How do I Fix a Shirt That Did Not Tie Dye?

by Emma Lee

The hippie culture started the tie dye fad in the 1960s.

tie dyed green image by Steve Mann from

Nothing is predictable when it comes to tie dying. Every shirt will have a slightly unusual design, as well as different shades of colors. Salvaging a shirt that did not tie dye will require a little effort on your part to remove the dye. T-shirts made from 100 percent cotton produce the best tie dye effects.

Items you will need

  • Liquid bleach
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dye
Step 1

Set the water level of your washing machine to adequately cover the shirt. Run hot water into the washing machine's tub.

Step 2

Add 1 tbsp. of liquid bleach per gallon of hot water and your favorite laundry detergent. Start the washing cycle and let it run for 2 minutes before putting the shirt into the washer. This will ensure the bleach and detergent are mixed well with the wash water.

Step 3

Place the shirt into the washer and complete the wash and rinse cycle. Remove the shirt, but do not put it in the dryer.

Step 4

Dye the entire shirt with a darker shade than previously used, or repeat the tie dye process. If an adequate amount of dye has been removed or faded, dyeing the shirt a second time will cover previous dye.


  • Purchase a package of dye color remover in the same brand used to initially dye the shirt. Follow the dye removal instructions on the package. Dye removal is located in the same section as the dye brand. Powdered oxygen bleach can also be used to remove the dye.


  • The chance that all the dye will be removed is unlikely. However, dying the shirt a darker shade will salvage the shirt and may produce a design as unusual as a tie dye. Always wear disposable gloves when working with dye. Do not dry a shirt from which you want to remove the dye. Drying will set the color to the fabric.

Photo Credits

About the Author

Emma Lee owns a photography website and also works as a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, animals and photography. Her work can be found on various websites. Lee attended Charles County Community College located in Maryland.