Dying A Stained Shirt

3 May

I  always say how funny it is that a baby’s first year of life you always back extra clothes because you never know with spit up or spill outs. Then for about a year, you’re free and clear. But the second year, you’re back to packing extra clothes because there is no keeping a kid from dirt! Why should you? “Let them play!” is what I say.
Still, there was no way around this mishap. A brand new shirt for my daughter to wear to Daddy’s company picnic, ruined! Not on her account though. Ruined thanks to good ol’ Equate Spray On Sunscreen. Did you know in the fine print, it warns you that it may discolor clothes? We know that now, we didn’t at the time. So there we were on the first warm day of the spring, with our toddler all dressed up to show off to Daddy’s co-workers. We sprayed her down with sunscreen in anticipation of the warm sun beating down on us at the picnic.
The shirt:

It was a day or two later while doing laundry that I discovered her shirt had been ruined. Stained at the hands of cheap sunscreen! (I’m not bitter or anything….)
I could either drive 40 minutes to the outlet where we bought it and buy another, or have some fun with this one. I decided on the latter.
It is hard to see, so I’ve outlined the yellow stains the sunscreen left behind.

I had some RIT dye left over from my husband’s disc dying, and decided to try yellow since the stains were yellow anyway.

I wanted to show you this step by step so you see how easy RIT dying is. I was afraid of dye until I read just how easy it was. I followed the directions on the package, which included wetting the shirt first (now you can see the stains better):

According to the package directions, you bring the dye and enough water to cover entire garment to a boil:

Followed by soaking the garment in the dye water for at least 10 minutes and no longer than 30 minutes. You basically have to judge according to how dark you want your color.

All I knew is that I wanted the stains gone, so I kept mine in about 15 minutes because by that point I started to realize my yellow dye was very golden and my cute little pastel shirt was becoming very retro.
The next steps in the instructions are to slowly cool the garment by first rinsing in warm water, then slowly turning the water to cold (ringing the garment out frequently to rid the dye). So I let mine run under the faucet, first on warm, then gradually switching to cold (ringing the garment out frequently).

Next you throw it in the wash with mild detergent. I used my homemade recipe for detergent. And although the dye definitely hid the sunscreen stain, in these pictures you can see a bit of chocolate stain that happened the next day of wearing this shirt. Darn toddlers. Haha.
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But see, wasn’t RIT dying easy? No, I don’t get paid by RIT to mention them. I’m sure they don’t even know I exist. However, I know they exist, and dying things is fun and easy.

2 Responses to “Dying A Stained Shirt”

  1. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. May 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    Very clever!

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