White clothes and kids don’t seem to mix. If you’re anything like me and fail to use bibs because they are a nuisance, you probably have encountered a whole bunch of stained clothes. Avocado and beets are particular trouble makers but lately teenie’s whole front has been getting covered with tomato innards as she picks and eats cherry tomatoes straight out of the garden. While all of her clothes get stained, its the white ones that are the most obvious. That being said they are also the easiest to rectify. I know that if I send them off to be donated that the likelihood is high they will be rejected and either sent to a landfill or be shipped overseas. While I’m not against donating clothes off to third world countries, I’m less than thrilled about the oceanic voyage they must take in order to get there.
The solution I have found is to tie-dye them. I did this once before my daughter was born, and tie-dyed a several white baby clothes that were handed down to me with stains as well as a pack of onesies leftover from when we did our baby announcement. Since I had way more than I possibly needed, many I made with the intention of giving them away to other friends who had just delivered babies that year.
With only part of the kit being used at the time, I had been holding on to what was left to use again in the future. Over the last year or so, stained white tops that either teenie created or were handed down collected in a bag in her closet. There were a few that were of her size right now that I wanted to get dyed before she’d outgrow them and have a friend preparing to have a wee one who I thought might enjoy a cute colorful onesie.
The end result was a colorful array of clothing that both hides its previous stains but will likely also hide future ones as well.
While I used a store bought kit, since its what I had on hand and wanted to use it up, next time I’ll try my hand at using natural homemade dyes. I saved the bottles, gloves & rubber bands from this kit in case I can ever use them for another project in the future.
This doesn’t have to be limited to kids clothes either. I also used this dye to fix a cloth fold turned un-paper towel that was horribly stained from rust and a pair of shorts that got paint all over the butt after backing into a freshly painted wall. Most people think of tie-dye as just being an outdoor activity for kids but it can be a creative way to keep materials that aren’t as visually appealing anymore but still have a lot of useful life left in them, out of a landfill. Instead of buying a bag of shirts for your next tie-dye event, collect old stained shirts and use those! The things that tend to get all stained up tend to be the fabrics that are perfect for this type of activity anyway.