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Do-It-Yourself: How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans

Amy from MomAdvice shows you how to dye a faded pair of jeans. Has anyone else tried this before? I’d love to hear how it worked for you!

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  • Jess says:

    Thanks for posting this! I bought dye to fix up some of my favorite jeans over 5 years ago but I never had the guts to do it. Now I have a great tutorial! 🙂

  • Lisa G says:

    I dyed my faded jeans a couple weeks ago and they turned out a purple color, it is a wierd color for blue jeans in my opinion. I used Rit liquid in the blue jean blue color. I would do it again but I would use navy blue or maybe black. Hope that helps!

  • Sarah Day says:

    So far I bought the dye at Wal-mart but I’m nervous to try it. Hoping people post how they did it do so I can copy them lol. Thank you for this post! I have to keep my jeans dark for my job. I really need to do this ASAP : )

  • SH BA says:

    Yes i do it all the time for me and my kid..We have hard water so we buy the tie die from walmart and and jeans is aas good as new..

  • tina says:

    Wow! Sounds interesting. I’ve never had jeans get THAT faded before they fell apart though! LOL.

    I’ve found rewearing jeans and washing them on the cold cycle and hanging them dry really perserve their life though. HTH!

  • I have done this for years! I never thought about sharing it! Because jeans dyed at home fade really fasy I go one step further and colorfast them after I dye my jeans. It stops the fast fading. You can see my tips on how I do that if you want.

  • leigh h. says:

    I have tried this with blue jeans, but they turn a terrible shade of icky blue. Horrible! However, I re-dye all of my black cotton garments (t-shirts, jeans, tanks, etc) on a regular basis when they start to fade using this method and it’s perfect. The problem with the blue is that jeans do not not come in the color of blue that is offered in at home dyes. But, if you insist on trying it anyway, I would highly recommend not using your favorite pair as the test item. I mean, everyone is different and you may love indigo!

  • Susannah says:

    I’ve done this with lots of clothes for years! I am a teacher and black pants are a wardrobe staple for me, but tend to get faded after just a year or so — nothing a bottle of Black Rit won’t help! Also works for reds and particular blues.

  • sara says:

    Has anyone tried this with towels? I use benzoyl peroxide for acne and have ruined 90% of our nice, fluffy wedding towels. I’d like to try re-dying them, but I’m afraid I’ll make it worse if the dye does not distribute evenly because of the bleached-out spots.

    • I’m pretty sure the benzoyl perozide will bleach the color out of anything. I’ve even seen white towels come back with yellow spots from those facial products. (I worked at Restoration Hardware.) It is a really strong chemical. If you can’t give it up, I’d recommend getting some cheap white towels for your face and saving the nice ones for gentler tasks.

  • I’ve done this when black clothing fades, but never on denim. I can usually do 4-5 garments with one package of black dye. I think it would cost too much to be worth doing if I had to use two packs, but then jeans are only $3.50 at our thrift store.

  • Arlanda says:

    Has anyone tried this with sweaters? My husbands black sweaters seem to fade over time. Could this help?

  • Kate says:

    Thank you for this post! Just last night, I was looking at my faded black pants and sweater, wondering if there was anything I could do to put some life back into them.

  • Amy says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing my adventures in dying jeans. I can’t speak to dying your jeans blue since my tutorial was for a faded pair of black jeans. However, they make Navy which would probably take a darker shade than the Indigo color. You definitely want to do the washer method since it gets the water hot enough for the fabric to take. With the HE method, it is also super important to get your jeans wet before you put them in or the dye might not take evenly.

    Again, thank you so much for sharing this with your readers. It was a wonderful surprise this morning!

  • Danielle says:

    This works especially good when you have a sturdy, nice/high end pair of jeans (form the thrift store of course 😉 whose main problem is fading.

    I have dyed my jeans several times. They are dark wash, so I use blue jean blue to get them back to their original color when the knees and seat fade. I love it. Yes, the seam stitching does not dye (because of the way the thread is treated) so they still look like normal jeans with the yellow/white stitching. I dye in my stainless steel kitchen sink. The one time I tried the washer it did not go so well, harder to control the water level and washing cycles. Plus stainless steel sink is so easy to clean! I definitely recommend the detergent, salt, etc. from the Rit package directions to help it dye better. Next time I am going to try Rit dye fixative as an after treatment to help the dye set better and longer.

    Great tip on buying these at JoAnns or Michael’s with coupons. In the past I bought at the grocery store, so 2.50 for a new-looking pair of nice jeans. But you could probably get it for even less with a 40% off coupon at Michael’s.

  • Angela says:

    I don’t want to be a “Debbie Downer” but I tried this just a few months back and was NOT successful. My blue jeans have a purplish tint to them now and look even older. I tried redying them and it didn’t help at all. I was not impressed with this product and wouldn’t do it again!

  • Joy in the South says:

    I have done this with hand-me-down jeans for my kids. Just note what others have already said: if you use the blue-jean color, you will get a purplish-blue, not the original denim color (in my experience). You might want to test on an old similar-colored pair before doing your favorite jeans. Other than that, it works great. And I only use one box and get good color coverage.

  • Deborah says:

    I used the Rit dye in either indigo or blue-jean color. (I don’t remember which right now.) I wanted to restore my favorite denim skirt (from Talbot’s). I was satisfied with the color, but the fabric seemed “thinner” and softer after being dyed. I was happy with it, but that’s something to think about…

    We don’t have an HE machine, so I just put the dye mix in the drum after it was full of hot water. It worked great!

  • Kristen says:

    I have been dying my kid’s uniform, navy pants, and my jeans for years. I use the navy Rit Dye liquid and do it in my top loader washing machine. I have been very happy. I usually do a big dye before school starts in the summer and then again at Christmas break. Works great with hand me down navy pants!

    • Amy says:

      LOVE this idea, Kristen! My kids are in uniforms and I would have never thought to do this. We get our uniforms as hand-me-downs so I will have to remember that. Thanks so much for the tip!

    • Sarah T. says:

      Me too! I hadn’t even thought of that even as I was reading all the comments. My son’s knees get worn-looking, but since they’re really good quality, they are still in good shape. I’m going to have to try this.

  • Suzanne says:

    Just a little FYI… if you are going to dye, be sure that what you are dying is 100% cotton. Polyester does not accept dye like cotton does. Also, if too much dye is in the fabric, it will “crock” or rub off on other fabric surfaces. I recommend that you do the colorfast process mentioned above and then only wash in cold water with the garment inside out (hot water will reactivate the dyestuffs and will cause dye migration to other garments).

  • Sarah says:

    I’ve done towels (it does not work with the spots it makes the towel darker but the peroxide spots are still there) I have also done jeans. It does work but there are tricks and you do have to be aware. I did a set of jeans 3 days later we went to visit friends I sat on her light colored sofa and the jeans left dye on her sofa even days later it destroyed the sofa. So just be aware it is not all that it seems at first glance anything with a stain or a spot still shows too. You have to do the set or it will come off on other fabrics. Black and Navy are the best for giving a boost but even after you do all of the above it only last a few months so it is not a forever fix.

  • Daina says:

    Ahhh, if only fading was my jeans problem. Now if someone could tell me how to stop wearing enormous holes in my left knee, I’ll be all set. (Maybe I need less-pointy knees.)

  • Natalie says:

    How do you know what color blue to get??

  • KimH says:

    Back in the 60s-80s, My mom used to use the stove top method, but she didnt have to stand there & agitate it for 30 minutes.. She’d just stir it now & again..

  • Sara says:

    Centsational Girl had a post on how she dyed her jeans on her blog:

  • Julie says:

    I dyed my towels and my jeans (not at the same time, though, because they are different colors. However as someone else posted, I would colorfast them if I did this again. My jeans faded a bit, but my towels were washed in hot water and bled on my other lighter towels. My dyed towels were washed and dried a few times just like I would have on any given day. Even so, I would do this again and just make sure I colorfast them. I currently just wash them on warm and separate from other items.

  • i prefer my jeans faded, (to be honest) and think using dye on them is kind of wierd.
    however, i do dye everything else! If I see something i like in a consignment store but the color isn’t what i need, I pick up dye on the way home…one wash cycle later, i’ve got what i need!

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