Dyeing Clothes with Rit Liquid Dye

Rit Liquid Dye

I do a lot of craft projects, I dye a lot of DIY projects, and I Rit Liquid Dyestain a lot of clothing in the process. I decided to use Rit Liquid Dye to even out the color & change the color of several sweatshirts, tank tops, a skirt, and a pair of sweatpants. Having used the purple dye in a top loading washer before; I had confidence that I wouldn’t ruin the washer in our rental home. The dye is around $2-3 per bottle at our local Wal-Mart and Rit recommends 1 bottle per 2 lbs. of clothing. It also notes that you should use a second bottle of dye for dark colors; so I picked up 2 bottles of the black dye.

Rit also makes a dye for synthetics that I have not tried yet. They developed Rit DyeMore, which works on polyester, polyester blends, acetate and acrylic. According to Rit, nylon has always been a material that could be dyed, but it dyes to even richer shades with DyeMore. It requires higher heat than regular Rit dyes; so the stove top method is preferred.

Rit Liquid Dye

What You Will Need:Rit Liquid Dye

  • 1 bottle of Rit Liquid Dye per 2 lbs. of clothing (2 bottles for dark colors)
  • Clothing to dye & a top loading washer
  • Plastic Gloves
  • 1 cup of Table Salt or Vinegar per project, depending on material. **Use Salt for cotton, rayon, linens, or blends, Use Vinegar for nylon, silk or wool.**
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Bleach & Bleach Wipes for Clean Up
  • Old Towels (tossed in bleach water to clean the washer)


When dyeing clothing, most hood strings, zippers, and seams (synthetic materials) will hold their original color.  This looks fine; it makes the item look like you bought it the color you dyed it with the contrasting details.


How to Dye in a Washing Machine:

  1. Pre-wash clothing (do not dry) and remove from washerRit Liquid Dye
  2. Set the temperature to Hot/Cold
  3. Set the washer to an extended cycle (mine is called “super wash”)
  4. Choose a medium wash load size. I used a medium load setting for the tangerine & fuchsia. I chose a large setting for the black and the items ended up more of a dark gray tone than a black (too much water even with 2 bottles of dye.)
  5. Start the extended cycle & fill the wash tub with hot water
  6. With gloved hands, shake the bottle of dye & add it to the water in the filled washing machine
  7. Add 1 Tbsp of laundry detergent to the water
  8. Add the wet clothing to the washer
  9. Close the washer lid and allow the washer to agitate for 5 MINUTES
  10. Stop the cycle & add 1 cup of salt or vinegar (based on materials being dyed) to the water
  11. Let the water sit for 5 MINUTES
  12. Agitate 5 MINUTES & rest 5 MINUTES
  13. Again agitate 5 MINUTES & rest 5 MINUTESRit Liquid Dye
  14. Allow the washing cycle to complete, uninterrupted
  15. Leave the clothing inside the washer–Wash the dyed clothing with detergent in WARM WATER & a COLD RINSE
  16. Place the clothing in the dryer or hang to dry
  17. Clean the Washer! Scrub the upper half of the washer & the center fins with bleach wipes. I used a couple of old towels & ran a “large” cycle with HOT WATER/COLD RINSE, 1 cup of bleach, and (a normal amount of ) laundry detergent. I used one of the old towels to clean the “fins” in the center of the washer with the bleach water; before it began agitating. Pay special attention to the underside of the fins. Close the lid & allow the cycle to run normally.
  18. I wash the dyed clothing separately for a couple of washes


Black Dye

  • Large Gray Hoodie: Dark Gray color, evened out stains wellBlack Rit Dye
  • Gray Men’s Sweatshirt: Dark Gray color, evened out stains well
  • Gray Men’s Sweatpants (with purple dye stains): Dark Gray color, even color, purple stains still there but much less visible
  • Black Capri Leggings: deepened them nicely




Fuchsia Dye

  • White Skirt: Nice, even bright berry pink colorFuchsia Rit Dye
  • Gray Tank Top: Darker fuchsia tone, even coloring
  • Light Pink Sweatshirt: Bright fuchsia/berry pink coloring, mostly even, some areas have lines of visible light pink peeking through but overall satisfactory job (9/10)






Tangerine Dye

  • White Tank Top & Khaki Shorts: deep warm-toned orange shade, even color
  • Gray Tank Top: darker orange tone, even color
  • Gray Leggings: pretty chocolate brown shade, even color
  • Dark Gray Sweatshirt: same nice chocolate brown/orange tone, even color





All of my colors were successful. The black project turning out dark gray is my fault for using a large load setting. My last project with purple dye worked fantastically and those items are still looking great & very purple. Using the Rit Liquid Dye in the washer is so easy. I don’t want to risk staining the stove top, walls, counters, or the floor by using the stove top method; even though I am sure it works well. This a great afternoon project & it is nice to be able to hold onto well-made clothes that are stained by changing their color.



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