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How To Dye with Kool Aid: Dyed Wool, Fabric & Yarn, Dyeing Hair

Updated on June 19, 2013
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Kool Aid Dye

Almost everyone loves Kool Aid. It has been around since long before I was born so of course over the years someone has found other uses for it.

Kool Aid has stood the test of time, and even has a funky mascot that has been parodied in all types of TV shows such as Robot Chicken, Family Guy and many others.

Kool Aid is not just for drink and frozen treats anymore!

You can dye all sorts of things with Kool Aid and it is non-toxic as a bonus!

Try dying these fun things with Kool Aid:

  • Hair (my favorite!)
  • wool
  • clothing

If you have never tried to dye things before, this is a perfect opportunity.

Dying with Kool Aid is the quickest, safest, and easiest way to introduce you to dyeing hair, fabrics and yarns than anything I have seen on the market.

How to dye Wool with Kool Aid

Kool Aid contains citric acid so no chemical additions are needed.

Kool Aid’s acid reacts with the protein fibers to set the dye into the wool.

What You Need

Un-dyed wool – protein based fiber. For better absorbency and to keep the wool from felting, buy the super wash type.

  • · Kool Aid (100g packs)

o 3 packs of Strawberry Kool Aid creates Scarlet Red

o 6 packs of Lemon Lime Kool Aid creates Green

o 4 packs of Orange Kool Aid creates Orange

o 4 packs of Grape creates Dark Purple

o 4 packs of Berry Blue creates Turquoise Blue

o 4 packs of Pineapple creates Golden Yellow

  • A stainless steel pan, large enough for your yarn
  • A plastic or metal stirring tool
  • Rubber gloves
  • Salt (25g for every 100g yarn) if you want a slower absorption to give an even color.

Method

  1. Soak your yarn in hot water for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. While it is soaking, make your Kool Aid mixture based on the math above.
  3. Heat the dye to just shy of boiling.
  4. Remove the yarn from the hot water and squeeze out any excess water.
  5. Now add the yarn to your Kool Aid dye mixture, making sure to completely submerge the yarn. Add more water if necessary to cover the yarn. Adding water will not affect the final result.
  6. Let simmer for around 40 minutes or until you see that the color is all gone. Be sure to rotate the yarn every now and then in the Kool Aid dye mixture so that the color is absorbed evenly. Turn off the burner once your water becomes clear or milky (the outcome depends on the Kool Aid you used).
  7. Once cooled to the point of safe handling, remove the yarn and rinse thoroughly with water the same temperature as the Kool Aid solution, add a bit of dishwashing detergent while you wash and clean as you would when cleaning store bought yarn.
  8. Hang the freshly dyed yarn and let it air dry.

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- All Rights Reserved - Do Not Distribute -
- All Rights Reserved - Do Not Distribute - | Source

Dying Hair with Kool Aid

Oh wow do I love to dye my hair. When in high school I learned this little trick for Kool Aid and it was a great way to get the funky colors that were popular without destroying my long hair.

If you have ever wanted to experiment with a rainbow of colors but don’t want to spend the money on the non-toxic varieties of Manic Panic hair dye, Special Effects hair dye, or use the toxic variations of salons, this is for you. Non-toxic and washes out easily if you dislike the outcome, Kool Aid hair dye has been around for years.

Just note that if you have darker colored hair you may have to bleach it first. Manic Panic does create a lightening kit that works great, but it does sort of beat the point of using Kool Aid to keep from using chemicals in your hair.

  1. Get your hair wet.
  2. Put gloves on to avoid the bright dyed skin that Kool Aid can give and work the powder into a thick coating on your wet hair.
  3. Wrap your head in Saran wrap and leave on for around seven hours minimum (Overnight is best). The longer it sits the brighter and more vibrant the color will be.
  4. Rinse well.

Here's a great example of how to dye Mermaid Hair from A Stash Addict.

A Video Tutorial

Kool Aid Playtime

In the end, there are many things you can do with Kool Aid besides drink it or freeze it. Dyeing your hair or wool for knitting is just two of many other ways you can have fun with the rainbow powder. You can even Tie-Dye with Kool Aid! The possibilities are endless and it is safe for the kids to use. Make up a pitcher of Kool Aid drink and make an outdoor play date this spring and summer for your kids and their friends.

Dye Wool Yarn with Kool Aid Tutorial

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    • Wonder wool profile image

      Priyanka Estambale 4 years ago from United States

      This is something unique! Voted up!!

    • Neinahpets profile image
      Author

      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      @ Wonder wool: Thank you very much. I'm sure with a name like wonder wool, you can get some use out of the yarn dying technique! :)

    • celeste inscribed profile image

      Celeste Wilson 4 years ago

      If only I was brave enough I would have red hair. Red is my favorite color. So I'll probably stick with the wool dye. This is so much cheaper and a whole lot more fun. Voted beautiful.

    • Neinahpets profile image
      Author

      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      @celeste inscribed: Well if you tried it with Kool Aid would quickly wash out with a few washings so if you're feeling spontaneous one day...! Haha. I'm glad you will get some use out of it for the wool though. Thanks for the vote!

    • relache profile image

      Raye 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Red heart super saver yarn is 100% acrylic, and cannot be dyed with the methods you are describing.

    • Neinahpets profile image
      Author

      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      @relache Thank you for bringing it to my attention in my ad! I didn't choose specific product but rather broad term and that's how it got slipped in there. It is corrected, thank you for letting me know!

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