How to Dye Fabric Using Kool-Aid & Vinegar

by Laure Justice

Fun kids drink makes fabric dye.

glass of juice and coasters image by Bube from Fotolia.com

You can dye fabric with dye made from unsweetened Kool-Aid and vinegar, as long as the fabric is made from a protein fiber. However, you will need to dye the fabric before it is made into a garment because this method will cause the natural fibers to shrink. Fabrics made from protein fiber include wool and silk. Other fabrics might initially take the dye, but it will wash out and can end up staining other fabric items.

Items you will need

  • Sink
  • Hot water
  • Large stainless steel soup pot or kettle
  • Unsweetened Kool-Aid (approximately 1 packet per yard of fabric)
  • 1 cup white vinegar per Kool-Aid packet
  • 3 cups water per Kool-Aid packet
  • Wooden spoon
Step 1

Fill the sink with hot water and push the fabric into it. Let the fabric soak a minimum of 20 minutes.

Step 2

Set the soup pot on the stove burner and add the Kool-Aid, vinegar and water. Turn the stove on and wait for steam to rise from the mixture.

Step 3

Drain the water from the sink and gently wring the excess water out of the fabric.

Step 4

Push the fabric into the hot Kool-Aid mixture using the wooden spoon so you don't get burned. Add another batch of Kool-Aid mixture if you do not have enough liquid to cover the fabric.

Step 5

Cover the pot and let it simmer on low heat for a minimum of 45 minutes, stirring every five minutes. The color will soak into the fabric and the Kool-Aid mixture will be either clear or a cloudy white shade.

Step 6

Let the fabric and Kool-Aid cool to lukewarm and drain the Kool-Aid mixture off of the fabric. Rinse the fabric with warm water until the color stops running out.

Step 7

Drape the fabric over a clothesline or shower rod and wait for it to air dry.

Tips

  • Do not use an aluminum or cast iron pot to make this dye as it can cause discoloration.

    The color will last longer if you hand wash the fabric in cold water with a delicate detergent like Woolite after the dye is set.

Photo Credits

  • glass of juice and coasters image by Bube from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Laure Justice is a professional copywriter, since 2008. Justice has a broad-based business education, holding an AA in business administration and a Bachelor of Arts in management, plus certifications in accounting and international trade. She has written for GMC, Bounty Paper Towels, Purina's Petcentric, Colgate, Type F, Kudzu, eHow and many others.