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 Post subject: A few questions about Rit Dye.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Okay, I am about to order materials for my first proper dye job of WSF puzzles and there are a few things I would like to clarify:

-It is recommended that WSF be washed in boiling soapy water and throughly rinsed to prep them for the dye. Am I correct in assuming that generic dish detergent(my family currently has a bottle of Dawn) is suitable for this step?
-It is also recommended that the dye bath be brought to a boil for best results. Is this correct?
-From my searches of the forum, Rit's powdered dyes seem to universally recommended, but I have seen mixed reviews for their liquid dye. Problem is, some of the colors I want to use(such as Cherry Red) are only available in the liquid. Is the liquid acceptable for dyeing WSF, or should I stick to the colors available in the powder?
-How would you recommend I store leftover dye mixture?
-Is there anything else a first time dyer should be aware of?

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions about Rit Dye.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:57 pm 
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Location: Canada
Yes it's good to clean them first (with dish first), make sure to remove all the soap, after make water boil, put the dye in it, let it boil a little bit more (not a lot), and after put the pieces in. That's what I had donne and it worked perfectly!

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions about Rit Dye.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:07 am
Location: Germany, Bavaria
Maybe this can help? http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopi ... =9&t=22157
I'll try my first WSF dye soon. (The puzzle should arrive next Monday.)

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions about Rit Dye.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:00 am
Location: Jarrow, England
My experiences.

(1) Don't try to sand the WSF before dying, when I tried this I ended up with poor colours (but other people report differently).

(2) I brush the pieces with a brass bristled brush to remove burrs and sharp edges. This also smooths the surface without compromising the dying process.

(3) I wash the pieces in very hot soapy water for 10-15 mins. I use ordinary dish washing liquid soap. Some people clean the pieces using an old toothbrush, but I don't.

(4) Clean the pieces in hot water to remove all of the soap. Remember to clean out the insides of hollow parts.

(5) Add some salt (0.5 teaspoon) white vinegar to hot water, then the required amount of dye. The amount of dye is a bit of trial and error, but I use 2-3 teaspoons for about 0.75 litres of water. If you need more water to cover your WSF, use more dye.

(6) Add the WSF parts to the dye mix, and try to make sure that the parts are submerged. Bring the mix to the boil, but be careful that it does not boil over (very messy). If needed, stir the parts, and continue this for 20-30 minutes. You can't really do this too long for black, but keep a careful watch for other colours.

(7) Remove the parts and wash thoroughly until you can see no more dye.

(8) Leave to dry.

Good luck.

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Last edited by Gus on Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions about Rit Dye.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:54 pm
Location: Bay Area, California
I'll chime in with my experiences here since they aren't exactly like Gus's.

I re-use my dye bath. It's currently about 7 Rit dye packs and I've used it to dye dozens of puzzles. It's somewhat of a pain to reclaim the dye that washes of the puzzles and then boil down the excess water. I don't know how much of the 7 packs of dye has been lost due to usage.

1) You can sand / polish the pieces until they are shiny smooth and still dye them a deep black but it requires that the parts boil in a very high concentration for a long time. You can get a high concentration by either using several packs of Rit dye by boiling the water level down so low that one pack is a high concentration.

2) Rit dye already comes with a bunch of salt in it and adding more doesn't seem to do anything. It doesn't hurt though.

3) A light acid like vinegar really helps the dye to take. It stinks like heck when you boil down a liter of vinegar though so unless you love the smell of vinegar, don't use it or do it use an organic vapor respirator. It also makes a shiny mirror surface more matte. If you've polished pieces to a mirror don't use vinegar. If they are fresh from the printer it makes no difference.

4) The dye and boiling water will fully penetrate very thinly shelled pieces (1mm or less). If the piece is fully closed and powder is trapped inside it will take a very long time to dry and will leach dye and salt for days. This can be incredibly annoying. I now put the pieces in a dehydrator at 70°C for at least 24 hours so I don't get leaching after the puzzle is assembled. I'll take a picture of this later today and post it here.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions about Rit Dye.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:06 pm
Location: Ridgefield, Connecticut
I will also add that you must be very careful disposing of the dye. Do not dump it down your sink unless it's stainless steel. If it's made of a ceramic or a rock the dye could stain it and will most definitely stain little nicks and scratches in the sink.


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions about Rit Dye.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:00 am
Location: Jarrow, England
As I explained here there are specialist dyes for nylon. Also here are the Rit manufacturer instruction's for best results. As you can see, salt is only necessary for natural fabrics, but they do recommend using white vinegar for nylon. I'll try this next time bmenrigh.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions about Rit Dye.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:00 am
Location: Jarrow, England
I have just tried dyeing some WSF using Rit with added white vinegar instead of salt, and it works great. The uptake of the dye was much faster, and the colours more saturated. bmenrigh you were right :mrgreen: . Perhaps adding the vinegar will allow me to sand and smooth the next WSF I get from Shapeways.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions about Rit Dye.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:54 pm
Location: Bay Area, California
I'm glad it worked for you. The results almost make the smell worth it :D

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