How to Dye Fabric with Ice

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I recently dyed my hair pink. If you’re reading this after 2020, congratulations, you survived. I dyed my hair pink in 2020 because…well you know. I needed SOMETHING fun. Speaking of something fun, why aren’t we dying everything we own pink? I think the world would be a better place. If you’d like to make the world a better place by dying something pink (or blue or green or yellow, for that matter) Here’s how you do it with ICE!

The nice thing about this project is that you need very few materials and most of them you probably already have. I’ll tell what I used, but by all means use whatever you have around your house.

DYE – I used this Dylon Flamingo Pink but any powdered dye, such as RIT will work.

Salt – We always have Morton Kosher Salt in my house.

A big tub – Okay here’s where I might have went a different direction. I used a roasting pan like this one but it was a little too small and flimsy. In the future, I’ll use one of these big tubs.

White Fabric – I used a sweatshirt. Read the instructions on your dye to be sure it’s made for whatever type of fabric you’re using.

Cookie Cooling Racks – Cooling racks like these ones worked well for me, but anything you have around your house that will allow the fabric to drip and hold it above the tub will work just fine!

Water and Ice

Some kind of drop cloth or plastic in case you’re messy. (I’m messy)

To start, soak your fabric in HOT water and salt. Use enough water to cover the fabric completely and about a cup of salt. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

See how my roasting pan is already starting to look a little small for what I need? Anyway, next drain the water and crumple your fabric on top of your cookie drying racks (or whatever you find to hold it above your tub.) I kind of grabbed mine in the middle and twisted it, but just make sure it’s good and crumpled so you get lots of variation in the dye pattern.

Next, Cover your fabric with ice. In the future, I will get a bag of ice from the gas station. Getting that much ice from my fridge took ages.

Sprinkle the dye over the ice and let it melt! It’s really that simple. Do a light layer to cover the whole thing and then go over it again a little more heavy-handed in certain spots to make more of a pattern.

After the ice melts, run COLD water over the fabric until it runs pretty clear. I did this in my kitchen sink because it’s stainless steel and I wasn’t worried about staining it pink. You could also do this step with a garden hose or buckets of water if you’re worried about stains. Next, you can run it through the washing machine on cold by itself so the dye doesn’t transfer, dry, and finished! Look how cute!

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