I Tried to Dye My Faded Jeans

©. Roy Strauss

Wonder how hard it is to dye your old clothes? I found out for you.

It's hard to find good jeans. So I was loath to give up my pair of super old jeans, even though they were faded. I normally wouldn't mind faded jeans, but these weren't cool faded, they were gross, Oscar the Grouch-style faded.

So I picked up a box of fabric dye and went to work. There is no grand story here, but if you've thought about dying your old jeans and wondered how difficult it is to do and how well it works, read on.

I boiled some water and poured it into a bucket. I mixed in some salt and detergent, per the box directions. Then I mixed the dye into a cup of boiling water and poured that into the bucket too.

You're supposed to continuously stir the clothes in a bucket with enough room for the clothes to move freely. But I didn't have a large enough bucket for that, nor did I have a big spoon for stirring purposes. So I just moved the jeans around every few minutes with my hands, which were covered in gloves.

After 10 minutes, I stopped moving them and let them sit in the dye for an hour. Then I rinsed until they were clear and tossed them in the washing machine and dryer. They came out looking like this:

my jeans

© Ilana Strauss

Not bad, right? They looked pretty much new. I didn't plan on making this an article, so I don't have a before picture, but trust me: big improvement.

So overall, this was pretty easy. I screwed up some of the instructions — eyeballed the detergent, didn't mix right — and it still all went fine. In conclusion: don't throw out your old jeans! Just dye them.