How To Dye Carpeting [11 steps]

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Sometimes, you just get tired of the same old carpet and want to change things up. Or maybe your carpet is in good shape, but the color has faded. Either way, if you’re planning on dyeing your carpet and giving it new life, we’re here to help! We’ve done the research and found the best method for dyeing your carpet.

Dyeing your carpet is a project that can be done in an afternoon. Before you start, however, it is important to determine what material your carpet is made of. Only wool and nylon carpets can be dyed. Do not try to dye carpets made of acrylic, polypropylene, or polyester.  Once you are sure on this point, follow these simple directions to transform your carpet: 

  1. Evaluate your carpet
  2. Choose a dye
  3. Clean the carpet
  4. Allow it to dry
  5. Test the dye 
  6. Tape off the baseboards
  7. Mix up your dye
  8. Apply the dye
  9. Rake it into the carpet
  10. Extract the extra moisture
  11. Let the carpet dry

Your carpets should look as good as new once you’re done with this project. Keep reading for the full directions and important information as well as some helpful tips and products.

Carpet selection choice for interior, How To Dye Carpeting [11 steps]

Materials Needed

  • Carpet cleaner
  • Carpet cleaner solution
  • Towels
  • Masking tape
  • Carpet dye
  • Pump sprayer
  • Carpet rake
  • Protective clothing
  • 5-gallon bucket

The Dyeing Process

Modern and completely gray unfurnished interior of luxury town house

1. Evaluate Your Carpet

There are several things that you should consider before beginning your project. As we mentioned earlier, you will need to evaluate whether or not your carpet is able to be dyed. Do not attempt to dye carpets if they are made of anything besides wool or nylon. Other materials do not absorb the dye properly and will result in patchy, uneven coloring.

You should also assess whether your carpet is worth dyeing or not. Worn, old carpet may just need to be replaced. 

2. Choose A Dye

As you are evaluating your carpet, you should look for spots and stains. You will want to choose a dye that is dark enough to cover any stains that you find. You can only darken your carpets. Do not try to use a dye that is lighter than the current color.

Additionally, look for a dye that is specifically made for carpets. These will give the best, long-lasting results, and hold up to wear and tear without fading.

Check out this carpet dye with multiple color options on Amazon.

3. Clean The Carpet

Dirt and residue on your carpet can result in uneven colors and colors that don’t stick. For this reason, you will want to make sure that your carpet is thoroughly cleaned. You can hire a professional carpet cleaning service to get the job done. Usually, this will cost between $40 and $70 per room.

Alternatively, you can clean the carpet yourself. Many home improvement stores offer carpet cleaning machines that can be rented for any amount of time that you need. This cleaning step can be completed the day before you plan to dye, if desired.

Click here to get this deep cleaning carpet shampoo on Amazon.

4. Allow It To Dry

You will want to let the carpet dry some before moving on to the next steps. If you want to cut down on the drying time, use towels to press the water out. The carpet should still be damp when you apply the dye, but not wet. If you opt to clean your carpet the day before, you will need to lightly dampen the carpet again.

5. Test The Dye

This step is important to be sure that you will love the finished product. Test the dye in an inconspicuous corner and let it dry while you complete the next step. When it is dry, feel it and examine the color to ensure that it is what you want. 

6. Tape Off The Baseboards

While you’re waiting for your test dye to dry, go ahead and tape off all the baseboards in the room. The carpet dye will stain any surface that it encounters, so be thorough. Use masking tape or painter’s tape to cover any trim or flooring that touches the carpet.

Click here to buy painter’s tape on Amazon.

7. Mix Up Your Dye

Carpet dyes often come in two parts that will need to be mixed before they can be applied. Most dyes will also need to be mixed with hot water to help the dye set properly. You may want to use a 5-gallon bucket to combine your dye before pouring it into the sprayer. Refer to the instructions that are included with your dye and mix up enough dye to cover your carpet.

8. Apply The Dye

Beginning at one end of the room, apply the dye to the entire carpet. You should begin at the side that is furthest from the exit and work your way out. You will want to wear protective clothing as well as shoes that can be tossed. Obviously, this dye is made to stay. For the dye applicator, you have two options.

  1. Carpet Cleaning Machine
  2. Pump-Up Sprayer

Carpet Cleaning Machine

You can use a carpet cleaning machine to apply the dye. This eliminates the need for a carpet rake, as the cleaner will brush the dye into the carpet during application. Thoroughly clean the cleaner before you use it, as residual shampoo can inhibit the effectiveness of the dye. Pour the dye into the shampoo dispenser and evenly coat the entire carpet. Be sure to rinse the carpet cleaner well after the dyeing process is completed.

Pump-Up Sprayer

You can also use a pump-up sprayer, like one that you would use to spray your yard. These typically hold 2-3 gallons of liquid and are quite effective. Simply spray the entire carpet with the dye. It will take several coats to get even coverage.

Click here to find this pump-up sprayer on Amazon

9. Rake It Into The Carpet

A carpet rake is a fairly inexpensive but incredibly useful tool. With long, raking motions, draw the rake across the carpet to evenly distribute the dye. Uneven saturation of the dye can result in varying colors. Raking also ensures that the dye penetrates deep into the carpet. This step can be skipped if you opted to apply the dye with a carpet cleaner.

Click here to get this carpet rake on Amazon.

10. Extract The Extra Moisture

Once you are satisfied that the dye has thoroughly covered the carpet, begin extraction. You will need to suck all the extra moisture out of the carpet using the carpet cleaning machine.

11. Let It Dry

Let your carpet dry out thoroughly before attempting to put your furniture back on it. Remember that the dye can stain as long as it is wet. Immediately clean up any dye that managed to get on the walls or doors to prevent staining.

If you would like a visual on how to dye your carpet, refer to this video tutorial:

How Much Does It Cost To Dye Carpet?

The cost of dyeing your carpet will depend largely on the size of your room. It is also dependent on whether you do the work or hire it out. Hiring a professional to do the job will cost around $0.70 per square foot. So, a 1,000 square foot room will cost around $700.

If you plan to dye it yourself, it will cost around $100-$150 for a 1,000 square foot room. This includes the dye, pump-up sprayer, and a carpet rake. The price of renting a carpet cleaner and shampoo to clean your carpet is an additional cost. Plan on an extra $50 for cleaning.

Is Carpet Dyeing A Good Idea?

Yes! If you are willing to purchase quality dye and take the time to do it right, then yes it is. Dyeing your carpet yourself can be a tedious job that has to be done right in order to look good. However, it is a great option that is a fraction of the cost of installing new carpet.

How Do You Restore Color On Carpet?

Close-up of a cleaning carpet with vacuum cleaner

The colors on your carpet may eventually begin to fade and lose their vibrancy. This happens because of exposure to sunlight as well as the heavy wear and tear of foot traffic. Thankfully, this isn’t necessarily the end for your carpet. There are a few tricks that you can try to restore your carpet’s color. These include:

  • Carpet rake
  • Deep cleaning
  • Spot treatment
  • Salt wash
  • Dyeing

Carpet Rake

Hair and dirt can become trapped deep in the fibers of your carpet and evade even the best vacuum cleaners. This can cause your carpet to look dingy and faded. Using a carpet rake can help to break up dirt that has built up over time. It will also bring dirt and hair to the surface so that a vacuum can remove them.

Deep Cleaning

Sometimes, a carpet that appears faded is merely dirty, despite diligent housekeeping. Every carpet needs a deep cleaning once or twice a year, especially if it is looking faded and worn. You can use a quality carpet cleaning solution paired with a carpet cleaning machine to thoroughly clean your carpet.

Spot Treatment

If stubborn stains or faded patches persist, there may be residual grime even after cleaning. Try a solution of equal parts salt, vinegar, and borax.  Apply the mixture to the faded area and let it sit for 3 hours. Then, scrub it clean with clean, warm water and a rag. Allow it to dry and see if the color is restored.

Salt Wash

Another tried and true method of restoring color to faded carpets is a salt wash. Simply sprinkle salt across your carpet and let it sit for a while before vacuuming it up. Alternatively, combine 2/3 cup salt with 1 cup vinegar and 3 cups of hot water. Apply this to the entire carpet with a sponge and gently scrub it in. Allow it to dry and vacuum thoroughly.

Dyeing

If none of these methods restore your carpet’s color, dyeing certainly will. Refer to the directions given earlier in this post to restore color to your carpet using dye. Choose a different saturation of the original color or change colors altogether.

How Do You Refresh Carpet?

No matter how diligent you are in keeping your carpet clean, you may occasionally notice an unpleasant odor. Pets, moisture, and many other things can cause this. Refreshing your carpet is quite easy, and there are a couple of different ways to do this. 

Carpet Deodorizers

You can find multiple options on the market that are made specifically for deodorizing carpets. Most of these powders are simply sprinkled across the carpet and then vacuumed up a short time later. Often, they are scented to leave your carpet smelling extra fresh.

Check out this deodorizing carpet powder on Amazon.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is also commonly used to refresh carpets. It is a powerful deodorizer, absorbing odors and removing them. Sprinkle baking soda liberally across your floor and let it sit for 30 minutes. Vacuum the room thoroughly. You can add essential oils to your baking soda to enhance it and leave an even fresher scent.

Click here for bulk baking soda on Amazon.

In Closing

In the end, faded looking carpets are not necessarily a cause for despair. There are many different ways to bring your carpet back to life and avoid replacing them. From carpet rakes to dye, explore your options, and decide which route is best for your situation. 

Are you considering changing your carpet color? These additional resources may be useful for you!

Should Carpet Be Lighter Or Darker Than Walls?

What Color Carpet Goes With Gray Walls? [5 Suggestions With Pictures]

What Color Carpet Goes With Beige Walls? [6 Options Reviewed]

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