How To Dye Jeans

If your denim wardrobe is looking drab, why not learn how to dye jeans and return them to their former glory? Because denim is made of cotton, it’s easy to dye jeans, but you should take into account that the seams in your jeans will be dyed as well, eliminating the lines and visual accents they provided. If you would like a darker, sexy look, then dying your jeans is a good idea. And here’s everything you need to know about dying your jeans for a new, elegant look.

To dye jeans, you will need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Fabric dye
  • A large bucket
  • A plastic container
  • A large wooden spoon or stick
  • A mild detergent
  • A chlorine-based cleaner
  1. Prepare the dye. Use the fabric dye of your choice. Though you can use a “blue denim” color, you will have darker, more dramatic results if you dye your jeans with a combination of blue dye and black dye. Fill a large bucket with hot water to a level sufficient to submerge your jeans in fully (but do not submerge the jeans yet). In a disposable plastic container, mix hot water with the dye until the dye dissolves (or follow the procedure outlined by the dye manufacturer), then add the liquid dye to the hot water in the bucket and mix well with a large wooden spoon or disposable stick.
  2. Add the jeans to the dye. Wet the jeans thoroughly in hot water, then put on the rubber gloves and immerse the jeans in the dye, making sure the jeans are not crumpled or tightly folded anywhere.
  3. Stir the jeans in the dye. With the large wooden spoon or stick, stir the jeans in the dye, going back and forth, then up and down, in continuous agitating motions for ten to 30 minutes. The jeans will appear much darker while still in the dye, making it difficult to judge when to stop dying your jeans. For light results, opt for ten to fifteen minutes. For dramatic, dark results, dye your jeans for 30 minutes, always remembering to stir for even distribution of the dye all through the jeans.
  4. Rinse the dye out of the jeans. Keep your rubber gloves on and take the jeans out of the dye solution. Rinse the dyed jeans in warm water in your bath tub, then gradually reduce the heat of the water as less and less dye runs out of the jeans. The cooler water will cause the fibers in the jeans to contract and lock in the dye. Keep washing the dyed jeans until the water running out of them is clear.
  5. Wash the dyed jeans. You can wash your jeans by hand or in a washing machine, but without any other clothes as dye will still release from your jeans. Use mild detergent and wash your dyed jeans in warm water, then rinse them with cold water. When you dye jeans the fabric will get a little stiffer. To soften your dyed jeans, dry them in a dryer and keep the dryer on for ten minutes after the jeans are dry. Then take the jeans out and roll the legs into tubes. This will stretch the fibers in the dyed jeans and soften them.
  6. Clean up after you dye your jeans. Dye is a powerful coloring agent that will dye everything it comes in contact with. Clean the bucket and bath tub immediately after finishing dying your jeans. You’ll likely have to use a chlorine-based cleaner to scrub dye stains out.
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