I recently decided to tie dye a few shirts, since tie dye is back in style. I used the RIT dye, which seemed like the best option according to reviews. I dyed the shirts with two different methods, regular tie dye and ice dye. My regular tie dye shirts came out fine, some better than others. The ice dye shirt looked terrible! I definitely didn’t arrange the shirts correctly and I put too much dye on. I didn’t want to get rid of the shirts but I wasn’t going to wear them when they looked like someone had just dumped dye in one spot and let it spread a bit throughout the shirt. Luckily, RIT has a color remover option. I wasn’t sure how well this would work, but I am very pleased with the results!
I used the instructions on RIT’s website. Please go read them if you are doing this project! There are other ways you can use the Color Remover.
What You Will Need:
- RIT Color Remover (one box/packet per item is what it says but I dyed two shirts with one box. Results at the end of post.)
- A Pot with a lid that is big enough for your item to move around in
- Tongs for stirring
Ice dyeing is clearly not my specialty. I ice dyed three shirts, this one being the worst. I was most excited about dyeing this shirt in particular, because I had been looking for a white longsleeve AND it was on sale. I didn’t want to give up on it!
Step 1: Wash in warm water.
I had already washed my shirt after dyeing it but I washed it again anyways. The directions also say the item should be wet before you start.
Step 2: Bring a large pot of water to a simmer.
Step 3: Add the entire packet of RIT Color Remover to the water and stir.
I’m not going to lie to you, it smells terrible once you start. I opened the window and lit a candle and the smell still lingered.
Step 4: Put your item in the water for 10-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. The water should be at a low simmer.
Step 5: Add Lid. When the it turns white, remove the item!
Step 6: Rinse item with hot water until water runs clear. Repeat while decreasing the temperature.
Step 7: Wash item.
Step 8: Start a new project!
I didn’t dry my shirts in the dryer; I laid them outside because it has been extremely hot and I would feel bad running the dryer for two shirts. Which is the same reason I washed them by hand and not in the washing machine! All this to say, they are wrinkly.
Voila! Completely void of color! Except for a small stain up at the top, but I’m not convinced that isn’t a stain from my family eating watermelon next to my shirts. I think it’ll come out or be covered up when I tie dye it!
This is the second shirt I dyed. I didn’t take a before picture because I figured I wouldn’t be able to do it since it said one item per packet. I assumed the water would have turned red from the long-sleeve shirt, but the color disappeared. So I tried it! This shirt was originally completely purple/blue/and a bit of green (the blue I used was teal). There are still some remnants from the dye near the collar and sleeves, but most of the color was stripped!
I think this is a great product, despite the smell, and I would use it again! It is definitely a friend to an amateur tie dyer, or anyone working with dyes for the first time. It’s fun to try new things, but not if you’re going to ruin some of your best shirts! This gives you the freedom to try a new method, and serves as an eraser if you need a blank slate!
Have you used this product before? Used anything like it? Let me know! Thanks for reading!
-Baylee Frances Burke