How to Dye Tennis Shoes

Breathe new life into tired sneakers with an updated dye job.
Breathe new life into tired sneakers with an updated dye job. (Image: shoes image by April K from

Sometimes you cannot find what you are looking for in the wide world of shoes. If you have a comfortable pair of tennis shoes that have seen better days, reinvent them with a simple dye project. In just one day, you can make your trusty pair of sneakers match your favorite pants or a cozy, new sweater. Instead of scanning racks of tennis shoes that will take weeks to break in, make a quick run to the store and buy a dye kit that will transform your sneakers from faded to fabulous.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid dye
  • Big sink or bucket
  • Hot water
  • Wooden or plastic spoon
  • Warm water
  • Cold water
  • Chlorine bleach

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Pour hot water into a big bucket or sink. Fill the bucket or sink with enough water to generously cover the shoes.

Squirt half of the dye bottle into the hot water and stir.

Remove the shoelaces from the tennis shoes.

Run hot water over the sneakers and the shoelaces, in another sink, until they are both soaked.

Place the tennis shoes and shoelaces in the dye bath.

With a plastic or wooden spoon, stir the tennis shoes and shoelaces around in the dye bath for 30 minutes.

Drain the dye bath and begin rinsing the shoelaces and tennis shoes in warm water. As the excess dye rinses off, shift to rinsing with cold water.

Wash the tennis shoes and shoelaces by hand in moderately hot water with a gentle detergent.

Rinse with cold water.

Put the dyed tennis shoes and shoelaces out in the sun or in the dryer on low heat until they are completely dry.

Thoroughly clean the bucket or sink with bleach to prevent stains from the dye.


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