A pair of tie-dyed t-shirts blowing in the breeze on a washing line.

Tie-Dye for Kids: How to Make a Tie-Dye Shirt & Wash Tie-Dye Clothes

Kids will love learning how to tie-dye at home – and it’s just as fun for parents, as you can transform even dull, unwanted clothing into something special! Creating your own colourful clothing through tie-dye is a great way to be creative, have fun, and get messy, too! And once you have made your new tie-dye outfit, you can wash it safely with the tips later on in this article.

The best thing about doing tie-dye at home is just how inexpensive and simple it is. Kids can really get stuck in with all the folding, twisting, and crumpling, and there’s no end to the number of patterns you can experiment with.  


How to Make a Tie-Dye T-Shirt

So, how do you make tie-dye tops? It’s incredibly easy: use the steps below as a guideline, but always defer to the instructions on your chosen packet of dye to make sure you get the best results!  

You will need:

  • Fabric dye (available in most supermarkets and home ware stores)
  • Rubber bands
  • Rubber gloves and apron
  • A clean cotton t-shirt, preferably plain and pale in colour
  • Two large containers (one for water, one for dye)


  1. Cover up! Tie-dye for kids often means mess, so make sure you’re equipped with protective clothing including gloves and an apron, and prepare your work area with plenty of newspaper or old sheets.
  2. Grab sections of the t-shirt and bind them tightly with rubber bands – the areas of the t-shirt protected by bands or folds will escape being dyed, leaving you with rings or starburst patterns. If you want to mark out your design, use dots of coloured chalk, as this will wash off in the dye bath.
  3. Prepare the dye according to the instructions on the packet. Adding a cup of salt to the mixture will enhance the colour of the dye.
  4. Fill a large bucket or tub with hot water and immerse the t-shirt in the water. Wring out the excess water.
  5. Plunge the wet t-shirt into the dye bath and stir regularly with a long spoon or stick for 10-30 minutes, depending on how dark you want the colour.
  6. Remove the t-shirt and rinse under warm, then cool, water until the liquid runs clear.
  7. Hang or lay flat to air-dry.


How to Wash Tie-Dye Clothes

Once you’ve made your first tie-dye t-shirt, you’ll need to know how to wash tie-dye in order to protect your newly decorated garments. Washing tie-dye for the first time can be a little daunting, but don’t let a little colour put you off!

When you’re doing the initial, first-ever wash, it can help to wash it alone, switching your detergent for vinegar to help set the dye. It’s a little smelly, but subsequent washes with a regular detergent (we suggest Persil Colour Care Capsules or Liquid for tie-dyed clothes) will solve this. Persil Colour Care detergents will help protect colours and rejuvenate them, too.

It’s important, however, that you wait until the dye is completely rinsed out before placing in a washing machine with other garments, so continue to wash your tie-dye clothes alone the first few times. Use warm water with Persil Colour Care liquid detergent and leave to air-dry as before. Only when you are sure the dye is no longer bleeding is it safe for you to launder tie-dye with other fabrics.

Have you tie-dyed any clothes before? How did it go? Share your experiences with us in the comment box below!

Chat live with one of our Persil Careline team from 8am-6pm Monday-Friday



Cleaning tips for all your housekeeping needs. Whether you're tidying up or tackling stains, click here & find out how to clean almost anything!