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How to dye your carpet with rit dye

Updated February 21, 2017

The carpet was beautiful when you bought it, but now it has stains, fades, spots, and worn-down traffic areas--it doesn't even match the room anymore. Unfortunately, many of these problems can't be removed with a simple cleaning; not only is it ugly, but it reduces the value and comfort of your home. Still, few among us want to pay thousands of dollars to replace carpet. An alternative solution might be to revive or refurbish the carpet yourself, by dyeing over the damage.

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  1. Find out the material of your carpet; dye works very differently on cotton than it does on a high nylon-fibre synthetic or stain-resistant material.

  2. Decide the colour of your new carpet. Remember that you can dye darker but not lighter, no matter how much bleach you use.

  3. Move all of the furniture out of the room.

  4. Vacuum and shampoo the carpet. Allow it to dry completely, and vacuum it again. Clean carpet will absorb dye more evenly.

  5. Treat the baseboards and lower walls with mineral oil, which will come off easily and take dye splatters with it, or tape plastic sheeting to them.

  6. Mix the carpet dye with warm water; make sure the proportion allows for enough mix to coat the whole carpet thoroughly and sink to the bottom of the fibres.

  7. Test the colour on a scrap of carpet, both for colour and for practice.

  8. Turn on the lights or open the shades so that you have plenty of light. Fill the carpet shampooer with your dye mixture and work with small and even strokes, so that you back yourself out of the room. Do not repeat areas or you might end up with a dark spot.

  9. Wipe splashes of the walls or baseboards immediately, even if you have covered them properly.

  10. When finished, clean the shampooer thoroughly by running clothing detergent through it, followed by hot water. Clean the bristles and then test the machine on scrap material to make sure that it doesn't stain.

  11. Allow the carpet to dry for at least 24 hours.

  12. Move the furniture back into the room.

  13. Tip

    Even colour-fast dye can stain for a short while before it has completely set. Wait at least three months before steam cleaning, and even then, use mild detergents.

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Things You'll Need

  • Carpet shampoo
  • Carpet shampooer
  • Mineral oil
  • Thin plastic sheeting
  • Rit brand fabric dye
  • Scrap piece of carpet
  • Tape

About the Author

Adam Raphael

Adam Raphael has been writing technical and health-related articles for a variety of online sources for five years. His articles have appeared on a variety of popular blogs and other websites.

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