Testing for colourfastness

Ever needed to find out if the dye in a garment will run? Try this simple test for colourfastness.

How to test for colourfastness

Black dog in a laundry basket

To test the colourfastness of a garment, dampen a small area of hem or inside seam, then iron a piece of white fabric or kitchen paper onto it. If any colour blots off, then the garment is not colourfast. It should be washed separately in cold water and rinsed immediately. Non colourfast garments should not be left to soak. If the colour is poorly fixed, dry cleaning would be safer, provided the care label allows it. 

When following stain removal advice, it is wise to test the article for colourfastness prior to treatment. Testing is best carried out on a small inconspicuous part of the garment (eg. an inside seam) using the chemical recommended for stain removal.

Back to top


We are always looking to connect with people who have an interest in a sustainable future.


Contact Unilever and our expert teams to find contacts around the world.

Contact us