How to Wash A Tie Dye Shirt for The First Time: Maintain Brightness and Prevent Bleeding

Jul, 05 2024
Posted by Ashley Aldrin
Care Guide
A proper care for tie-dye shirts from pre-wash preparation to washing techniques and drying is important to preserve your shirt and maintain its brightness over time. Check out the article to learn how to wash a new tie dye shirt today with Printblur!
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    Washing a newly tie dye shirt is crucial as it sets the dye, removes excess color, and ensures your shirt stays vibrant and minimizes the risk of color bleeding after washes. Learning how to wash a tie dye shirt for the first time properly will help you to keep your favorite tee accompanied in the long run.

    This article will provide you step-by-step instructions and essential tips to preserve your tie dye shirt, from pre-wash preparation to drying techniques, so your new tie dye shirt is always bright and stands out in your wardrobe. 

    Before Washing A Tie Dye Shirt for the First Time

    Prewash a tie dye shirt for the first time
    Pre-wash a tie dye shirt for the first time

    Unlike washing a graphic tee, a tie dye shirt needs proper preparation steps carefully before you start washing the shirt for the first time to keep it vibrant and avoid bleeding after the first wash. 

    Firstly, you’ll need to let your newly tie dye shirt sit for 24 hours to set the dye. Remember to prepare mild detergent, vinegar, synthrapol, and gloves to wash a tie dye shirt for the first time. 

    Next, you’ll leave the tie dye shirt under cold water until the water runs clear. Cold water is essential for this step as it helps to set the dye and prevent colors from mixing. Also note that you need to remove rubber bands while rinsing the shirt to avoid fading. 

    By taking careful steps before you wash a new tie dye shirt, you will minimize the risk of bleeding colors and maintain the brightness of the shirt as well during the first wash. 

    How to Wash A Tie Dye Shirt for the First Time: 2 Methods 

    How to wash a tie dye shirt without fading in the first wash
    How to wash a tie dye shirt without fading in the first wash

    A newly tie dye shirt can be washed in the washing machine or hand washing method safely if you know how to wash the shirt for the first time in the right way. 

    Hand Washing

    To wash a tie dye shirt, you fill cold water and an enough amount of mild detergent or Synthrapol in a basin. Cold water helps set the dye and avoid bleeding colors in your new tie dye shirt. Remember to turn the shirt inside out to protect the pattern design on the tie dye shirt. Once the shirt is in the wash, you start swishing gently without wringing or scrubbing, which may lead to bleeding or fading the shirt. 

    After that, you rinse the shirt in cold water until the water runs clear and remove any excess dye. In case the water is still colored, you can repeat the process until it clears.

    Washing Machine

    Before washing a tie dye shirt for the first time, you turn the shirt inside out and wash the shirt by itself to prevent color transfer. A mild detergent or Synthrapol is recommended to use for tie dye shirts in the first wash.  You should also check the care label of the shirt for specific washing instructions. A gentle cycle is suitable for washing a newly tie dye shirt with cold water for polyester or hot water for cotton t-shirts

    After the wash cycle completes, check the water to ensure it’s clear. If it’s colored, you can restart another cycle without detergent. 

    Pro Tip to Wash A Tie Dye Shirt for The First Time: 

    • Wash your tie dye shirt separately for the first wash
    • Use cold water and mild detergent to maintain your shirt’s brightness.
    • Turn your tie dye shirt inside out before washing to protect the outer pattern and designs from friction.
    • Do not use the fabric softener because it may cause fading in the tie dye shirt faster. 
    • Dry a newly tie dye shirt to prevent remaining dye from transferring to others.

    After Washing A Tie Dye Shirt for the First Time

    Air dry tie dye shirt - How to wash a tie dye shirt for the first time
    Air dry tie dye shirt - How to wash a tie dye shirt for the first time

    The post-wash care for a newly tie dye shirt shouldn’t be looked down on to maintain the vibrancy of the shirt. Air drying is the best method as it minimizes the risk of shrinking and fading. After you wash a tie dye shirt for the first time, you lay the shirt flat on a drying rack or hang it in a shaded area to avoid direct sunlight. A low or medium heat setting is suitable for a tie dye shirt without using dryer sheets, which can lead to the dye’s stability. 

    Dry your newly tie dye shirt alone or with similar color tie dye items will prevent dye transfer and retain its brightness in the long run. 

    Bonus Tips for Maintaining A Tie Dye Shirt Vibrant over time

    It’s crucial to keep your new favorite tie dye shirt vibrant and avoid color bleeding after multiple washes. By following these helpful tips, you can maintain the brightness and extend the life of your tie dye shirt for years.

    ✔️ Air drying works best for tie dye shirts to maintain color integrity. A low setting is needed if you use a dryer.

    ✔️ Avoid direct sunlight that causes fading colors.

    ✔️ Store a tie dye shirt in a cool place and shaded area to prevent fading over time.

    Closing Thoughts

    Washing a tie dye shirt for the first time can be easier if you do the right steps at the beginning to maintain its brightness and patterns. From my personal experience,  I believe that your new tie dye shirts can stay vibrant after washes if you follow the ultimate guide above. A popper care from the start really matters to ensure the longevity of the shirt and preserve its vibrancy over time. 

    Articles You May Also Love:

    How to Style Tie Dye Shirt for Every Occasion: From Work to Night Outs

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    How to Shrink A Shirt without Ruining The Design: Top 4 Proven Shrinking Approaches

    Shop for Vibrant Tie Dye Shirts on Printblur

    Printblur is an amazing marketplace where each design is a unique creation by independent artists. There are a wide array of tie dye t-shirts available at Printblur Shop. So you can access numerous patterns and designs, making these shirts perfect to add a new fresh of color into your wardrobe this year. 

    Printblur offers global shipping, so you can shop for new desired tie dye and any custom-made products no matter where you are by just a few clicks.

    Explore the latest collection of vintage tie dye shirts and find your favorite tie dye t-shirt today!

    What is the best way to wash a tie dye shirt for the first time?

    Rinsing your tie dye t-shirt in cold water until the water runs clear is the most and foremost step to wash a newly tie dye shirt. Then wash the shirt separately with mild detergent or Synthrapol. Air drying is necessary after the first wash to preserve its brightness.

    Can you wash multiple tie dye shirts together?

    Yes. You can wash many tie dye shirts together as long as they have been rinsed to remove excess dye. The colors should be similar to avoid dye transfer when you wash multiple tie dye. A new tie dye shirt should be washed separately for the first time to avoid unexpected issues. 

    Do you wash tie-dye with hot or cold water?

    You should use cold water for the initial rinse when you wash a tie dye shirt for the first time to set the dye and remove excess color. However, hot water works best to lock in the dye when you wash a cotton shirt for the first time. To maintain the vibrancy of the color, cold water is recommended for frequent washes.

    Why did my tie dye fade after washing?

    A tie dye shirt fades after washing if the dye was not set properly. Bleach or harsh detergent may be the major culprit that make tie dye fade quickly. Washing with other clothes or expose it to direct sunlight can also cause fading.

    Do you use detergent when washing tie-dye shirts for the first time?

    Yes. Mild detergent or a special dye-setting detergent is suitable to wash a tie dye shirt for the first time to remove any excess dye without bleeding colors or fading after its first wash.  

    Do you leave rubber bands on when washing tie-dye?

    Rubber bands should be removed after the initial rinse in cold water. Then you can start washing your newly tie-dye in the washing machine or hand washing. 

    What happens if you wash tie dye without rinsing?

    The excess dye can bleed and transfer to other areas of the shirt in the wash if you don’t rinse it. So initial rinse is essential to avoid ruining the vibrant patterns of the tie dye before you wash the shirt for the first time. 

    Do you put tie dye in the dryer after washing?

    Yes. You should use a low or medium heat setting when putting your tie dye shirt in the dryer to prevent shrinking or fading. Air drying is preferred to help you keep your shirt bright after many washes. 

    Ashley Aldrin-140490
    Posted by: Ashley Aldrin

    Ashley Aldrin is a seasoned content specialist at, a global e-commerce platform pioneering in print on demand. Majoring in Marketing in the University of Florida, Ashley was equipped with fundamental knowledge of content creation, marketing strategy, and customer behavior. Along with over 5 years of experience as a content freelancer in ecommerce projects and working at Megaads as content writer,  Ashley masters a compelling writing style with a unique approach to address customer concerns. With a passion for fashion, essential styling tee ideas come from style, easy tips to care for cotton graphic tees, tie dye shirts, to thoughtful gifting ideas for every occasion.

    Find Ashley’s articles to keep you informed with the latest unique custom-made collections on Printblur.

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