DIY! Re-dye your old-faded Jeans


(Left: Before, Right: After. Sorry, My camera is less than stellar.)

I don’t buy myself clothes. Like ever. As a Mommy of two on a tight budget, I am far from fashionable, but I still like to look my best. Recently my husband and I decided to spend a little bit of money on updating our wardrobes! Awesome, right? That’s what I thought, so I spent hours online, made a couple shopping trips, and have gotten myself several new tops.

Here’s the problem.

As i’m trying to incorporate my new pieces into my seriously lacking wardrobe, I realize that my Jeans are ALL faded. and I mean all of them. Every single pair of once beautifully, dark washed denim has become faded, a tad stained, and entirely too stone washed looking.

My brilliant idea?

Dye them. I mean, standard Jeans are mainly cotton (all of mine were 78% cotton or more) and cotton can be dyed, (very easily with that stuff in the little Rit box.) So after a few hours of research and a trip to Walmart I was armed with dye, and ready to try it out.

What I Used:

1 box of Navy blue Rit Dye

1/2 box of Black Rit Dye

1 Cup Salt (standard table salt)

3 Gallons Hot Water

Large Bucket

Rubber Gloves

Wooden Spoon

Instructions: (For one pair. Do one at a time, it’ll be easier. It may take longer, but the results will be better.)

1. Follow the directions on the box to make dye bath

  a. Mix Navy packet with two cups hot water till dissolved

  b. In a separate container mix Black packet with two cups hot water till dissolved

  c. Fill bucket with 3 gallons hot water, and mix in 1 Cup salt till dissolved

  d. Add all of Navy dye to bath, and half (1 cup) Black dye to bath

  e. Stir well (you’re wooden spoon will be ruined, but it’s worth it.)

2. Take clean Jeans and get them wet with hot water. Like actually wet. Completely soak them. Submerge them in the tub if you’d like. I know I keep saying this, but it’s important. So do it. Then wring them out by hand so they’re not dripping. Soaked, but not drippy, k? (or you can run them through the washer and not dry them, but you’ll get more vibrant colors if they’re wet with hot water.)

3. Put on rubber gloves. No really, you’ll dye your hands if you don’t. And No one wants inky blue hands. NO ONE.

4. Slowly begin dunking them in the Dye bath, (I did one leg at a time, then the waist last) till they’re completely submerged.

5. Now mix them around. The goal is to make sure the dye can seep in everywhere, you don’t want the jeans to ball up inside the bucket, so you keep moving them around (with your hands, hence the importance of gloves) to keep that from happening. The box will tell you to agitate them for the full 30 minutes. I didn’t. I did for about 5 minutes, then halfway through I did another 5 minutes, and I did one last time before I took them out.

6. After your 30 minutes are up remove them from the dye bath and wring them out in the sink. ( I actually had my bucket sitting in one side of my kitchen sink, and used the other side to rinse them.)

7. You then rinse them in hot water continuously wringing them out and gradually cooling the water till it runs clear and is cold. Again, I didn’t. (I have a problem following directions.) I rinsed for about 10 minutes, and the water was still a weird inky-bluish/purple, so I stopped. (Seems smart, right?)

8. Flip them inside out and machine wash them with mild detergent, I did do the rinse cycle twice, and  I used the dryer. I know, I know, they wouldn’t fade so much if I hung them up, but seriously…Ain’t nobody got time for that.

And Ta-dah! You have wonderful “new” dark wash denim!


(The stain in the center of my thigh was there prior to the dye job, it’s not as visible now though.)


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