Is it safe to use Rit Dye Fixative weeks after applying the dye?
Country or region: US
Message: It has taken me weeks to find a fixative, so the clothes that I have dyed have been waiting and waiting for it, the instructions for the Rit Dye Fixative say to use it immediately after dying them. I feel like I messed this up, is it safe to use the fixative now? Do I need alternate instructions to use it? Should I wet down the fabric again before splashing the fixative on it?
Your help would be greatly appreciated. Btw, I did look for this issue on the site but couldn't find anything that pertained to my situation, if I overlooked a post regarding this topic please simply point me in the right direction :)
You didn't mess up. There's no problem. The cationic dye fixatives will work at any time. I've used another brand of a similar product, Retayne, on commercially-dyed garments with no idea as to how long it might have been since they were dyed. The reason why the instructions for Rit Dye Fixative say to use immediately after dyeing is because there's no requirement to wait, and Rit dye, like all brands of all-purpose dye, is pretty appallingly poorly washfast. If you launder a Rit-dyed garment before applying the fixative, the garment could quickly become badly faded, and ruin any other garments you wash it with. This is not an issue if you've been holding the clothes you dyed aside until you could get the fixative.
Don't splash the fixative on your dyed clothes. It's not intended to be applied undiluted. Instead, fill a bucket or washing machine (depending on how many items you have of the identical color) with very hot tap water, 140°F or a little warmer (to allow for cooling). You'll need plenty of water to ensure a smooth application; use a three-gallon or larger bucket for a single shirt. If your tap water isn't hot enough, you can add some water that you've heated on the stove, but there is no need to spoil your cooking pot by applying the fixative in the pot itself, on the stovetop. It's not considered safe to use Rit Dye Fixative in a cooking pot you will be reusing for food.
Sometimes people try Rit Dye Fixative with Rit All-Purpose Dye for tie-dyeing, but this is not a good idea. Rit Dye Fixative doesn't work for tie-dyed garments that have been dyed in multiple colors, which require a completely different kind of dye. Since Rit Dye Fixative cannot be used without immersing your garment in water, it is suitable only for pieces that have been dyed a single solid color. If you try to tie-dye multiple colors with Rit dye and then fix with Rit Dye Fixative, your colors will bleed together. It's important to use fiber reactive dyes, such as the dyes in good tie-dyeing kits, if you want to tie-dye; if you use fiber reactive dyes, you will not need to use a product like Rit Dye Fixative, because the dyes are permanent without it, when applied according to the instructions.
Wear waterproof gloves and safety glasses when working with Rit Dye Fixative, as it does contain some toxic ingredients. Using a measuring cup and a stick or a long-handled spoon that you will never reuse with food, measure out the necessary amount of Rit Dye fixative into your water and stir it in. Use one-quarter cup of Rit Dye Fixative for one t-shirt. For larger quantities of clothing, weigh all of the clothing of one color before you start, while it is still dry; you will need half a cup of Rit Dye Fixative per pound of fabric. After the Rit Dye Fixative is mixed into the water, you can add your clothing, and stir constantly (or agitate the washing machine) for twenty minutes, so that all of the fabric is treated equally. Apply the dye fixative to only one color of garment at a time. Each color of garment should have the commercial dye fixative added separately; apply the fixative to garments together only if you have dyed them together with the exact same dye color. After the twenty minutes of stirring your clothes with the Rit Dye Fixative in very hot water, you can rinse them in cold water, and then launder as usual before wearing.
I don't see any reason why Rit Dye Fixative shouldn't be as good as other cationic dye fixatives, but their instructions are a little worrisome, because they end with advice to "Be sure to wash dyed garments separately in cold water." This is not a good sign. It's certainly true that some dyes work so differently that the fixative won't help them, but those are vat dyes, not the dyes used in Rit dye packets. What particularly bothers me about this is that, to me, the whole point of using a commercial dye fixative is that you should no longer have to wash the garments separately in cold water! It's important to me to be able to wash my clothes together in full-sized washing machine loads, rather than spending my weekends washing each individual item of clothing I own separately. After I use Retayne to fix commercially-dyed clothing, I always wash the treated items in warm water with other colors of clothing; this has never caused a problem. I hope that Rit Dye Fixative performs better than their instructions suggest. I would advise you to test-launder your treated clothing with a clean white piece of fabric to see whether any color transfers in the wash.
Here are the manufacturers' instructions for Rit Dye Fixative:
Use immediately after dyeing/rinse cycle to provide long lasting color retention. Washing Machine: Fill machine with Hottest water safe for fabric. Select low water level setting. Add 4 tablespoons Rit Dye Fixative for 1/2 - 3/4 lb. of fabric (or 2 yards fabric). Agitate to mix. Add unfolded fabric. Set washer for extended wash cycle (20 minutes). Rinse in cold water and dry. Clean machine immediately with hot water and detergent using complete cycle. Clean lint traps; wipe spilled fixative with cleanser and water. Sink or Stove Top: Add 4 tablespoons Rit Dye Fixative to 3 gallons of hot water for each 1/2 - 3/4 lb of dry fabric. Add fabric; stir constantly for 20 minutes. Rinse in cold water and dry. Clean container with hot water and cleanser. Note: No fixative will completely prevent dyed garments from bleeding. Fixatives will greatly improve washfastness. Be sure to wash dyed garments separately in cold water.
Eye and skin irritant. Harmful if swallowed. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Wash throughly after handling. First Aid: In case of eye contact, immediately flush with plenty of water for 15 minutes. Call physician. In case of skin contact, flush with water. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Give large quantities milk or water. Call physician immediately. Keep out of reach of children.
Rit Dye Fixative is much more dilute than other brands of cationic dye fixative; other brands are more concentrated, so much less of them is required. This means that Rit Dye Fixative is surprisingly more expensive than the other brands of cationic dye fixative. While you must use one-half cup (120 ml) of Rit Dye Fixative for each one to one-and-a-half pounds of fabric, you need only two tablespoons (30 ml) of Jacquard iDye Fixative for one pound of dry fabric. Dharma Dye Fixative also requires one ounce, which is two tablespoons per pound, while Retayne requires only two teaspoons (10 ml) per pound (or one teaspoon per yard of fabric).
It is certainly a good idea to use Rit Dye Fixative or another commercial dye fixative, such as Dharma Dye Fixative, Jacquard iDye Fixative, or Retayne, whenever you've used a poor-quality dye that will fade quickly. Since all-purpose dyes, such as Rit, tend to run badly in the wash, a single mistake in sorting your dyed clothes by color before washing could ruin other clothes. These dye fixatives can help solve the problem of low quality dyes that run in the wash. They don't work as well as using a more permanent dye to begin with, though.
What works best is to use a better dye. Fiber reactive dyes are far more permanent and reliable on cotton than any all-purpose dye, such as Rit. The most popular fiber reactive dye, for home dyers, is Procion MX dye. Other brands that contain fiber reactive dye include tie-dye kits such as the Jacquard Tie Dye Kit, and solid color dyes including Dylon Permanent Dye and Tulip Permanent Dye. These dyes are fixed permanently with soda ash, the same chemical that's in washing soda. They bond so permanently to the fabric that you do not need to use a commercial dye fixative, such as Rit Dye Fixative or Retayne. Dyeing is easier when you don't need to buy special fixatives to make up for poor dye performance. I strongly recommend that you use Procion dye for your next dyeing project, assuming your clothes are made of cotton or similar fibers.
(Please help support this web site. Thank you.)
Posted: Tuesday - May 01, 2012 at 10:06 AM
Follow this blog on twitter here.
Total entries in this blog:
Total entries in this category:
Published On: Aug 29, 2012 02:49 PM