June 13, 2016

Dye Pot Dilema

My hubby and I just got back from a ten day trip around the Mid-West visiting family. After such a long and tiring trip (albeit a great one), you’d think I’d come home and fall fast asleep. I’ve always been a bit manic after a trip, however, so we weren’t in the door half an hour before I was anxious to get to work dyeing fabric and making clothes.

First thing yesterday morning, even before making breakfast, I chopped up a bunch of turmeric root and used it to dye a scarf. The scarf turned out lovely, but my dye pot ended up pretty ugly.

I’ve had this enamel pot for nearly 20 years. I bought it while stationed in Germany in the 90’s. I’ve cooked all sorts of things in it over the years and have used inappropriate means to clean it at times, purely out of ignorance, when I’ve had things stuck on it. That has resulted in scratches throughout the years, as well as a few cracks in the enamel from my many moves and occasionally being dropped or banged around. I finally decided to stop cooking in it and start using it for dyeing.

I’ve used chemical dyes at times over the years, although my true pleasure is making dyes from natural ingredients (like the aforementioned turmeric). In either case it is always strongly recommended to NEVER COOK IN YOUR DYE POT. Even with natural ingredients it is not really safe to use the dye pot to cook in.


In any case, after my latest dyeing adventure I needed to scour my dye pot before using it again. Turmeric yields a strong and beautiful golden yellow color, but I didn’t want it interfering in any further dyeing. After washing with normal dish soap there was very little difference. Then I remembered how my hubby always gets the stains out of his coffee mug with baking soda.

At first I poured in a tablespoon or two, but it didn’t seem to be working. Then I poured in a good bit more and the stains came right out with very little elbow grease!

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