How to Dye a Nylon & Spandex Swimsuit

by Celeigh O'Neil ; Updated September 28, 2017

Dye your swimsuit instead of spending money on a new one.

Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Swimsuits made of nylon and spandex offer comfort and style. When the suit becomes faded or you want a new color, dye it at home with the right product. For nylon, that product is an acid dye, which is similar to a regular fabric dye but requires vinegar to set.

Fill a large pot with enough water to cover your swimsuit. Turn the stove on to medium heat and allow the water to heat until boiling.

Pour powdered acid dye into the pot. Stir the powder with a spoon until it has dissolved completely. Use the amount indicated on the box to get the shade that you want.

Run the swimsuit under warm water until it is soaked through. Place it into the pot and adjust the stove's temperature to just below boiling.

Stir the water continuously until it achieves a slight boil. Use a spoon to hold the swimsuit against one side of the pot. Pour a quarter cup of vinegar into the water, avoiding direct contact with the suit. Release the swimsuit and stir the vinegar into the water.

Reduce the temperature to medium heat and allow the suit to sit for half an hour while stirring occasionally. Medium heat provides enough heat for the acidity to affect the dye without damaging the spandex content of the suit.

Turn off the stove and remove the swimsuit. Wash it in a washing machine on the delicate setting with color-safe detergent to remove excess dye. Wash it alone to avoid damaging other clothing, and hang the suit to dry.


  • Wear old clothing that you don't mind getting stained, in case of a spill during the dyeing process.

    Wear rubber gloves while moving the swimsuit from the stove to the washing machine to protect your hands.

    Select vibrant, opaque colors to completely cover the original shade of the swimsuit. Avoid pastels, as they have a tendency to fade quickly, particularly when exposed to chlorine.

Photo Credits

  • Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

About the Author

Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.