Rit dye is a fabric dye (and fiber dye), in which Rit is the manufacturer. You could also use this dye on carpets, wood, and paper products.
While Rit claims that it is safe to dump the dye down the drain, it could still have some implications on the environment.
In addition to that, there may be specific local and state-level disposal guidelines that prohibit that method.
Therefore, this comprehensive guide goes over how to dispose of Rit dye safely.
Steps on How to Dispose of Rit Dye
Disposing of Rit fabric dye can prevent harm to the environment and surrounding wildlife.
It’s a fairly straightforward process. Just be sure to take safety precautions when handling dye.
It can be harmful to breathe in or get into your eyes if you’re not careful.
Here are the steps you must follow.
Step 1. Check the Label for Any Specific Instructions
Before you begin the disposal process, read the label of the Rit dye product. The manufacturer may include specific instructions on how to dispose of the product.
These instructions may inform you on how much water to use and whether it’s safe for the sewers.
Rit claims that some of its products are safe to flush down the toilet or in the drain.
However, following a more comprehensive and safer disposal process can prevent harm to the environment.
Step 2. Collect the Necessary Materials for Disposal
It’s best to prepare yourself before starting by purchasing and collecting the necessary materials for disposal.
This way, you can conduct the entire disposal process in one go.
Purchase a pH Testing Kit
You will require a pH testing kit. These kits are relatively inexpensive, and they provide enough materials for multiple tests.
That said, making sure the kit has several pH testing strips if you have a lot of dye to dispose of.
You cannot resue a pH testing strip.
Keep Baking Soda Ready
At the same time, you should have baking soda to neutralize the fiber dye.
Rit dye is what is known as an acid dye. That is to say that it is acidic in nature. There are basic dyes as well.
You will require citric acid crystals to neutralize those.
Step 3. Wear Appropriate Safety Attire
Handling and disposing of fiber dye can be harmful to your health.
Therefore, you must wear appropriate safety attire to keep yourself safe.
Wear a Pair of Gloves
You should wear a pair of gloves so that none of the dye gets onto your skin. It can also be difficult to remove from under your fingernails.
A pair of latex or nitrile gloves should suffice.
Make sure that the gloves provide you with enough mobility.
This way, you won’t risk dropping anything and spilling a specific part of your home.
Wear a Long Sleeves Shirt
Rit dye could easily get onto your arms, too, while working. In that case, wearing a long sleeves shirt could help.
Only wear a shirt that you don’t plan to wear again. It will difficult to remove the stain if it gets on your shirt.
Wear a Pair of Goggles
Many of Rit dye products are liquid. Therefore, there’s a chance that dye can spill and get into your eyes.
As a result, it could cause irritation. Also, you should wear goggles even when handling a powdered dye.
Pick a pair of goggles that covers the sides, top, and bottom of your eyes.
This way, nothing will be able to get into your eyes. You also won’t risk your eyes if you accidentally attempt to touch or rub your eyes.
Wear a Dust Mask
Typically, there’s a great risk of breathing in harmful particles and substances when working with dyes.
However, it will help to follow the same safety precautions when disposing of the dye.
Therefore, you should wear a dust mask or other appropriate mask when disposing of Rit dye. Inhaling substances from dye can harm your lungs or overall health.
Do not remove your mask or put it on your chin until the disposal process is complete.
Step 4. Pick an Appropriate Spot for the Disposal Process
Working in an appropriate spot is necessary when disposing of Rit dye.
It ensures that there are fewer accidents while working and keeps you safe.
Work in a Well-Ventilated Area
You should work in a well-ventilated place. However, you should also be sure that there is not much air movement in the room.
Therefore, turn off the fan or air conditioner in the room when you begin the disposal process.
Air movement can cause the powder to fly around.
Therefore, it may spill and get into other parts of the room, making clean-up a hassle. It could also get onto your skin.
Work in a Place with No Food Items
You should not perform the disposal process in a room with food items or drinking water nearby.
The dye could get onto the edible items, contaminating them in the process.
The contamination could result in poisoning or other health hazards. So, you must be extremely careful in this regard.
You should also, thus, not stop and drink water or eat a bite while disposing of the dye.
Prepare yourself beforehand so that you can finish disposing of Rit dye as quickly as possible.
Restrict Other People and Pets from Entering the Room Where You’re Working
If you’re disposing of Rit dye at home, you may have other family members and pets around you.
You must make sure that other people or pets cannot enter the room where you’re working.
The sudden intrusion could lead to an accident, which could be bad for you or the intruder.
Place a barricade if the room doesn’t have a door. This way, pets or children won’t be able to enter. You do not want them to ingest or inhale the dye particles.
Inform the adults in the home not to disturb you too.
Step 5. Prep the Place
There’s not much you have to do to prep the place where you’re working. All you must do is lay down paper towels on the workbench.
As a result, the dye that spills will fall onto the towels instead of your room.
Step 6. Neutralize the Rit Dye
You will need to neutralize the Rit dye before you dump it down the drain or flush it in the toilet.
Neutralizing the dye means that you must bring its pH value close to 7 (the pH value of water).
Make the Powder Dye into a Liquid
Most of Rit dyes these days are liquid dyes.
However, if you still have some powder dye left, turn it into a liquid by following the instructions on the label.
Bring the pH Value to 7
Most Rit dyes are acidic in nature. Therefore, the pH value is below 7. So, you will have to increase the value by acidic a basic substance with it.
The reaction and the resulting substance will increase the pH value.
Add Baking Soda to Acidic Dyes
You must add 1 tablespoon of baking soda at a time to the dye’s container to increase the pH value.
Add Citric Acid Crystals to Fiber-Reactive (Basic) Dyes
You must add 1 tablespoon of citric acid crystals at a time to the fiber-reactive (basic) dye’s container to decrease the pH value.
A base has a pH value above 7 and needs to be reduced.
Step 7. Test the pH Value of the Rit Dye
You must test the pH value of the Rit dye after adding every tablespoon to the external substance.
This way, you’ll make sure you don’t go beyond or below the target 7 pH value.
Use the pH Testing Strips
An acid or a base is stronger when it’s farther away from the neutral pH value of 7. This strength is reflected by the color on the testing strip.
The color codes will be present on the packaging of the pH testing kit.
After adding the baking soda to the Rit dye, place one strip into the dye. Keep it in place for a few seconds, allowing it to change color.
The container should be deep enough to cover about half of the strip.
The gloves will protect your hands even if some dye gets onto them. Remove the strip and look at the color of the strip.
Match the color on the strip to the pH measuring kit on the label.
If you’re still far off from making it neutral, add more baking soda. Once you repeat step 6, measure the pH value.
When the value gets closer to neutral, reduce the amount of baking soda you add to the dye.
Step 8. Dump All of the Neutralized Dye into the Drain
You can dump all of the dye into the bathroom drain or toilet once it’s neutralized.
Last Few Words
After completing the disposal process of Rit dye, remove the gloves and other safety attire.
Wash your hands thoroughly before doing anything else.
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