Using RIT Dye in a Washing Machine

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One method of dyeing clothing is in the washer. This is a page about using RIT dye in a washing machine.


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January 14, 2010

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

By Dayle Branson from Memphis, TN


January 14, 20103 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

Reply Was this helpful? 3
January 15, 20102 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 10, 2008

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 Julie

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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January 14, 2010

Can I dye a sweatshirt with RIT dye in a front loading washing machine?

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September 16, 2009

How do I dye 20 white kids t-shirts with orange RIT dye in my washing machine?

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February 4, 2008
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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February 4, 2008
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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