Is Rit Dye Toxic?

Dyed yarn.
Dyed yarn. (Image: colour strings image by Ivan Hafizov from Fotolia.com)

Dyeing with Rit dye can be one way to salvage an otherwise stained garment or to obtain fabrics or yarns of the colors you desire. Care must be taken when using Rit dye; it is a chemical and is toxic when ingested, breathed or absorbed through the skin.

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Toxicity

Rit dye is a fine powder that if inhaled may cause breathing problems. Skin contact may cause irritation, rashes and mild burns. Ingestion will result in excess stomach acid production and diarrhea, along with burns of the mouth, throat and esophagus.

Personal Safety Equipment

The use of chemical goggles that fully enclose the eyes, rubber gloves and a dust mask will lessen the potential for hazardous contact.

Equipment for Dyeing

Use dedicated equipment for dyeing and set it aside to never be used for food preparation. Standard equipment includes stainless-steel tongs, wooden spoons, measuring spoons and cups, and stainless-steel kettles.

Cleanup

Rit dye is soluble in water, so cleanup is relatively easy. Wash everything used with copious amounts of water, scrub sinks with powdered cleanser, and wash and thoroughly rinse your washing machine with water and bleach.

Uses for Rit Dye

Rit dye works well on natural fibers. It does not adhere to synthetics like rayon or polyester. It can be used to dye yarn or cloth.

References

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