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Important Notes

Instructions

  1. To determine how much dye is needed, weigh the item to be dyed on a food scale or estimate the weight. As a general guideline, one liquid bottle / two powder packages dyes two pounds of dry fabric. If you are trying to achieve a very bold color, then double the dye quantity.
  2. Fiber content and weight effect how color appears. If you are in doubt as to whether your fabric will accept dye or achieve the color you want, we recommend testing a swatch first.
  3. Before dyeing, remove any visibile stains on the garment. This will help achieve uniform color results when dyeing. Pre-wash item in warm, soapy water. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
  4. Cover work area with plastic table cover and have paper towels handy to protect against any possible spills.
  5. Wear rubber gloves to protect hands from getting stained and to insulate them when working with hot water.
  6. Fill a plastic container or stainless steel sink with enough water for the fabric to move freely. We recommend using three gallons of water for every pound of fabric. The water should ideally be 140ºF. If tap water is not hot enough, heat water on the stove and add to the dyebath.
  7. To enhance the color: (1) add one cup of salt when dyeing fabrics containing cotton, rayon, ramie or linen; (2) add one cup of vinegar when dyeing fabrics containing nylon, silk or wool.
  8. Add 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to help promote level dyeing.
  9. If using powder dye, dissolve thoroughly in 2 cups of very hot water.
  10. Pour dissolved powder dye or well-shaken liquid dye into dyebath and mix well.
  11. Test color by dipping a paper towel into the dyebath. If color is too light, add more dye. If color is too dark, add more water.
  12. Wet the item you are going to be dyeing and add it to the dyebath.
  13. Stir slowly and continuously. The first 10 minutes are the most critical. Stirring helps to ensure an even color with no splotches.
  14. Item can remain in dyebath from 10 minutes up to one hour. If dyeing a polyester cotton blend, keep the fabric in the dyebath for at least 30 minutes to ensure that the color takes fully.  Nylon tends to dye very quickly and much darker than other fibers so the actual time needed in the dyebath is less.
  15. When desired color is achieved, remove from dyebath. Fabric will look darker when wet and will dry lighter.
  16. To enhance the color and reduce color bleeding, use Rit ColorStay Dye Fixativeimmediately after dyeing and before washing, following these instructions.
  17. Rinse in cool water until rinse water begins to run clear.
  18. Wash in warm water with a mild detergent, rinse and dry.
  1. To determine how much dye is needed, weigh the item to be dyed on a food scale or estimate the weight. As a general guideline, one liquid bottle / two powder packages dyes two pounds of dry fabric. If you are trying to achieve a very bold color, then double the dye quantity.
  2. Fiber content and weight effect how color appears. If you are in doubt as to whether your fabric will accept dye or achieve the color you want, we recommend testing a swatch first.
  3. Before dyeing, remove any visibile stains on the garment. This will help achieve uniform color results when dyeing. Pre-wash item in warm, soapy water. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
  4. Cover work area with plastic table cover or newspaper and have paper towels handy to protect against any possible spills.
  5. Wear rubber gloves to protect hands from getting stained and to insulate them when working with hot water.
  6. Fill a stainless steel pot with enough water for the fabric to move freely. We recommend using three gallons of water for every pound of fabric.
  7. To enhance the color: (1) add one cup of salt when dyeing fabrics containing cotton, rayon, ramie or linen; (2) add one cup of vinegar when dyeing fabrics containing nylon, silk or wool.
  8. Add 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to help promote level dyeing.
  9. Cover pot and heat water on stove top to just below boiling (or 180 F°).
  10. If using powder dye, dissolve thoroughly in 2 cups of very hot water.
  11. When water begins to simmer, pour dissolved powder dye or well-shaken liquid dye into dyebath and mix well.
  12. Test color by dipping a paper towel into the dyebath. If color is too light, add more dye. If color is too dark, add more water.
  13. Wet the item you are going to be dyeing and add it to the dye bath.
  14. Keep temperature at a low simmer for the duration of your dyeing.
  15. Stir slowly and continuously. The first 10 minutes are the most critical. Stirring helps to ensure an even color with no splotches.
  16. Item can remain in dyebath from 10 minutes up to one hour. If dyeing a polyester cotton blend, keep the fabric in the dyebath for at least 30 minutes to ensure that the color takes fully.  Nylon tends to dye very quickly and much darker than other fibers so the actual time needed in the dyebath is less.
  17. When desired color is achieved, remove from dye bath. Fabric will look darker when wet and will dry lighter. Squeeze out excess dye.
  18. To enhance the color and reduce color bleeding, use Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative immediately after dyeing and before washing, following these instructions.
  19. Rinse in warm water and then gradually cool water until rinse water begins to run clear.
  20. Wash in warm water with a mild detergent, rinse and dry.

A note about dye and washing machines: If you have never used dye in a washing machine, we get why you would be nervous! Who wants a purple washing machine? Well, maybe us. Nonetheless, we can promise you Rit won’t permanently stain any metal component on your machine. Rit has been used in washing machines for decades, dating back to the time when the electric washing machine was invented in the 1950s. We coined the phrase “Push Button Color!” in the early 60s to promote the marriage between Rit and washing machines. We even launched liquid dye just so that it would be easier to use Rit in your machine. With that much history, you can feel confident that your washing machine will stay dye free for decades to come.

With the growing popularity of front loading washing machines, we have found that dye may stain the plastic parts around the machine if it is not cleaned up right away; so it’s important to clean up immediately after dyeing, which we detail how below. 

Front Loader Instructions

To determine how much dye is needed, reference this load size guide. If you are trying to achieve a very bold color, then double the dye ratio.

Small

Gloves, lingerie, tights, socks, scarves, t-shirt, blouse, shirt, vest, pillow cover, placemats, doilies, sheer curtains

Dry Weight of Fabric
1/4 to 1 lb

Liquid
1/4 to 1/2 bottle

Powder
1/2 to 1 box

Medium

Jeans, pants, dress, skirt, uniform, sweatshirt, tablecloth, dust ruffle, canvas tote bag

Dry Weight of Fabric
1 to 1 1/2 lbs

Liquid
1/2 to 1 bottle

Powder
1 to 2 boxes

Extra Medium

Jogging suit, sweater, robe, denim jacket, bath mat (not rubber-backed)

Dry Weight of Fabric
1 1/2 to 3 lbs

Liquid
1 to 2 bottles

Powder
2 to 3 boxes

Large

Curtains/draperies, 4 hand towels plus washcloths, sheet plus 2 pillowcases

Dry Weight of Fabric
4 to 6 lbs

Liquid
2 to 3 bottles

Powder
4 to 6 boxes

Extra Large

Bedspread, chair slipcover, 2 double sheets plus 4 pillowcases, throw rug (not rubber-backed), blanket.

Dry Weight of Fabric
6 to 8 lbs

Liquid
3 to 4 bottles

Powder
6 to 8 boxes

  1. Before dyeing, remove any visibile stains on the garment. This will help achieve uniform color results when dyeing. Pre-wash item in warm, soapy water. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
  2. Wet fabric and place item(s) in the washing machine.
  3. Set water temperature to the hottest possible setting and a wash cycle of at least 30 minutes or longer. The longer the item is in the dye, the darker the color will be.
  4. Wearing rubber gloves, mix powder or well-shaken liquid dye with 4 cups of very hot water. Stir well.
  5. In a separate container, dissolve 1 cup of salt in 4 cups of very hot water if dyeing natural fibers like cotton or linen. If dyeing silk or nylon, mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 2 to 4 cups of hot tap water.
  6. Add 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to the container to help promote level dyeing.
  7. Start the cycle.
  8. Remove detergent cup from detergent tray.
  9. Pour the dye solution into the dispenser.  Then, pour the salt or vinegar solution. Flush the dispenser thoroughly with 4 more cups of hot tap water.
  10. To enhance the color and reduce color bleeding, use Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative immediately after dyeing and before washing, following these instructions.
  11. Rewash item in warm water with mild detergent.
  12. To clean the washing machine: Wipe around the inside of the lid and pour a little bleach through the internal dispenser (if there is one) as dyes can get into these areas. Then, fill washer to the highest water level there is and select the hottest water temperature setting. Add detergent with 2 cups of chlorine bleach and run a full wash cycle with 3 old towels.

Top Loader Instructions

To determine how much dye is needed, reference this load size guide.  If you are trying to achieve a very bold color, then double the dye ratio.

Small

Gloves, lingerie, tights, socks, scarves, t-shirt, blouse, shirt, vest, pillow cover, placemats, doilies, sheer curtains

Dry Weight of Fabric
1/4 to 1 lb

Liquid
1/4 to 1/2 bottle

Powder
1/2 to 1 box

Medium

Jeans, pants, dress, skirt, uniform, sweatshirt, tablecloth, dust ruffle, canvas tote bag

Dry Weight of Fabric
1 to 1 1/2 lbs

Liquid
1/2 to 1 bottle

Powder
1 to 2 boxes

Extra Medium

Jogging suit, sweater, robe, denim jacket, bath mat (not rubber-backed)

Dry Weight of Fabric
1 1/2 to 3 lbs

Liquid
1 to 2 bottles

Powder
2 to 3 boxes

Large

Curtains/draperies, 4 hand towels plus washcloths, sheet plus 2 pillowcases

Dry Weight of Fabric
4 to 6 lbs

Liquid
2 to 3 bottles

Powder
4 to 6 boxes

Extra Large

Bedspread, chair slipcover, 2 double sheets plus 4 pillowcases, throw rug (not rubber-backed), blanket.

Dry Weight of Fabric
6 to 8 lbs

Liquid
3 to 4 bottles

Powder
6 to 8 boxes

  1. Before dyeing, remove any visibile stains on the garment. This will help achieve uniform color results when dyeing. Pre-wash item in warm, soapy water. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
  2. Using the hottest water setting, fill the machine with enough water for the fabric to move freely.
  3. Shake liquid dye bottle and add dye to machine. Powder dye should be pre-dissolved in two cups of hot water and then added to machine. Mix well to evenly distribute the dye.
  4. Wet fabric and place item(s) in the washing machine.
  5. If dyeing natural fibers like cotton or linen, add one cup of salt to the dyebath. If dyeing silk or nylon, add one cup of white vinegar to the dyebath. Mix well.
  6. Add 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to help promote level dyeing.
  7. Items should be in the dyebath for a minimum of thirty minutes to a maximum of one hour before the rinse cycle begins. Use an extended setting, or reset the setting before the rinse cycle starts to extend the wash time. Note that the longer the item is in the dyebath, the darker the color will be. For bulky items, such as draperies or large slipcovers, we recommend stopping the wash load periodically to detangle and unwind the item. This will help prevent uneven dyeing and lighter areas from forming. Remember to wear rubber gloves when handling the item mid-cycle.
  8. To enhance the color and reduce color bleeding, use Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative immediately after dyeing and before washing, following these instructions.
  9. Rewash item in warm water with mild detergent.
  10. To clean the washing machine: Wipe around the inside of the lid and pour a little bleach through the internal dispenser (if there is one) as dyes can get into these areas. Then, fill washer to the highest water level there is and select the hottest water temperature setting. Add detergent with 2 cups of chlorine bleach and run a full wash cycle with 3 old towels.

 

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