Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Use Baking Soda as Dye Fixer instead of Washing Soda

Baking soda can be used as a fixer for some dyes, but it requires a higher temperature to fix the dye than that required by soda ash fixer. 

Baking Soda Dye Fixer
Baking Soda Dye Fixer image courtesy of Pixabay

When Baking Soda Can Work as Dye Fixer

Some fabrics cannot stand up to the higher temperature needed, so check your fabric's care labels before using baking soda as a fixer solution instead of soda ash. Fabrics made of at least 60 percent natural fiber, like cotton, will take dye best, but make sure your fabric has been shrunk before using high heat so you can use baking soda as a fixer.

Items Needed to Use Baking Soda as Dye Fixer

  • Large stockpot, big enough to hold the fabric and cover it with water
  • Measuring cup
  • Baking soda
  • Cooking thermometer
  • Non-acidic dye
  • Wooden spoon
  • Rubber gloves

The Steps to Follow to Use Baking Soda as Dye Fixer

  1. Place the fabric in the stock pot, and add 1/2 cup baking soda. Add hot water and mix the fabric and baking soda to dissolve the baking soda. Add more baking soda if needed to make a fixing solution of 1/2 cup baking soda per gallon of water. Let the fabric soak in the baking soda and water for one hour.
  2. Add another 1/2 cup of baking soda, and turn the stove on to the low heat setting. Add more water if too much steams out and the fabric becomes uncovered. Check the temperature with the cooking thermometer. When the baking soda water reaches 122 degrees Fahrenheit, add the non-acidic dye.
  3. Work the dye into the water, and through the fabric by pushing and stirring the fabric with the wooden spoon. Allow the dye to stay on the fabric according to the dye package's directions. The longer the fabric remains in the dye, the deeper the color you can expect to get.
  4. Drain off the dye, put on the rubber gloves, and wring out the dyed fabric. Rinse the fabric with cold water and then hang it up to line dry.

Note about using baking soda to set dye

Baking soda changes to soda ash at 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

By: Laure Justice
Article updated 8/15/2018

  • Global Mama: How to Tie Dye 
  • P. Burch: How Soda Ash is Used in Dyeing: Alternatives
  • P. Burch: Can Baking Soda Be Used As a Fixative in Dyeing?

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