Rit Dye Washing Instructions

For decades, Rit Dye has been the popular choice for dyeing clothing because they cater to different dye projects and different clothing materials. You can change or intensify clothing’s color or get the fun, bright tie-dye design with Rit Dye.

As long as you consider the material of the clothing, the intent of the dying, and the correct dye usage, you should have successful projects.

Washing dyed clothing seems cumbersome because you don’t want to ruin your hard work, but you also want to keep your clothing clean. Luckily, there are sufficient care instructions to assist your query.

Treat Your Rit Dye Clothing

Set the colors of your newly dyed clothing by treating them with a fixative immediately after you dye but before you rinse.

Skipping this process will lead to excessive color bleeding, or, in some extreme instances, the dye will wash off totally if you rinse before treating.

If you did not dye the clothing yourself, the care label should indicate whether the manufacturers fixed the dye. However, if you want to be safer, you can still use this process on your newly bought clothing.


There are conflicting opinions about using vinegar as a clothing color fixative; some are in favor, while some swear by its scientific inaccuracy.

Luckily, Rit has a dye fixative that is notable. The only drawback is it will only work on clothing made from these materials: rayon, wool, cotton, silk, linen, or ramie. Although, rinsing with warm water is a close alternative to an actual dye fixative, setting the color and preventing excessive color bleeding in other synthetic materials.

Another good dye fixative is Retayne.

How to Use a Dye Fixative

  • Use a decent-sized plastic container or a stainless steel sink. Wear protective gloves and fill up the container or sink with hot water.
Rit Tie Dye Washing Instructions
  • Check the fixative’s label for the amount to use, usually 4oz for every pound of clothing. Pour the fixative into the container.
  • With regular dying, place only the dyed parts into the mixture, but with tie-dying, submerge tie-dyed clothing with the ties. Tossing them into the fixative anyhow will wash off the color.
  • Stir the clothing slowly for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse with cold water until the water runs clear.

Wash Your Rit Dye Clothing

Rit Dye Washing Instructions

Always read the care label for any clothing you want to wash. The care label will have different wash instructions based on clothing types and materials.

Whether you dyed the clothing yourself or purchased them, be careful when washing, especially for the first time.

Machine Washing Rit Dye

  1. Place your newly dyed clothing into the washer.

Separate the clothing by color and do not wash with regular laundry. When you wash your Rit Dye clothing for the first time, the color will bleed. As a result, load them in the washer alone for the first few washes before joining them with other clothing.

However you choose to load your washer, do not overload it. The clothing needs room to move about in the washer, and you don’t want a scenario where the water in the washer gets too muddy. Muddy water will ruin the color.

Turn the clothing inside out to protect the design – especially tie-dye – from the intensity of the washer.

  1. Be very careful with the water temperature while washing.

Coldwater enhances the intensity of the colors, while hot water increases color bleeding. However, some fabrics like cotton need cold water to wash, while polyester will require hot water. Use the “cold” water setting to be safe but always check the instructions on the care label before proceeding.

  • Put the Correct Detergent

You don’t want to exacerbate the color bleeding or destroy your Rit Dye clothing with the wrong detergent. Use a mild and colorfast detergent to preserve the color during the wash.

Do not add fabric softener or bleach during the wash. Your detergent should not contain any of the ingredients as well.

  1. Set your washer on the “gentle” or “normal” wash setting and wash your clothing.
  2. Immediately after the wash cycle ends, remove the clothing from the washer.

When you leave your wet clothes in the washer, color continues to bleed, and this can damage the clothing.

Hand Washing

Wash Rit Dye Clothing
  1. Wear protective gloves

Before handwashing, your clothing, wear gloves and an apron to protect your hands and clothes from dye stains. After a few washes, color bleeding should subside, and you won’t have to wear protective gloves.

  1. Use the correct wash medium.

It takes a lot of effort to remove dye stains from surfaces, so you should be mindful of the item you are using to wash your clothing. Use a basin, bucket, or stainless steel sink.

  1. Laundry additives

Use a colorfast non-bleach detergent. Pour in a little amount to form mild soap suds. Do not use fabric softener or bleach at all.

  1. Wash the clothing

Gently place your Rit dye clothing into the soapy water and then leave them to soak for thirty minutes. After thirty minutes, start washing but be gentle. Don’t use too much force.

  1. Rinse

After washing, rinse continuously under cold water till there are no soap suds and the water runs clear. Press the clothing to remove excess water and preserve the design.

Dry Your Rit Dye Clothing

It is easier to air-dry your Rit Dye clothing. You get to see how they look when it is drying. It is spread wide or flat and not crumpled together, so there is no chance of damage or color transfer. Also, the mild temperature during air-drying is better for your clothing.

Hang your clothing on a clothesline outside or a drying rack inside. If you’re drying on a clothesline outside, make sure you don’t dry when the sun is very bright and intense. Conversely, you can place a dehumidifier while air-drying inside to speed up drying time.

Cleaning your Washer

After a dye session or washing your Rit Dye clothing, your washer might get stains. While it is improbable, you should still prepare for that possibility.

While the washer is empty, use the hottest setting, pour detergent and bleach, and run a wash cycle.

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