Perhaps your white bedspread was once as pure a white as the driven snow, but now it's starting to look a bit dingy. Bleach does not brighten it and you have tried everything you can think of. Now you are thinking you may just have to toss it or use it as a dust cover in the garage. There is an alternative. Give your tired white bedspread new life with a new color---dye it ivory with tea bags!
Things You'll Need
- Large enameled pot or glass bowl
- Tea bags
- Four small white bowls
- Washing machine (optional)
Put several tea bags in an enameled pot or glass bowl; cover with boiling water and let steep for several minutes until the color is deep brown. This is your dye concentrate.
Fill four small white bowls with 4 ounces of hot water each. Add 1 tsp. of tea concentrate to the first bowl. Double the amount of tea in the second bowl; then double again for each successive bowl to create increased concentrations from one to the next. These are your test dyes.
Cut four small patches from an inconspicuous portion of the bedspread (such as the underside of the hem area), or find a similar material as a substitute. These are your test patches.
Place one test patch in each of the four bowls and let sit for 1 minute before removing. Wring out excess tea solution and dry.
Choose the concentration that gives the most desirable color. Save that bowl for reference.
Fill bathtub with enough hot water that when the bedspread is placed in it, the water will just cover the surface. Estimate only at this stage--do not put bedspread in yet.
Add tea concentrate until the water in the tub matches the depth of color in your sample bowl. If necessary, make more concentrate. If your bathtub is not white, the color may not match the sample. Use one of your white bowls to scoop out some of the liquid for comparison with your test sample.
Place the bedspread in the tub and fully submerge it in the tea dye bath until it is fully wet throughout. Agitate it vigorously with your hands to ensure that every part of the bedspread is soaked with dye. Let sit for 1 minute; remove and wring it out as well as you can. Transfer it to a washing machine set on spin cycle to finish the wringing process. Dry.
Repeat Step 8--soaking and drying--until you achieve the desired color.
Tips & Warnings
- If you are adventurous, you can skip the testing stages and go straight to the bathtub. Use a very dilute solution of tea until you can determine how deep the color will be.
- As an alternative to tea, or where a richer brown is preferred, use coffee diluted the same way.
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