How to Wash a Tie-Dye Shirt for the First Time

Tie dyeing shirts is a fun project for kids and the whole family, but you can easily wash out the dye in the washing machine unless you take special precautions. Washing a tie-dye shirt for the first time requires some effort, as the shirt will need to be washed by hand to prevent it from staining the inside of your washing machine and dryer. With proper care, a tie-dye shirt can last for many years. The initial washing is the most important, as it sets the dyes.

Step 1

Rinse the shirt with cold water from a sink or hose. You should have rinsed the tie-dye shirt after the initial dyeing, but if it was not, it needs to be rinsed with cold water to remove excess dye.

Step 2

Fill a tub or basin with clean, warm water to set the remaining dye so that it will not bleed. Mix in a small amount of laundry detergent.

Step 3

Place the tie-dyed shirt into the tub or basin, and let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes undisturbed.

Step 4

Wash the shirt gently with your hands. Do not rub the shirt too hard, as this can affect the dyes and cause them to run.

Step 5

Allow the shirt to soak for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 6

Remove the shirt from the tub, and lay it flat, or hang it on a line to dry.


Wash your tie-dye shirt in warm water for the first few washes, whether in a basin or in your washing machine.

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