How to dye clothes at home

Updated February 21, 2017

Dyeing clothes at home can be a quick and easy way to design your own style or refresh some faded fabrics. Dyeing clothes at home is easier than you think; it can be done via some simple steps, with little mess and some great results.

Wash any clothing you wish to dye to remove any dirt or film. Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets, as this will leave a film that can affect the dyeing process.

Decide what colour and kind of dye you want to use. Fabric dyes are available in powder or liquid form, and both forms will yield virtually the same results.

Read instructions that accompany your dye, to determine how much to use. Instructions will vary depending on the size and weight of your garment.

Boil the instructed amount of hot water in a large steel pot on your stove. Bring water to a nice boil and then leave it on low heat.

Add the instructed amount of dye. Stir in mix with a stainless-steel spoon or stainless-steel tongs.

Dampen your garment with warm water in the sink. Then wring it out and throw it into the pot with the dye mixture.

Constantly watch your mixture. Stir it every five minutes or so for about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the colour level desired and instructions for your individual dye.

Remove pot from heat. Using rubber gloves, remove your garment from the mixture. If you have a back garden, it may be best to take your pot out there to do this step, to avoid staining anything in your kitchen. If you are indoors use a stainless-steel sink.

Rinse garment with cool water until water runs clean. If you are in your back garden, it may be easiest to do this with a hose.

Wash garment in a cold cycle and dry. For future washes, always wash your garment alone in a cool wash. Since some dye may come off with washing, it's best to run an empty wash after washing your garment to remove any residual dye from your washer.


Never leave your pot with boiling water unattended, as this can be a hazard. Also never let your garment touch the burners, as this is also a fire hazard.

Things You'll Need

  • Large stainless-steel pot
  • Stainless-steel spoon or tongs
  • Water
  • Fabric dye (colour of your choice)
  • Rubber gloves


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About the Author

Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.