Prepare Fabric Before Dyeing: Lighten Colour

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Before you start a dyeing project see if you fabric needs to be lightened.  Lightening fabric helps the dye work better, especially if you are dyeing a dark fabric a lighter colour.  Using Colour Remover before your next DIY is an easy way to get a lighter base for your new dye colour without damaging the fabric structure; you may love the look enough to keep the new lighter colour. As a bonus, sometimes stains can be lightened after a lightening treatment.  

Lightened clothes

How Light Can I Go?

When using Colour Remover aim for a creamy winter white or warm ivory.  Lightening fabric before dyeing helps create a blank canvas for your DIY project.  The lighter your base is, the better your final dyeing result can be. 

Black or navy fabric won't suddenly turn snow-white, but could change enough to dye a much lighter colour. Results may vary; repeat treatment or increase time in solution if necessary.  

Stovetop vs. Machine Lightening Treatments:

The stovetop lightening is in our opinion, the best way to get your fabric to an ivory or warm white.  It's a little more involved than using a washing machine, because you simmer water and manually agitate. Many appreciate the hand method results and don't mind the process.  Others prefer the convenience of using a washing the machine.  

Lightening treatments may vary from a few minutes to over the average time, many fabrics lighten in 20-40 minutes. Special finishes can impact a treatment; prints may not lighten as a result. Use the lightening method that appeals to you the most, as many times as you want.  

3 Parts to Colour Remover DIY Success:

  • Hot water (simmering is ideal for the hand technique)
  • Agitation (move fabric in solution)
  • Time in solution  (extended time could be needed)

Results will vary depending on: your starting fabric colour, the dye that was used and the fabric content.   Test a small swatch of fabric before if possible. Printed fabrics or those with applied special finishes may not respond to lightening.  While each fabric is different, washable fabrics are almost always possible to lighten in a few steps: 

Washing Machine Method:

  1. Start with clean and damp fabric
  2. Pre-fill the machine with enough water to cover the item
  3. Dissolve Tintex Colour Remover in the machine
  4. Add fabric and cover completely with solution
  5. Agitate for 20 to 40 minutes (shorter or longer lightening times may occur)
  6. Continue with machine rinse cycle
  7. Wash the fabric and dry as usual

Stove Top Method:

  1. Begin with clean and damp fabric.
  2. Fill a stainless steel pot with hot water.
  3. Heat the water until it is simmering.
  4. Dissolve Tintex Colour Remover and mix thoroughly
  5. Add fabric and cover completely with solution***
  6. Agitate for 20 to 40 minutes (shorter or longer lightening times may occur)
  7. Rinse the article in hot water and wash as usual.

***Fabric covered in solution will lighten, fabric not in solution will stay original colour -- create abstract designs like tie dye or ombre by not covering all  fabric with the Colour Remover solution.

Use common sense with every DIY: if needed, protect your work area & skin before starting, Tintex products are not food grade, supervise children while working, clean up asap after completing.

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