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How To Wash Tie-Dye Items

Tie dye is baaack—especially the DIY kind. These vibrant, rainbow-hued creations are loads of fun, but things can go quickly go downhill if the dye bleeds onto the rest of your wardrobe. We dive into best wash methods for tie-dye and tie-dye mishap fixes right here.

Step 1: Allow Dye To Set

If you've just tie-dyed your clothes, give it a day or two before washing. You'll want to wait at least 24 hours so the dye has time to set. Be sure to check the recommendations on your fabric dyes for best practices! Typically it's best to let the dye sit on the wet fabric for as long as possible to achieve bright, rich color.

Step 2: Wash

For the first few washes, it’s important to wash your tie-dye pieces alone. If you colored multiple pieces with similar hues at the same time, you may wash them together. If not, wash separately to avoid crossover dye bleed.

We recommend using our Signature Detergent for everyday fabrics with tie-dye. This solution is formulated for both whites and colors and works in all water temperatures! Select a normal washing machine setting with hot water. Hot water aids in removing excess dye and setting the design in the first wash, making it easier to wash your items with other pieces in the future. However, be sure to only wash like-colored items together to avoid a color bleed fiasco! You can also place fabrics inside a Mesh Bag for an extra layer of protection during the wash.

Pro Tip: Avoid using fabric conditioner or bleach on tie-dyed items, especially on the first wash.

Step 3: Dry

Dry pieces on a medium heat setting or air dry. We love adding Wool Dryer Balls to the dryer drum to help fluff tie-dyed items and cut down on static.

Step 4: Maintain

After the first few washes, you can wash your tie dye items with like colors and cold water to help preserve the color. Keep in mind that the best way to help preserve any fabric is to avoid excess machine drying.

Step 5: Treat Accidental Dye Stains

If dye gets on washable items that you didn’t mean to tie-dye (it happens!), treat affected areas with Stain Solution, our powerful enzymatic solution for old and new stains. Then work in with a Stain Brush until the splatter has lifted. Allow the item to soak in warm water for up to 30 minutes to allow the treatments to penetrate. Wash as normal and avoid air drying until stains have lifted. Keep in mind that dye stains are tough to remove, so try to get to them as soon as possible!