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How to Dye Nike Shoes

Updated April 17, 2017

If you've bought a basic pair of white fabric Nike sneakers, you can easily dye them to match your wardrobe or add a funky touch to your newest outfit.

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  1. Test your Nikes by quickly running the front tip of your sneaker under running water. If the water rolls off in beads, your shoes are most likely water-resistant and dyeing the material could possibly ruin the shoe. Fabric shoes are easiest to dye because the fabric absorbs the colour. If your shoe soaked up the water, they are fine to dye.

  2. Remove shoelaces and the insole from inside the pair of shoes.

  3. Fill a bucket with warm water and add in soda ash. There should be 1 cup of soda ash for every 1 gallon of water. Soda ash ensures that the chemical in the dye bonds to the fibres of the sneakers and help bring out the desired colour or effect your looking for. Soak your shoes in the solution and leave the shoes in for 20 minutes. Remove the shoes from the soda ash solution and let them partially dry.

  4. Fill a bucket with warm or hot water and add in the fabric reactive dye. Mix well. There should be 2 to 4 teaspoons for every cup of water. Immerse your shoes in the dye and use the spatula to swirl the shoes around in the dye. Leave the shoes in the dye for 30 minutes to an hour.

  5. Remove the shoes from the dye, place them flat in a plastic bag and set them on a flat surface in a room that's room temperature. After 24 hours, rinse out the excess dye and them dry on a flat surface covered with newspaper at room temperature.

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Things You'll Need

  • Fabric sneakers
  • Fibre reactive dye
  • Gloves
  • Plastic bucket
  • Soda ash
  • Urea
  • Water

About the Author

Artesia Peluso began her journalism career in 2006. She is the fashion editor at "PINK Magazine" and has also worked as the arts and entertainment assistant at "Creative Loafing," the associate editor at "Vita Underground" and at CNN as a Network Booking Associate. Peluso has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Ashford University.

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