How to Fix a Messed Up Tie Dye Shirt: The Ultimate Guide

Expert Opinion By Fashion Writer & Doodler

Are you looking for a guide on how to fix a messed-up tie-dye shirt? Look no further!

Tying a good tie dye shirt is an art form that takes some time and practice to perfect.

If you’re new to the game, you might be doing it all wrong.

From fixing the fabric to fixing the mistakes you may have made while dyeing,

We’ll have you looking sharp in no time!

This guide will tell you

  • How To Fix A Messed Up Tie Dye Shirt.
  • How To Fix A Bad Tie Dye Shirt.
  • Wash Your Tie Dye Shirts
  • Care For Your Tie Dye Shirt
  • How To Lighten Tie Dye After Dying

How To Fix A Messed Up Tie Dye Shirt – Step By Step Method

How to Fix a Tie Dye Mistake – Steps
Remove any excess dye from the shirt by rinsing it in water (avoid warm water) and mild soap.
Tie a piece of cloth around the soaked shirt and hang it to dry completely.
Rewash the shirt in cold water and use hydrogen peroxide to remove all of the remaining dye residues- be careful not to bleach or damage your fabric!
Blot stain with a clean cloth, then apply ethanol or rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth and blot. Repeat steps 3-4 if the stain persists.
Hang the shirt to let tie dye sit completely- ideally in an area without direct sunlight or heat exposure to prevent fading or damage to the fabric.
Once dry, trim excess fabric if necessary- this should be done before wearing the shirt to avoid any gathers or wrinkles in the fabric.

What Is A Tie-Dye?


Tie-dye is a type of dyeing where fabric is soaked in a coloring solution and then pulled through a tying frame or spinning wheel.

This process creates colorful stripes, checks, or swirls on the surface of the fabric.

How To Wash Your Tie Dye Shirts

  1. After every wear, blot any spills or stains and do a tie-dye wash with a clean cloth to help prevent discoloration or damage to the shirt.
  2. Machine wash tie-dye shirts on a delicate cycle in cold water (avoid hot water) with mild soap and tumble dry low for best results- do not expose the shirt to direct sunlight or heat during this process!
  3. Enjoy your new tie-dye shirt!
wash tie dye

How To Keep Tie Dye From Bleeding Into White

  1. Follow the care instructions that came with your tie-dyes shirt.
  2. Avoid direct sunlight and wear a hat or sunscreen if outdoors during peak hours.
  3. Keep your tie-dye shirt clean, by hand-washing it in water (avoid hot water) with mild soap when needed and air-drying gently.
  4. When it starts to show signs of wear or tear, replace your tie-dye shirt.
  5. Avoid using fabric softener, warm water, or dryer sheets, as they can damage your shirt.
  6. Iron your tie-dye shirt on the lowest heat setting possible and press softly to avoid wrinkles.

How To Soften A Tie Dye Shirt

If your tie-dye shirt feels stiff or hard to the touch, you can soften it by using a few simple steps.

  • Heat the shirt in a dryer for about 10 minutes on low heat.
  • Apply a damp cloth to the shirt and wring it out thoroughly.
  • Rub the cloth gently against the fabric until the shirt feels softer to the touch.
tie dye shirts

Why Did My Tie Dye Bleed?

You can avoid bleeding if you apply the piece of tie dye darker color fabric, cover the entire garment in dye with no breaks left between colors, and use a slow-drying tie-dye kit.

The fiber-reactive dye will give you far good outcomes.

Note: If your shirt has been stained with ammonia or bleach residue (and/or is too faded from normal wear), please consult an expert for instructions on how to remove stains caused by artificial fabrics!

How To Lighten Tie Dye After Dying

tie dying

If you want to lighten your tie-dye shirt after dying it, there are a few simple steps that you can follow.

  1. Remove all the excess dye from the garment by washing with soap and water and then drying thoroughly. Avoid too much dye.
  2. Apply a lighter-hued fabric paint or thinner to areas of the shirt that you would like to lighten (avoiding any areas where the dye has already been applied).
  3. Let the paint dry completely before wearing it.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed to achieve the desired lighting effect.

How To Tie Dye Shirt

If you are looking to dye items yourself, here is a basic guide on how to tie dye using natural dyes.

  • Consult an expert if your project has intricate designs or contains delicate fabrics that may not hold up well to normal handling and dyeing techniques.
  • Preheat the dye pot before adding any of the ingredients by dipping it into cool water for about 30 seconds (this will help prevent accidental scorching).
  • Choose the dye you need by adding the appropriate amounts of water to the pot, stirring until all ingredients are fully mixed in.
  • Add your fabric pieces to a bucket filled with cool water and stir well to evenly saturate (avoid over-dying fabrics or they may become brittle).
  • Time your dyeing process by gradually adding more water while stirring constantly (if colors start to separate, stop dying at that point and add more water).
  • When the desired color has been reached, remove your fabric pieces from the dye pot by lifting them out with a slotted spoon or sponges.
  • Allow items to dry completely (ideally overnight) before wearing or storing.

Tie Dye Patterns

This comprehensive guide to creating tie-dye patterns for Disney shirts uses a variety of methods.

It seems to be an unattractive project but is very interesting.

From simple stripe designs to more complex checkerboard and lattice patterns, find the perfect pattern for your project!

Before You Start:

Depending on the design you’re trying to create, you may need certain supplies before you begin.

For example, if you’re making a striped tie-dye pattern for men’s shirts, you’ll need a cotton tie-dyeing fabric in different colors and a method for tying the fabric together (such as a string tie or rubber band).

Basic Tie Dye Pattern

To start, choose something simple like a stripe or checkerboard design or an old pattern.

To create a simple stripe, start with the dye of one color on one side of the fabric, and the dye of another color on the other side of the fabric.

For example, if you’re using blue and yellow dye, start at one end of the fabric with blue dye, and then work your way towards the other end, adding yellow once you get close.

Make sure to alternate colors every few inches or the stripe will become indistinct.

To create a checkerboard pattern, start with a square of blue and yellow dye on one side of the fabric, and a square of green and red dye on the other side of the fabric.

Again, alternate colors every few inches to create an even effect.

Lattice Pattern

For a more complex tie-dye pattern, try lattice.

To create a lattice design, start by stitching several squares of fabric together (six by six is a good starting size).

Alternate the colors of the dyes in each square.

For example, if you’re using blue and yellow dye, but blue in the bottom left corner of one square, yellow in the bottom right corner of another square, and so on.

Checkerboard Pattern with Partial Stripes

If you want to create a checkerboard pattern with partial stripes, start by stitching together two squares of the same color.
Put one square of blue dye in the top left corner, and one square of yellow dye in the bottom right corner.

Then, alternate colors every few inches so that the stripe is continuous.

How To Soften A Tie Dye Shirt

If you’re unhappy with the edge of your tie-dye shirt, don’t worry!

4 steps to softening a tie-dye shirt:

  1. Wet the fabric you’re going to dye before adding your dyestuff. If you only have liquid dyestuffs available, pour some of it over the fabric and wait a few minutes until it’s absorbed into the fabric. This will help prevent staining on delicate fabrics.
  2. Add your dyestuff to the wet fabric and apply the dye in a circular motion, keeping an even coverage.
  3. Let the shirt dry thoroughly before wearing it. You may have to wait a few days for it to finish drying out; if not, you can put clothes hangers on top of it or clamp a weight down on it for added pressure (a book will do).
  4. Once dry, gently remove any hanger marks and try them on. If everything looks good, you can go ahead and wear it!

Can You Tie Dye A Shirt Twice?

It is possible to dye a shirt twice, but there are some precautions you’ll have to take.

The first time you dye it, be sure not to get any of the dye on the inside of the garment.

Once your shirt is dyed and has dried, put it in the washer on a gentle cycle with like colors (white Rule #1), then dryer on low heat or air drying for the minimum amount of time recommended by the manufacturer.

After drying, you will want to treat the shirt like new.

You can do this by spraying it with a fabric protector or spraying it with water and renewing the essential oil spray.

How To Fix A Bad Tie Dye Shirt

If your tie-dye shirt looks faded or has lost its color, there are a few things you can do to restore it.

First, try soaking the shirt in cold water for a few minutes to help bring back some of the original colors.

If that doesn’t work, you can apply fresh dyestuffs and let them sit for a couple of hours before rinsing them off completely.

More often than not, tie-dye shirts end up with stains that require some extra hand-me-down skills on our part!

We share the best way to remove any bold tie-dye stain from your new fashion statement without damaging or ruining it.

It only takes a small amount of patience and energy, so get to work!

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pour a small amount of white vinegar onto a clean, dry cloth and set it aside.
  3. Wet the fabric stain until it’s submerged in the vinegar, then scrub with the cloth until all of the dye is removed (make sure you reach behind and underneath the area where the dye has settled). Keep an eye on the coloring as you go, and stop scrubbing when the stain is light brown.
  4. Wash the area with cold water and detergent, then rinse thoroughly.
  5. Hang the shirt to dry completely.

How Do You Fix Tie Dye That Went Wrong?

There are a few things you can do if your tie-dye shirt has gone wrong.

  • Try soaking it in cold water for a minute or two to help bring back some of the original colors.
  • If that doesn’t work, try fresh dyestuffs and let them sit for a couple of hours before rinsing them off completely.
  • For bolder colors, it’s usually best to start with white vinegar and then wash with cold water and detergent afterward.
  • Hang the shirt to dry completely and you’re all set!
Source: YouTube.


Tie-dyeing is a fun, creative activity that can be enjoyed by all.

Like anything else, it can also be mishandled.

This blog contains the basics of tie-dyeing so that you can fix any botched project with ease.

Here is a discussion on what tie-dye is, how to wash and care for your tie-dye shirts, and provide a variety of tie-dye patterns to get you started.

It included a talk about why your tie dye may have bled, how to lighten it after dyeing, and some tips on choosing the perfect tie dye pattern for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Can I Fix My Dyed Shirt?

If your shirt has been dyed with a basic or artificial color, you can try to buy an appropriately colored dye and follow the same instructions as above. If the original color has been washed away entirely, there is no way to fix it short of buying a new garment. You would need to either purchase a white t-shirt and dye it yourself or find someone who can do it for you.

Can You Undo Tie Dye?

Generally speaking, tie-dye cannot be undone. However, in some rare cases, you may be able to remove the original color by soaking the shirt in cold water and then scrubbing it with a white cloth until all of the dye is removed. Hang the shirt to dry completely afterward and you’re good to go!

How Do You Remove Dye From A Tie Dye Shirt?

If you have colored the shirt with a dye that is not permanent, there are a few ways to remove the color. One way is to soak it in cold water for a minute or two and then scrub it with a white cloth until all of the dye is removed. Another method is to try different dyestuffs and see which one works best. Finally, if all else fails, you can buy appropriately colored dyes and follow the instructions above.

What Kind Of Patterns A Tie-Dye Can Make?

There are many different patterns that a tie-dye can create. Some common patterns include stripes, dots, checks, and plaids. Tie-dye can create a variety of patterns, including stripes, checks, and swirls.

Why Did My Tie-Dye Wash Out?

Your tie dye may wash out because of improper dyeing or wash techniques. Make sure you use the correct dyestuffs, wash in cold water, and hang to dry to avoid fading.

Why Did My Tie-Dye Bleed?

If your tie-dye bleeds, it means that the dye was not put in evenly. Check to see if there are any spots where the dye is not being applied properly. If so, try different dyestuffs and/or washing techniques to fix the problem.

Tasha Juli
Tasha Juli Korman is a fashion and lifestyle blogger. She has been blogging for over five years now and found her niche in the world of style! Whether it's taking you on a personal journey through her wardrobe or sharing outfits that match your own personal style, you enjoy following along.