How to Measure RIT Dye

Written by roxanne mchenry
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How to Measure RIT Dye
Three pounds of denim requires two boxes of powdered RIT Dye. (jean plié image by Nath Photos from

RIT Dye is a popular all-purpose dye that is readily available at the supermarket, and comes in a powder and liquid form. Although dyeing with RIT Dye is very straightforward, the amount of dye to use varies depending on whether you are dyeing in a washing machine or sink, or spot dyeing. The amount of dye required also depends upon the amount of fabric or clothes being dyed and if you are using the powdered or liquid RIT Dye.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Fabric or clothes
  • Scale
  • RIT Dye
  • Heat-proof measuring cups
  • Hot water
  • Sink or 5-gallon bucket
  • Plastic
  • Rubber gloves
  • Cotton cloth
  • Cotton swab

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  1. 1

    Weigh the clothes or fabric on a scale to determine the dry weight of the fabric you want to dye. Measure the correct amount of dye based on the chart in the RIT Dye instructions for a small (0.113kg.) to large (2.72kg.) load of fabric in dry weight.

  2. 2

    Dissolve one-half to two packages of RIT powder or one-quarter to one-and-a-half bottles of liquid RIT Dye in 2 cups of water in a large measuring cup (based on recommend amounts in the instructions), then add to the hot water in the washing machine.

  3. 3

    Wet the fabric and place in the washing machine. Wash on a long wash cycle that lasts at least 30 minutes. Set an extra rinse cycle in cold water, so that the final rinse water is clear, or rinse in a sink under cold water until the water is clear.

  1. 1

    Add one box of powdered RIT Dye or one-half bottle of liquid RIT Dye for every pound of dry fabric to 2 cups of hot water in a large measuring cup, and set aside.

  2. 2

    Fill the sink or a 5-gallon bucket with hot water, and add the mixed RIT Dye solution to the hot water.

  3. 3

    Wet the fabric with hot water and add to the sink or bucket and stir constantly for 10 to 30 minutes. Rinse the fabric in warm water, then rinse in cool water until the water is clear.

  1. 1

    Cover the work surface with plastic and put on a pair of rubber gloves. Lay the fabric or piece of clothing flat on the plastic with the spot you want to dye facing up.

  2. 2

    Stir 1 tsp of powdered RIT Dye into 1/2 cup of hot water (60 degrees C) in a measuring cup and stir to dissolve, or use liquid RIT Dye in the bottle.

  3. 3

    Take the clean cotton cloth and dip one corner into the dye solution and squeeze out the excess dye. Lightly rub the spot you want to dye with the cloth or use a cotton swab to dab the dye solution on a small spot.

  4. 4

    Let the dyed clothing sit for 20 minutes, then press the dyed spot between two clean cloths with a hot steam iron to set the dye into the fabric.

Tips and warnings

  • RIT dyes many fabrics including 100 per cent cotton, wool, silk, rayon, nylon and fibre blends, but will not dye 100 per cent acrylic, fabrics with 50 per cent or more polyester or bleach-damaged fabric.
  • Use double the amount of RIT Dye when dyeing dark or bright colours.
  • Clean the sink or bucket immediately with a chlorine based cleaner or use chlorine bleach and water.
  • If you used a washing machine for RIT dyeing, clean the washing machine on a regular cycle using hot water and chlorine bleach.

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