioned "The answer is that vat dyes needs to be reduced to go into solution." I'm not clear, is there another reducing agent that can be used to get those dyed fabrics to hold the discharge? Or am I reading this wrong? Thanks, Jo
  • Hi Jo,
    This questions really gets to the heart of vat dye chemistry. Vat dyes require reducing agents to become water-soluble, and reducing agents and discharge chemicals are one and the same thing. A vat dye will not dissolve in water unless it is in its reduced (oxygen-free) form (often called the leuko state). The fiber is immersed repeatedly in this oxygen-free dyebath, then exposed to the air, whereupon the water-soluble, reduced form develops its color as oxygen turns it to the water-insoluble form. Indigo is an example of this dye class; it changes from yellow, in the dyebath, to green and then blue as the air hits it. When you try to discharge a vat dye, you are reducing it and putting it back into its leuko state. It will lose its color only until it is exposed to oxygen (air) again and re-oxidizes. This is why the color can return after discharging. The only way to successfully discharge a vat dye is to rinse out the reduced dye while it is in its water-soluable, leuko state. This can be tricky, but it is not impossible. Once you see that the color has discharged (or in this case, reduced to the leuko state), you must rinse it out quickly and thoroughly. (Use Synthrapol for best results). The more of the reduced dye you can rinse out, the more it will "hold" the discharge...
    I hope this is helpful!
  • Thank you Asher...very helpful to know what's happening. I've discovered this a little on my own when I've come across garments that won't discharge down to a light color.
    I have been rinsing immediately after the discharge bath, getting some varying results. Though I've never tried rinsing with synthrapol at that point. I will give it a try.
    Thanks again, Jo
  • Following the directions to boil on stove top, I just used idye color remover on a 100% cotton, indigo colored jacket. Absolutely NOTHING happened. The color remained exactly the same and the water in which it had been immersed was likewise unchanged. I then tried again, again following directions, this time trying to remove the color from an ivory/beige jacket that was 50% cotton and 50% poly. Again, nothing happened AT ALL. I was planning to dye the ivory/beige jacket with a packet of idye violet and a packet of idye poly violet. Since idye'd color remover had absolutely no impact on the jacket, should I even attempt to dye it using the dual idye/poly idye combination? And for that matter, what about the all - cotton item that the idye color remover likewise had no impact on? If I try to dye these items with the idyes I have bought, what is the likelihood that they will take on any new coloring?? I am so disappointed--- I had really assumed it would all work fine!
    Hope someone will respond soon!
  • Lynda,

    Please see my response to your other post.

  • Hi! I love your products, but I made a mistake when I used iDye Poly on my 100% polyester dress. IDye Poly worked well, but I want to remove some (a shade) of it because it is a bit dark. How can I do that?
  • Hi Rachel,

    That will be a bit tricky. You could use the iDye Color Remover in a dilute form, or with warm rather than hot water and you may be able to lighten the color a bit.
    The tricky part comes in controlling the amount of lightening and in the possibility that the particular color you have dyed with may shift to a different hue with the removal. Take a look at this page for more information: http://jacquardproducts.com/color-removers.html

    hope this helps

    Hi Folks & Rachel,

    I happened to be randomly reviewing some past posts and realized as I re-read this that I gave Rachel bad advice!!!:(:(:(
    iDye Color Remover will not work to remove iDye Poly colors - it works only on natural fiber dyes such as iDye for Natural Fibers and Procion MX.
    Please accept my most humble apologies!
  • Hi Everyone

    In terms of stamping and printing what is the general consensus in how the new bleach gels work as a substitute for creating pastes ? And layering different products in one time-window on the same piece of black fabric ? Pros and cons; notes on results received requested here.