Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Old Faded Jeans Brought Back to Brand New

 My husband, Mr.KofColors is very picky when it comes to his apparel. When shopping for work jeans it is very hard because they have to fit a certain way and they MUST be comfortable because he works long hours. 

"Some jeans you can wear for 12 hours, others you can for 24. If I have a pair of jeans that I can wear 36 hours...they are keepers." -Mr.KofColors

He had four pairs of jeans that he loves to wear, but they had become faded over time. They are in great shape but he doesn't like the color. Instead of taking him jean shopping *eek! I decided to try and dye them back to there original blue color. 

After researching, my first trial run was on a pair of my jeans and one of his. 
I followed the advice/instructions of on re-dyeing jeans.
 Using the bucket and stir method was a pain. Not only did I seem to get dye everywhere, but I found that the jeans were not evenly dyed. Parts of the legs had light blue patches. My jeans dyed beautifully, however they were a spandex/cotton blend which is supposed to dye nicely. 
Other problem I had was where was I supposed to dump the dye when finished? Ugh!

But the end results were fantastic! I loved the darker color. But how to make it easier than stirring each pair in a bucket for 30 minutes?

I went against the advice and tried them in the washing machine (WM). They said that the dye would ruin your washing machine,however, this is not true. 

First step was that I put the jeans in the WM and set it at rinse. That way it soaked then spin them. Remove from WM. 

Next, I filled the WM with hot water. Once filled, stop washer and pour dye into water. Stir. Then add your damp clothing. I added three pairs of faded jeans and one pair of "bucket" jeans (four total). *I wanted to see if I could try to dye the lighter spots

Make sure that your clothing is in the dye bath for 30 minutes. For my WM, I had to stop and reset the wash cycle before it rinsed.  
Once you reach 30 minutes, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. The rinse cycle needs to be clear before you dry. I rinsed at least four times.

Now you can either lay them flat to dry or you can put them in the dryer. I opted to putting all of my jeans in the dryer... 

And VOILA!! New jeans!! They came out evenly dyed and a perfect shade of dark blue. 

 But I should have 4 pairs of jeans....missing a pair???
He wore a pair the very next day to work. He loves his comfy jeans. 

As noted above, the pair of jeans that I dyed twice came out slightly purple. Mr. KofColors didn't realize that they were the jeans I had dyed, thought they were a different pair, so he was amazed. 

As for the "mess" that is in your WM when finished dyeing any fabric - Clean your washing machine. 

Following the instructions of Ask Anna, she shows you step by step of the cleaning process. In Part 2 you are even cleaning out the fabric softener and bleach compartments. Links are below: 

I hate to admit my WM is cleaner now than it was before this project. 

Hope that this helps you with your own jean apparel. If you have any questions please let me know.


  1. Wow. Super smart idea!! Unfortunately by the time my jeans get to a point where I'd want to dye them, they're usually thin in the inner thighs and I should really just let go and buy new ones (but I HATE jean shopping!)

    1. Thanks for the comment Jill, I couldn't agree more. When we shop for the hubby's jeans, I like to buy in mass so we don't have to do it again for awhile. But he refuses to throw them away until they are to the point they are not wearable anymore.