How to Naturally Dye Clothing with Food!

I’ve seen the tie-dye trend completely take over this year with everyone stuck at home and bored out of there minds. I’ve also seen a natural take on it: dyeing your clothing with food! You read that right, FOOD.

How unique and low waste is that? So I knew I had to try it out and share it with you all! For today’s tutorial, we’re dyeing our clothing with turmeric and avocados!

So make sure you set aside a good amount of avocado its and skins this week!

Now, let’s get into the tutorial!

How to naturally dye clothing with food:


What you need:

  • Avocado pits and skin (I used the pits and skins from 3 avocados. The more you use, the more potent your color will be.)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of salt (This helps to bind the color to the fabric.)
  • Pot for boiling
  • T-shirt/fabric of choice
  • Rubber bands

The method:

1. Clean pits and skin thoroughly so there is no avocado left. It’s ok if the skins break, just keep all of the pieces.

how to naturally dye clothing with food

2. Add 1/2 cup of salt and avocado skins/pits to a pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil.

3. While waiting for the mixture to boil, tie up your shirt/fabric (if tie-dyeing). I used a “swirl” method. To achieve this, lay your fabric flat, pinch a piece in the middle and begin to gather the fabric in a circle around the middle piece you’re holding. Once the fabric is bundled, begin securing into place with rubber bands.

4. When water and avocados are boiling, add your tied up fabric to the pot and turn down to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes,

5. After 30 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for anywhere between 4-25 hours. I ended up removing mine after 4 because I didn’t want a very dark, rich color. The longer you leave it in, the darker your color will be. 

how to naturally dye clothing with food

6. After you remove your fabric from the avocado mixture, rinse with cold water until the water runs clear and then hang to dry! 

This is the final product! I’m so excited with how it came out, definitely better than I thought it would.

how to naturally dye clothing with food


What you’ll need: 

  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 2 tbsp of turmeric
  • White shirt/fabric of choice

The method:

1. Tie up your shirt/fabric. I used the “crumple” method for this one. Simply lay your shirt out flat and start crumpling the fabric, literally just ball it up and then secure with elastics.

how to naturally dye clothing with food

2. Bring 3 cups of water and 1 cup of salt to a boil. Once boiling, place your fabric in the water, turn down the heat, and let fabric simmer for about an hour. This will really help the color bind to the fabric.

3. Towards the end of the hour bring the other 2 cups of water and 2 tbsps of turmeric to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes.

4. After your shirt has simmered in the water for an hour, remove it and rinse with cold water. Then place in the turmeric water, remove it from heat and let the shirt sit for 4-24 hours.

5. After the color is to your liking, remove and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear and hang to dry.

Again, I removed mine after 4 hours. You can leave yours in fr as long as you like depending on your color preference! This is how mine turned out and I love it!

how to naturally dye clothing with food

And that’s how to naturally dye clothing with food!

This is such a fun and easy project to do during the summer. It’s even easy enough to do with your kids! I’m addicted now and want to tie-dye everything, and I’m thinking of dyeing some pillowcases next!

Try and use some old shirts you have lying around! The shirt I dyed with avocados had a stain on the front that you can’t even see now! This is a great way to upcycle your clothing instead of tossing them!

You could also check out your local thrift store for a plain white t-shirt if you have nothing to dye! The possibilities are endless and so fun!

I hope you get a chance to try out these dyeing methods for yourself! If you don’t want to tie-dye you can always skip tieing up your shirt/fabric and just place it into the dyes!

If you try it out, I”d love to see it! Feel free to tag me on Instagram! (@littlerosedust)

As always, thank you for reading! Please don’t forget to share this post with your friends, or even have a tie-dye party!

Related reading:

15 things to start making instead of buying

DIY organic lip balm (Burt’s Bees dupe!)

Makeup products to start making instead of buying

how to naturally dye clothing with food

If you’re more of a visual learner, you can watch how I did it here! There’s even a method that COMPLETELY failed! Check it out for yourself! 


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