One Way to Dye Your Own Carpets


The tan carpet in #216 was shot Carpets.

It had been hopeless.

A brand new carpet was required.

That meant pulling the older one, scratching off the pad location balayeuse, and after calling the carpet man and depositing $1000 or even more.

It was not anybody’s fault.

The carpet had served well.

But, upon closer examination, I decided it wasn’t really in that bad of shape.

It didn’t have frayed edges, or worn down stains, and the rest was still pretty great. It merely looked terrible.

No one would rent the flat with a rug in that condition.

I steam cleaned it hopes it would be miraculously cured.

Then it hit me.

I purchased an 8 ounce bottle of RIT tan dye (the type you use for dyeing clothing) at the drug store for $4, mixed a little in a spray bottle with steaming hot water, shook it up and sprayed the spots.

They came out a brassy brown, nothing like the color of the existing carpet.

I had the carpet professionally steam cleaned. Surely they could perform a magic trick.


However, I noticed my dyeing job over the bleached out spots had kept its original colour.

Then it happened to me, why don’t you try dyeing the whole rug to match the stains I’d sprayed?

Two pictures came into mind on how I could do this.

I could mix the dye with warm water in my little steam cleaner (just like you’d rent at the marketplace) or I could use up a pump garden sprayer. I decided on the sprayer because the tenant below had endured through enough steam cleaning noise.

I mixed 8 tablespoons of dye into the two quarts of steaming hot water from the sprayer, screwed in the pump, then shook the contents up and pumped it up.

I corrected the nozzle on the sprayer to a fine spray and began.

I moved the planks as I dyed, but after a while as I became comfortable with the sprayer, I did not really need them.

Also, after dyeing a segment, also before reloading the sprayer, I used my small Bissell carpet sweeper to even outside the areas I’d sprayed and work the dye into the carpet.

But still, the bleached out stains did not match the overall carpet shade after I finished dyeing.

So the next day I applied another coat.

Even better, but still not great enough.

I then went back to the store for much more dye, however they did not have anymore tan. I moved to three other stores, but no tan.

This turned out to be a boon in disguise.

I put 4 tablespoons of this darker dye to my two quarts of hot hot water, pumped up the sprayer and applied another coat.

That is when the magic started to happen.

The darker brown actually kicked in.

The paths down the hall vanished, as did the light stains under the windows.

The carpet started to look like a real carpet again, however, the bleached out spots still dyed a slightly darker shade than the rest of the carpet.

To compensate for this I dyed other parts of the rug darker by spraying dye onto them continued with my carpet sweeper to even out the dye and work it in the nap. My goal was to blend everything together.

It worked… somewhat.

I applied two coats of this dark brown dye, about $12 worth of dye, above a 700 square foot area.

It was simple, and fun to perform.

From the time that I applied the second coat the carpeting looked nearly new.

Because I have obsessed over the bleached out stains from the carpet I will still find a number of these, but not all. There’s a slight darkening in the carpet where they once existed, but every time a possible renter came through to lease the flat, and I explained to her what I had done, she glanced at it, said it looked fine, and went to look at the kitchen.

My daughter and my neighbor also seen the carpeting and both stated it seemed great, better than their own carpets.

But I know it’s not perfect.

My dad mentioned the dye might be toxic.

I had not thought of this. I figured if you could dye your clothes with it you could certainly do a carpeting.

But to be safe I phoned RIT, the makers of this dye, and their agent assured me that their dyes are non-toxic, but they don’t recommend using them on carpets because some of their customers have called and stated the dye rubs off with time.

I moved back up to #216, soaked a cone with hot hot water, and tried to rub off the dye in several spots.

Nothing happened.

I am not sure.

But if it does wear off, and the carpeting is still useable, why don’t you dye those places again, like repainting walls, or staining wood doors and trim that experience wear and tear?

P.S. My daughter suggested that I include this following thought: Why not cut out a stencil of your favorite style, say a star or elephant, place it over the stain or repaint out place, then spray the dye into the stencil. A lot simpler than dyeing the whole carpet!

Just a thought.


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