Can I Use Food Coloring to Dye Clothes?
Using food coloring to dye fabric is a cheap and easy way to custom color your clothes without the harsh chemicals used in store-bought fabric dyes. Here’s what you need to know about this unusual DIY method.
What You Need
- Food coloring
- White fabric (synthetic or cotton)
- Rubber gloves
- Large aluminum pot
Prepping the Fabric
Before you start, you’ll need to make sure your fabric is ready for dyeing. Wash and dry it to remove any dirt and oils, then pretreat it with salt or vinegar to help the color bond to the material.
Mixing the Dye
Once your fabric is prepped, you’ll need to mix your dye. Start by combining 1 cup of salt and 4 cups of water in a pot on the stove. Bring it to a boil, stirring continually. When the salt is dissolved, add 1 teaspoon of your food coloring and mix until it’s fully dissolved. Then, turn off the heat and let the dye cool.
Dyeing the Fabric
Now, you’re ready to dye your fabric. Put on your rubber gloves and submerge the fabric in the dye, making sure it’s completely covered. Gently stir the fabric for 30 minutes.
Once the fabric has been dyed to the desired hue, it needs to be rinsed and dried. Rinse the fabric with cold water until the dye has been washed away, then lay it flat to air dry.
With this simple DIY method, you can easily create custom colored fabric with food coloring. Be aware, however, that unlike store-bought dyes, food coloring can fade over time, so it’s best for pieces that you don’t plan to wear frequently. Have fun experimenting with different colors and shades to create your own unique looks.