Washing Instructions for Take-Home Tie Dye

Thank you for taking a tie dye class with The Trash Pile!

It's an honor to share my love of color, patterns, and upcycling with you! The instructions on this page will walk you through the steps you should follow when you get your tie dye items home from class. This is the exact process I've been following for three years and will ensure long-lasting color with minimal to no dye bleeding.

First and foremost, wait at least 24 hours before untying your tie dye. 

I cannot stress this enough. If you untie your item before the 24-hour mark, the dye can bleed and the pattern will become less clear. 

If you wash your item before the 24-hour mark, the dye will not reach full saturation and will look pastel or faded.

After 24 hours have passed, follow these instructions:

  1. Remove the rubber bands from your items. I find it easiest to slide the rubber bands off all at once, but you can also cut them.
  2. Place your items in a sink or bathtub (if you're worried about staining, I recommend doing this step in a stainless steel sink). 
  3. Run the item under cold water. As you do this, you'll want to ring the item out and irritate it to remove excess dye. Do this until the item runs clear.
  4. Do this one at a time for each item. You can keep all your items in the same sink / tub! 
  5. Fill the sink with warm or hot water, just enough to submerge your item(s). Leave the items in the warm water for 20-30 minutes. You can soak all your items at once! They won't stain each other.
  6. Ring the item(s) out, then rinse them in cold water one more time.
  7. Put your item(s) in the washing machine. You can add all your items in one load. BUT! Do not add non-tie dyed items to the machine—staining will occur to those items. 
  8. Set your washing machine to a hot, heavy-duty wash.
  9. Add the Synthrapol detergent you took home from class however you normally add detergent. Then, add 2 teaspoons of your normal detergent as well.
  10. Begin the wash cycle.
  11. Optional: repeat a hot, heavy-duty wash 1-2 more times with your normal detergent to remove any remaining excess dye. Every washing machine is different.
  12. Dry your item(s) on a no-heat setting in the dryer or hang/line dry. 
  13. Enjoy and wear forever! 

Tag @_thetrashpile on Instagram so we can see what you created in class! 

Feel free to email Taylor with questions at taylorstrashpile@gmail.com.

I'd love to hear from you!