How to dye fabric using kool-aid & vinegar

Written by laure justice Google
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How to dye fabric using kool-aid & vinegar
Fun kids drink makes fabric dye. (glass of juice and coasters image by Bube from

You can dye fabric with dye made from unsweetened Kool-Aid and vinegar, as long as the fabric is made from a protein fibre. However, you will need to dye the fabric before it is made into a garment because this method will cause the natural fibres to shrink. Fabrics made from protein fibre include wool and silk. Other fabrics might initially take the dye, but it will wash out and can end up staining other fabric items.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sink
  • Hot water
  • Large stainless steel soup pot or kettle
  • Unsweetened Kool-Aid (approximately 1 packet per yard of fabric)
  • 1 cup white vinegar per Kool-Aid packet
  • 3 cups water per Kool-Aid packet
  • Wooden spoon

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  1. 1

    Fill the sink with hot water and push the fabric into it. Let the fabric soak a minimum of 20 minutes.

    How to dye fabric using kool-aid & vinegar
    Kool-Aid makes a good dye for wool. (sheep image by musk from
  2. 2

    Set the soup pot on the stove burner and add the Kool-Aid, vinegar and water. Turn the stove on and wait for steam to rise from the mixture.

  3. 3

    Drain the water from the sink and gently wring the excess water out of the fabric.

  4. 4

    Push the fabric into the hot Kool-Aid mixture using the wooden spoon so you don't get burnt. Add another batch of Kool-Aid mixture if you do not have enough liquid to cover the fabric.

  5. 5

    Cover the pot and let it simmer on low heat for a minimum of 45 minutes, stirring every five minutes. The colour will soak into the fabric and the Kool-Aid mixture will be either clear or a cloudy white shade.

  6. 6

    Let the fabric and Kool-Aid cool to lukewarm and drain the Kool-Aid mixture off of the fabric. Rinse the fabric with warm water until the colour stops running out.

  7. 7

    Drape the fabric over a clothesline or shower rod and wait for it to air dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use an aluminium or cast iron pot to make this dye as it can cause discolouration.
  • The colour will last longer if you hand wash the fabric in cold water with a delicate detergent like Woolite after the dye is set.

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