Weekend DIY – Revamp Your Dingy Whites!

Grace and I both have white terrycloth swimsuit cover-ups that are showing signs of age.  Each time we put them on I kind of cringe at how yellowed and grungy they are.

Mine is like a bajllion years old and hers is a hand-me-down that arrived in good shape but has gone downhill due to her, um, creative methods of eating.

I was going to start looking around for new ones when I was struck with a revelation…


It’s a pretty basic process and one that many craftier people than I have done countless times, but I’m a dying virgin (that sounds creepy!) so to me it’s kind of a big deal…in an “I love a good project” kind of way.

Last week I hit up my local Joann’s on the way to a friend’s house and shelled out about $4 for a bottle of Fuchsia dye.

Both cover-ups were dirty so I washed and dried them before starting the process.

Next I read the directions on the side of the bottle.  And then I read them in English ;)  Everything seemed pretty straightforward.

Be sure you know what kind of fabric you’re working with so you can proceed accordingly.  Both of my items were mainly cotton and the directions suggested adding a cup of salt to the mix for cotton so I grabbed the salt from my spice cupboard, rolled up my sleeves and got started.

Of course the blasted things look pretty darn white in these pictures, but in reality they are dingy with a capital D!

Maybe if we take a closer look you’ll see a little of what I’m talking about.
I had to edit the contrast on these pics a little to get the stains to show up, but you can definitely see them now!
So yeah, I was motivated to ditch these until I realized how cheap/easy it would be to spruce them up!
Basically you start a small load of laundry on HOT and dump in your dye and salt (if necessary).  Let it fill up and agitate for a second to really mix things up.
Gettin’ agitated!
*Note: Wear old junky clothes because the agitation may splash you and it would be a big bummer to ruin something nice with dye splashes.
Once the potion is mixed up pretty good, drop your dingy whites into the washer and close the lid.
Make sure you use the longest wash setting you have so that you give everything a good half hour to mix around and get coated thoroughly.
Once the cycle is done, run an extra rinse cycle on COLD to lock the color in and make sure the excess dye is rinsed away.
After second rinse it’s still pretty pink inside the washer.

 You’re going to need to wipe your washer down after this process is complete.  Well, unless you want to make some other things pink by leaving all the residue in the basin :)

See, I told you it would splatter!

I wiped down the washer and just to be safe I ran a quick load without anything in it except for a little Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.  After that, the machine was sparkling white again :)

Now for the big reveal!

The thread on my cover-up didn’t take to the dye, but I like the subtle edging and stripes.  Also, I knew Grace’s zipper would remain white and I was worried that it would look funny, but I think it looks fine :)
I’ve got to say that I’m pretty happy with the outcome.  It feels like we’ve got brand new swim cover-ups and all it took was a few bucks and about an hour when it was all said and done.  The washer and dryer definitely worked harder than I did :)
Here’s a little before/after recap for ya:
One of my favorite dye jobs is this one from Young House Love.  Check out how she dyed her wedding dress!
You better believe I’m on the lookout for other things I can revamp with dye!  Have you dyed anything?  How did it turn out?
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2 Responses to “Weekend DIY – Revamp Your Dingy Whites!”

  1. You are a very capable person!

  2. Thanks a great deal for your article. Truly looking forward to read more. Will certainly read on.

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