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. Stop the wash cycle and 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, turn the wash cycle back on, 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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