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Topic: Dying rubber-backed bath mats! eek!  (Read 3836 times)
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« on: October 15, 2006 08:18:28 AM »

Hello all! I'm a long time lurker of craftster and I usually find the answers to goofy questions easily, but couldn't seem to find out-

Is there any way to dye those rubber backed bath mats? I received a set of pastel yellow ones from MIL but they look AWFUL. I want to dye them a terra-cotta color... any ideas?

I was thinking about RIT, but on the package it says not for rubber backed articles. poo. what happens if I use it anyways?


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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2006 05:54:47 AM »

I have never tried it myself but I don't know how well it would work just based on the fiber content of the mat.  The more natural fiber (cotton, silk, wool, etc.) in the item, the better the dye will take.

I would give it a try.  What have you got to lose?  They probably caution against rubber backed items due to the heat of the water when using RIT.  Maybe if you sponge it on and let it sit rather than using the washing machine?  Or use the washing machine but use warm or cold water and just let it sit longer? 

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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2006 07:41:47 PM »

RIT works on alot more things than the package lets on  Wink You could also try Dylon brand at JoAnn's. It's for more synthetic products...but it doesn't let on from the directions  Wink

I would suggest using a spray bottle with the solution. To get the coverage as even as possible, wet the whole mat first. It will probably take several applications to get the color just right ( like most dying projects do) The whole thing about not working on rubber is that it can make the rubber disintegrate faster than if you were to leave it alone. It's not going to fall apart in one fell swoop though, I think Smiley

like the above poster said, what have you got to lose...some ugly bath mats?  Good luck! Let us know how it turns out!  Smiley


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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2006 09:11:31 PM »

I don't think the rubber back will fall apart, BUT a friend of mine dyed her bathroom rugs (dark blue) and eventually the floor underneath took on a nice blue color in the exact shape of the rugs!  The floor was vinyl or linoleum.  This was probably in part because the rugs would get damp/wet with each bath/shower and just sit there on the floor.

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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2006 09:59:34 PM »

Yeah, I would worry about it dying your floors!  I think that's more the problem than it falling apart or something.  Maybe you could just recover the backs?  Or use the spot method described above.

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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2006 07:50:09 PM »

thanks for the tips guys-

and the warnings. I rent in a historic property and i think they might be kinda peeved if there's orange rings on the floor....

would i be too gross to just sew some crappy towels to the bottom? would they get gross? I guess i should just do it, huh?


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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2006 08:19:56 PM »

fabric stores sell a rug matting fabric you can just sew on.

You might also try diluted fabric paint as dye.  I used that on a shirt for a costume this year.  I don't know if it would affect the absorption though...

I'd just go with the backing after the dye job.


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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2006 01:03:26 AM »

The thing I'd worry about if you cover the back in a towel is the slippage problem. Isn't that why bathmats are rubber backed anyways, to keep people from slipping on tile floors? Have you considered recovering the mats instead, if you're going to be adding layers anyways? It could give an interesting 'quilted' effect to the mat depending on how you do it.

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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2006 03:49:39 PM »

why sew a towel on when you can get the rubber mesh backing to sew on?

I think I'd be tempted to just use  this stuff http://www.save-on-crafts.com/rugbacbrfibl.html  to create a new rubber layer after you dye.


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