Using RIT Dye in a Washing Machine

Why don't my clothes get dark enough when I dye them in the washer?

By Dayle from Memphis, TN

Anonymous Flag
January 14, 20100 found this helpful

Sometimes you need to use more than one box, also the water to dye ratio might be off from what is suggested on the box of RIT when done in the washing machine. Dying in you washing machine can dye your washing machine, I would suggest using a rubbermaid tub instead.

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January 14, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with more dye. The mistake I made one time was not adding the salt to aid in the dye working especially with cottons.

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January 14, 20100 found this helpful

I've tried this and found the water in the washer didn't get hot enough and didn't stay in the machine long enough (rinse cycle kicks in after 10 or 15 minutes) for dark results. You also need several packages when using the washer.

I got way better results by using a bucket with very hot water and hand stirring and leaving the cloth in for a longer time, until I was satisfied with the result (Or you shut the machine off before it goes into the rinsing cycle, until the dye is dark enough ). Hope this helps.

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January 15, 20100 found this helpful

I agree that there are probably 2 things wrong.

1. You need more dye in the washer because there is probably more water there - even on the lowest setting than 1 box or bottle of dye requires.

2. The dye doesn't stay in the washer long enough.

To correct this, set a timer for slightly less time than the longest wash cycle. For example, if your longest cycle is 15 minutes, set the timer for 12 minutes.

Then the timer goes off, turn the washer off and reset it back to 15 minutes. You might have to do this 3 or 4 times.

Just be sure to reset it each time before the washer starts to drain.

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January 18, 20100 found this helpful

I think using two packages of the dye is a good idea. When I dye clothes in the washer, I make sure I follow all of the instructions on the box. I also mix the dye in a disposable cup with some water before I put it into the washer. Then after it is all done, I leave the items in the washer and wash them as I would normally do (except without soap), using cold water and on a regular cycle. I think this helps to set the color, and it also helps get rid of any dye that may be left in the washer. Good luck!

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January 18, 20100 found this helpful

The best way to dye clothes the colour you want is to find a big pot, fill it with water and boil the dye and clothes together on the stove until the desired colour is reached.

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February 3, 20110 found this helpful

The thing I want to dye can't be soaked in hot water because I don't want it to shrink. So, will RIT work in cold water?

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October 30, 20110 found this helpful

I don't know about the quality of other dyes, but I was not impressed with RIT. The colour on the box isn't even remotely what you will get. Their "Dark Green" is some wacky bluish greyish green, and this was after using two packs, salt and boiling water and soaking/stirring for two hours (the fabric was under 3 meters and an average weight cotton blend). Even their kelly green lacks intensity. I guess this is why RIT doesn't provide fabric swatches to craft stores - you would then know how crappy it would turn out and not buy it. I think the only thing this dye is good for is renewing the intensity of faded black clothing. That I've done and been happy with the results.

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January 14, 2010 Flag
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Can I dye a sweatshirt with RIT dye in a front loading washing machine?

By Glen1Co from Lafayette, IN


Using RIT Dye in a Washing Machine

No, the dye will get into the little areas you don't think about and will give "shed" color to items over the next few washings afterward. If you do decide to use your washer, be sure to run at least 3 empty loads (waste of water and power) with 2 cups white vinegar in the water, no soap but it can also stain any light plastic parts as well. Best solution is to either use a 5 gallon bucket and do it the "hippie way," lol. Or go to the local pay laundry, you will be glad you did! (09/17/2009)

By Beau D

Using RIT Dye in a Washing Machine

Please do not use a pay laundry and possibly be ruining the clothes of the next one, two, three and possibly four users after you.

If you have a large aluminum (or other large non-porous kitchen) sink, just dye the article in the sink (or a non-porous bathtub). You can use a large spoon to keep stirring the water and fabric for even dyeing, or wear rubber or plastic gloves. Then rinse well, soak in vinegar and water (to set the color), rinse again, soak in dish soap, rinse again, and then put the article in your washing machine. If you don't have a non-porous sink or bathtub, then use a large bucket or large plastic tub and use the same recipe. (09/24/2009)

By Deeli

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September 16, 2009 Flag
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How do I dye 20 white kids t-shirts with orange RIT dye in my washing machine?



Using RIT Dye in a Washing Machine

I love using my washer to dye items. The only thing I do different is run the washer as soon as you finish with only water and bleach. Also use you manners and never dye using public coin washer. You would hate it if someone did it and your clothes picked up their dye, don't risk dying someone else's clothes. (11/12/2008)

By Randa

Using RIT Dye in a Washing Machine

I always use RIT dye in my machine. I have never had any trouble with it coming out, or with it bleeding off the fabric. I also only use one package, but I always set my machine on low and never fill it too full. One pack is only suppose to dye a couple of things, so if you fill the tub full and stuff it with stuff to dye of course it won't dye well. Use salt and about a tablespoon of laundry soap. I use the longest wash cycle, and when it's almost done with the agitation part I reset it to agitate one more time. It's fun to make your own colors too, RIT has a chart with formulas for making more colors. (01/03/2009)

By lucine

Using RIT Dye in a Washing Machine

It should work well in the washer, just follow the instructions RIT dye provides and the washer shouldn't stain. If you are doing 20 shirts at once you may want 2 or 3 packs of dye. (02/28/2009)

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November 10, 2008 Flag
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How do you use Rit dye in a front loader washer?

Tudi from Lilliwaup


Using RIT Dye in a Front Loader Washer

First run your items through a rinse cycle so they are wet and went through a spin cycle and take them out lay as side then follow the directions here that follow. Your dying color contrast will be stronger if your items are wet first when they go into the dye bath.

I have a top loader washer and I have dyed things for years using it both the powder kind and liquid type. The best way is to fill your machine with the hottest water, and the largest water fill line.

Then while it's sitting still hold your hand down close to the water slowly pour your dye around the water in a circle then close your lid just briefly let it agitate for a second or two then push in your knob to stop the machine then gently put your wet items back into the washer letting all the pieces be in there evenly proportioned. Then let it agitate again for about 5 minutes. Then let it set for a while so the color sets in your items then just follow through with the cycles as usual.

As soon as your done and take them out dry them to set in your color. and then immediately fill your wash with an empty hottest longest fullest line water level cycle and add bleach and soap to your cycle. It will clean your basin and will be good as normal.

Although I do not know if front end loaders do this method or not. You can also take them to the laundromat and follow the same exact method. Just use the hottest water possible and lift the lid so they can set for awhile in the dye then run through as usual.

Remember to get your weight in fabric right to match your number of dye solutions if not your items will be lighter than you want. Good luck. (02/04/2008)

By theseamstress

Using RIT Dye in a Front Loader Washer

I hope it's an older washer that you don't care about because Rit Dye could very easily ruin it PERMANENTLY. It can stain the inside & the color can come off the stained washer & on to clothes in the future. Sometimes you can just run a load of Bleach water through after dying to help remove the dye stains from the washer.

I've run Rit through my washer & it stained it. The bleach did help, but it never was the quite the same! Because the water wasn't quite hot enough, the dye didn't get as dark as I'd have like it to!

PLUS: If you do dye in the wash the water is never hot enough to really do the trick! If I were you I'd dye on the stove top with BOILING water! AND: Rit Brand dye is not a good dye. In fact, I've dyed lots & lots of things (being a fiber artist).Rit is a "fugitive" dye; which means it not only fades in the sunshine, but your dyed item will get lighter each time you wash it (kind of like denim does).

Also, you should choose your dye based on the fiber content of what you're dying. For example, Rit won't dye synthetics very well, & wool/silk & other "protein" fibers need their own special type of dye. Rit is basically only good for Cotton & Rayon, & even with those "easy-to-dye" fabrics. Rit still sucks! It's a cheap, low-end dye. Sold to mainly to people who don't know where they can purchase a much higher quality dye for the same price as Rit!

Here's were you can purchase some really good dyes for the same price as Rit:

Call these guys up they REALLY know all about dyes: (They have given me very good information over the phone OR with e-mail, Plus, they're super nice too!)

Tel: (800) 542-5227 Toll-free from anywhere in the USA & Canada
Tel: (415) 456-7657 Everywhere else

For those of you who want to dye Cotton, Viscose, Rayon, Linen or Raw Silk without any hassle, You can use InkoDye. It works with Sunshine instead of Heat! Just saturate or paint or tye-dye a design on your fabric, Then simply lay it out in the sunshine... And you'll have a permanent, bright, colorfully dyed piece in an hour or less! Super Fun for kids, & they can do this outside, so no mess or worry! Inkodye is a liquid vat dye (a very, very permanent type of dye). It can be set by ironing, steaming, baking, or my favorite, good 'ol sunlight. You can even stamp with it!


Permanent dye in a pastel-like "crayon":


By Cyinda

Using RIT Dye In A Washing Machine

Some feedback posters don't understand the difference between front load and top load washers. I had a front load washer and I know that it just wouldn't work to dye in it. The point of a front loader is that it uses less water.

Since the first line of advice in the Rit Dye website's instructions for washing machine dyeing is: "Fill machine with enough water for fabric to move freely", you know right off that you can't achieve this. Constant agitation in ample water determines your success in even coloring. Can't be done in a front loader.

Another misconception I noticed is that many consider Rit Dye to be an inferior product. In fact, Rit does not produce vivid color unless you use a lot of it. This, I learned in Fabric Science class at Fashion Institute of Technology, is because Rit contains a cocktail of dye molecules, some of which will bond to cotton or rayon, some to wool or silk, some to polyester or nylon, etc. (vegetable, protein and thermoplastic fibers).

This makes it an all-purpose product. It doesn't dye anything particularly vividly, but it dyes just about everything somewhat. So it does what it does well for what it is.

By judy

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February 4, 2008 Flag
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A load of red dyed clothing in a front loader washing machine.
Dyeing Clothing in the Washing Machine
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