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How to Dye Plastic With Rit Dye

Updated February 21, 2017

Rit Dye is traditionally used as a fabric dye, but it can also dye plastic. Dyeing plastic allows you to alter the colours of the buttons on your garments, or to change the colour of other plastic pieces you use in crafting. When dyeing plastic with Rit Dye, use only supplies that you do not mind having in a different colour. Whatever pots and spoons you use in the dye may change colour, as well as the plastic pieces on which you are focusing.

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  1. Put on rubber gloves so the dye doesn't stain your skin. Lay a plastic dust sheet over your work area.

  2. Fill a pot with enough cups of water to cover the plastic piece you want to dye. Add 2 teaspoons of powdered dye for every cup of water. Add 1 teaspoon of liquid dye for every cup of water. Stir until the dye is incorporated into the water.

  3. Turn the stove onto medium heat. Insert a candy thermometer into the water. Keep the heat on until the thermometer reads 60 degrees C. Pour the dye into a plastic bucket.

  4. Submerge your plastic pieces in the dye in the bucket. Leave the piece in the dye for up to 5 minutes. The longer you leave it, the darker the colour will be.

  5. Rinse the plastic in the sink with lukewarm water. Fill the sink with soapy water and wash the piece with a soft cloth. Rinse it clean, then dry the piece with paper towels.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Dust sheet
  • Pot
  • Water
  • Candy thermometer
  • Rit dye, liquid or powder
  • Spoon
  • Bucket
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Soft cloth
  • Paper towels

About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on GreenDaily.com and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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