Let’s dye jeans! Do you have a pair in a color you hate?

So… I had a pair of jeans with white-ish (not on purpose) knees… they were otherwise in great shape but the knees looked crummy and I found myself not wearing them, especially when I needed to look nicer than crummy. When it got to the point that I did not care if I ruined them, I decided to see if I could dye them back to a darker blue. I’d either improve them or trash them.

I read the instructions on the iDye packet. I read them 3, 4, 5 times. There were slightly different instructions for top loading and front loading machines. And, a stove top method to use with a big pot. The instructions seemed easy but I sure didn’t like them!

I’d chosen “navy”, a nice dark indigo color and, even though it said to just toss things in the washer, I really did not want that deep color anywhere near my washing machine! So, I thought I’d try the stove top method but soon realized that I had nothing big enough to hold a bulky pair of jeans, much less with room to stir them around and simmer them. Cross off that method completely! Unless you are a witch from Macbeth, nobody has a big cauldron to use on a stove!

So, I devised my own method. My hot tap water is really HOT… so I decided to try a big plastic bucket instead. I placed it in my bathtub, ran the hot water, mixed the ingredients (the dye packet with a cup of salt for cotton) and mixed it with my big wooden spoon. (a teakettle of boiling water could be added, too, especially if your tap water isn’t hot enough) The instructions also say to agitate the fabric¬†constantly to get uniform color. (important) The wooden spoon promptly turned inky indigo and the bucket turned deep blue as well. I stuffed in the jeans, (gosh! they were heavy and hard to keep stirring!) when another idea hit me!

You knew something else would have to happen, didn’t you? I’d just purchased a new pair of jeans but they were orange. (you know, the only ones that were there, on that day, in that certain style, in my size, that fit and were comfortable and, hey, it was summer! and hey! the orange was really pretty!) BUT, the orange was not nearly as useful to me as a pair of nice dark blue jeans would be with autumn closing in… and I was willing to take a chance! I ran to my closet and stuffed the orange jeans into the bucket inside the bathtub with my old jeans. If the orange ones turned out ugly, then I was okay with that, I’d wear them for doing grunge-y things. If I thought one pair had been hard to stir and keep stirring, then the two pairs together was brutal, but I also hated to waste my hot water and dye concoction so I kept stirring!

VICTORY! Much more than I ever imagined. My old jeans came out looking brand new and my new orange jeans came out fine and dark and perfect. I now wear both pair a lot. My only advice would be to wash a brand new pair of jeans first to remove the sizing so that they soak up even more of the dye. (sizing, which adds finish and body, works a bit like repellent, but luckily my very hot water dissolved it on the pair that were new) But, my bucket was dyed and my bathtub was, too. (I did not like that I had to really scrub them both.) But I like my results so much that I may try the washing machine method next time I get inspired to use dye.

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2 Responses to “Let’s dye jeans! Do you have a pair in a color you hate?”

  1. kathy Says:

    Run bleach through your washer after you finish. Then throw in a piece of cloth or white wash cloth to see if the dye is all gone.

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