Dyeing Clothing in the Washing Machine

November 11, 2004

A load of red dyed clothing in a front loader washing machine.Are your teens and preteens begging for the hottest fall look known as "dirty denim"? All you need to do to make them happy is gather these materials and follow the steps.




  1. Turn the washing machine on and let it fill with hot water. You want the water very hot, 140 F. You may need to turn your water heater to "hot" a few hours in advance to achieve this very hot temperature. If you adjust the water heater, warn all of your family members because water this hot can scald youngsters and elderly people in just a few seconds.
  2. Add Rit Tan Powder to the water.
  3. Submerge the jeans and or other items in the mixture and soak for 10 minutes. Close the lid of the washer to maintain the hot temperature.
  4. Rinse items, wash and rinse again. You do not need to add soap.
  5. Dry in the usual manner.
  6. Repeat steps 1 through 5, this time with the Rit Tangerine Liquid to give the denim an added "dirty" look (optional).
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  8. After dyeing, clean the washing machine by running it through a complete wash cycle with detergent and 1 to 2 cups of bleach.

By Kathy

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4 Questions

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 104 Posts
July 19, 2010

I have a large bright yellow bathroom rug that I'd like to dye, but don't know how to go about it. It does not have a rubber backing. Can I dye it in the washing machine? I'd like to dye it either red or black, but I'm afraid black would turn out grey and I don't know what red would look like. Any suggestions?

By Betty


July 19, 20100 found this helpful

Hi! I used to want to dye items like curtains, etc.etc.etc. The only problem with that is that the color fades each time you wash it. I dyed white blankets blue, which were very pretty but after a time they were almost back to white.


If you dye your rug red you would probably end up with an orange color before or even after washing.
If you want to dye something you can do it in the washing machine. Must have very hot water!
Good luck!

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 172 Posts
July 24, 20100 found this helpful

If it comes out the color you want, when rinsing, use about a cup of salt to set the color.

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July 24, 20100 found this helpful

Before you dye your rug, you need to know what the rug is made out of. Cotton will take a dye quite nicely however anything synthetic may not. Many rugs made for bathroom use are not made with materials that will take a dye so that they are stain resistant. The other thing to consider is after dying the rug, be sure to rinse (and rinse, and rinse, and rinse) all the excess dye out of it otherwise the color will transfer to the floor underneath (the minor amount of moisture in the air of the bathroom will cause the dye to wick to the floor tile).

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July 25, 20100 found this helpful

I have re-dyed a small bathroom rug by putting fabric paint and water into a spray bottle and spraying the rug. I would guess that you might need to use white dye first to tone down the yellow. Let dry, and then attempt the color you want for the finished tone. I laid my rug outside on the grass or on a drop cloth. I diluted the fabric paint with water, it did not change the color, but allowed it to go through the spray-head on my sprayer.


I let it dry in the sun. I ran the rug through a very warm dryer to set the color. I was happy with my results. I resprayed my rug when I had fading with the same color/water solution. I hope this helps you.

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September 15, 2011

I have a front loading washing machine. I used to dye things in a top loading one. The material in question is too large for a pot. How do you use the dye in a front loading machine? The water does not come in till all the material is in it and it is weighed and then the water comes into it.

The amount of water added depends on how much weight is in it. I cannot think of a way of doing the valances. Does anyone know how to make it work without it becoming blotchy?


By jutta


September 16, 20110 found this helpful

If you google "Dyeing Fabric in a Front Load Washer" you will find step by step instructions for dyeing the fabric and cleaning the washer.
Good luck.

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 270 Feedbacks
November 15, 20130 found this helpful

All manufacturers of front loading washing machines have specific things in their manuals which they will warranty cover for.
The are very clear about NOT using dye in their product. They cannot assure you that your next load will not have residue as you cannot fill the washer with bleach water entirely to cleanse the machine.


Contacting one of the companies will get you the standard information they have their people tell you: that you cannot safely use their front loader machines for anything other than what is listed.

So, do it in a kettle on the stove top or beg a friend who has a top loader. Friends pay me to dye what they need. I have a top loader. The package of dye depends on a full washer load of water.

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June 17, 2017

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

Washing Machine

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