The Towel Dying Experiment

current bathroom

Lately the bathroom is weighing on my mind. And yes, of course I realize it is ridiculous that choosing a paint color for the bathroom is weighing on my mind.

At my Nichols house, I had painted the bathroom deep purple years ago and the accents were green. I loved it.  At the new house, the bathroom is currently light blue. A color I generally like, but I don’t love it in the bathroom here and it is a horrible paint job and has a lot of spackling that needs to happen. Not to mention the light blue clashes with all the towels and bath mats I own.

Naturally, there are larger items on the bathroom list:

  • Remove the window into the laundry room (a lot of complications)
  • Replace the toilet
  • Replace the vanity and sink

But that is too much for right now – effort wise and budget wise. But in the short term, I need to do something. I’m thinking Phase 1 will include:

  • New mirror
  • Spackle and paint walls
  • Touch up trim paint
  • Repair door frame / trim (done- thanks to Gramps)
  • Decorate
  • Make curtain for storage closet area

And now we’re back to the towel situation. Most of my bath towels / wash clothes / hand towels / bath mats were either purple or green. And it greatly limits my color choices if I don’t want my towels to totally clash (yes, I am that neurotic). I know, I know, I could buy new towels to match… but I don’t want to. I have plenty of towels that have lots of life left in them- they just might be the wrong color. Not to mention the very important budget considerations.  In a moment of brilliance I came up with the idea of dying them. Currently the bathroom tile is black and white and the shower curtain is black and white. What if I dye my assorted collection of towels with black dye hoping they would all come out various shades of gray, which would match any color I choose? Would it work??

towels before2  towels    

dyewasherSo I bought dye, filled the washer with the dye and the cup of salt it called for, then I loaded in towels, bath mats, wash clothes, and hand towels, and let them agitate and then turned off the washer and let them sit overnight.  The following morning I ran the wash cycle and looked at the towels.

Some of them were pretty patchy in terms of dye coverage – I had put way too many towels in apparently (read the directions again to figure that out).

mid dyeTowel mid dye

So I tried again. Filled the washer with dye and salt, added less towels and let it sit all day. At the end of the day, I ran the wash load and dried them. I’m thrilled with the results. I mean, it isn’t perfect. The black dye turned all my towels dark purple, not gray. But these towels started out several shades of green and purple, and some of the washcloths were light blue and pretty stained. And look at them now! Everything matches and looks great!

dyed towels1dyed towels2

I have to do a second load to finish the half dyed towels and rugs. And I still have to decide on a paint color that will coordinate with very dark purple. But I’m very happy with it. The matchy matchy towels make my type A heart go pitter patter.


4 thoughts on “The Towel Dying Experiment

  1. Pingback: The Bathroom Update – the easy (ish) stuff | Little House on the Hill

  2. You are amazing!!!! I have dyed t-shirts and stuff and knew about the concept of over-dyeing but the results here are super inspiring!

  3. Pingback: 2014 Wrap Up | Little House on the Hill

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