Last week I mentioned how I save some of Husband’s trousers from the rag pile. This works well with dark trousers, but Husband prefers khaki shorts and trousers in the summer, so I have a method for rescuing those as well. Husband has a tendency to drop things on his khakis, like coffee or chocolate, where the stain may not come out completely. So, if the stain is a darker brown than the cloth, then I dye the khakis to a darker shade of brown using a tea bath.
To do this, I use a plastic bucket, because I don’t want to risk staining the bathtub. I pour scalding hot water into the bucket and steep about ten tea bags in the bucket, or more, depending on the amount of water and how dark I want to dye the cloth. I dunk the cloth in and leave it until it gets to a slightly darker color than what I’m looking for. This is a bit of guesswork, but if it is too light, I just leave it in the teabath for a few more minutes.
I let the cloth dry completely before I dump it in a warm wash with detergent to set the color. I’ve never had any problems with the color bleeding out, but I’ve only done this with 100% cotton. I’ve noticed that the color will not take to grease stains, so those have to be dealt with first before dying. This kind of dye job works well enough to save a few pairs of khaki trousers and shorts from being unwearable, and Husband usually doesn’t even notice that the color has gone slightly darker.