Well… it seems I have a track record of updating this every year or so. I will try a bit harder in good ol’ 2013… especially as I have a backlog of things to post about <3.
Last post I talked about actually dyeing my fabric for Seth. Well, as lovely a job as it did, it’s also super important to tidy up all your tools. In this case, it meant cleaning up the washing machine >_<.
First I present to you images of the fabric right after the whole dye process was completed, including the 2nd wash with detergent. You’ll notice right away, it’s obvious I just dyed something in the washer. While not atrocious, there’s enough green around to make me really nervous about washing another load.
Taking an even closer look, the washer will definitely need a lil TLC to get it back to its rightful condition. It’s rather obviously green. I also want to remind you I used a super super weak concentration of dye for this amount of fabric. I’m not saying to be scared, but rather, be aware.
There are at least two things you need to do protect your future washes from post dye accidents:
- Wipe down the inside of the washer.
- Run a wash cycle with bleach and a few rags.
No matter how “clean” your washes appears, it’s essential to run another wash cycle. Washers have a habit of holding residual water in the outer tub… right where you can’t see it. This means all the dye has not yet left the machine in just one wash. Yeah that’d be unpleasant, right? Also, the dye will stick to any type of scums or residue inside the washer. Water might not be able to reach all those spot. Take a look.
Yep not reaching that high. Frankly, even if it could, it might be too tough to just come off with a rinse. So, it’s good practice to wipe everything down. To ensure everything was clean, I wiped before and after my blank load. Even after the blank load, you can see how much I have to clean up. Make sure to pay attention to the very top of the washer drum and the agitator.
Not bad at all I say! Everything looks all nice and clean now. I feel pretty confident my family won’t notice I dumped green dye into the washer… even with that bit of green tint still about.^^;
Overall, I’d definitely call this a successful venture. However, I’ll continue to avoid ever dyeing polyester again if I can help it. Too much work. Too much effort. Polyester is also just too difficult with too many varying results for me to make a habit of it. Also, I can only order away for the dye, so it’s money wasted on shipping too! Nonetheless, it was a good experience and I hope someone can learn from my adventures.
So the recap what I learned:
- Polyesters are difficult to dye and take special attention. In addition to the special chemical dye, you need heat and lots of it. Boiling water can barely achieve this.
- Polyester dyes are powerful stuff. They.Smell.Horrid. Even though iDye Poly is nicely contained, once it hits the water, you’ll have to crack a window.
- If you can fit it in a pot, do so. You’ll get much better dye results and the cleanup process is not only much easier, but less worrisome. I was terrified my mom would put in whites and get back the most lovely shades of green.
- Polyester dyeing is best left for smaller amounts of fabric. Handling large volumes of fabric is very cumbersome because you can’t get it in a pot. That alone means it’s likely you won’t get very good results. Remember, when dyeing, you want the fabric to float freely.
- Realistically, if you can get the close enough to the color in the first place, don’t bother with dyeing.
And there you have it! My adventures in polyester dying! I’ll try to post again much sooner. I might put a hold on Seth and talk about my more current tasks. We’ll see!