Use the stove-top method of dyeing for best results.

How to Dye a White Bra Tan

by Amy Stanbrough

When dyeing a bra, it's best to use the stove-top method of dyeing instead of the washing machine due to its size. You'll have more control over the process and won't risk staining your machine's barrel. Before beginning, read your bra's label to see if it's 100-percent cotton, polyester or a blend of the two. For an all-cotton bra, you can use a dye made from coffee or tea, and avoid chemicals. If the bra contains any percentage of polyester, rayon or nylon, however, use a commercial dye for polyester products.

Dyeing a Cotton Bra

Wet the bra in the sink and wring it out. Fill the stock pot three-quarters full with water and bring to a simmer. Add the cup of coffee or 10 tea bags, and bring to a boil. If using tea, tie the teabags together before lowering them into the pot.

Turn the heat to a simmer and drop the bra into the dye bath. Stir with a spoon or tongs until the bra is completely saturated. If using tea, put on rubber gloves, pull out the teabags with a spoon and squeeze them to add more color to the dye bath. Discard the teabags.

Turn the heat to low and add 1 cup of salt to the dye bath, but do not pour it directly on the fabric. Stir gently and let the bra soak for 30 minutes.

Pull the bra out -- if the shade is lighter than you want, stir in another cup of coffee or more tea bags, and continue to soak for up to an hour.

Remove the bra with tongs and rinse it in cold water. Let it air dry. Wash separately at first to prevent staining other fabrics.

Dyeing a Rayon or Polyester Bra

Put on rubber gloves and a face mask.

Fill your stockpot with water and heat it according to the instructions on the commercial dye package. Add the dye to the water.

After the bra is submersed, add a fixative -- such as salt -- per the commercial dye instructions. Allow the bra to soak according to instructions.

Rinse, dry and wash the bra according to instructions. Wash separately.

Items you will need

  • Small or medium stockpot
  • Large metal spoon or tongs
  • Hot water
  • Bra
  • Rubber gloves
  • Protective paper face mask
  • Commercial dye or natural dye (1 cup strong coffee or 10 black tea bags)
  • 1 cup salt


  • If your polyester-blend bra contains any amount of cotton and silk, add a cup of strong coffee or tea to the dye bath to help deepen the shade. Alternately, mix a commercial dye for natural fibers with a dye for synthetic fibers together if instructions permit.


  • Polyester and other synthetic fabrics may come out lighter than natural fabrics such as cotton and silk.
  • Some parts of the bra, such as elastic and stitching, will not dye the same shade as other areas of the bra.
  • Do not use any dyeing supplies for food preparation.


About the Author

Amy Stanbrough is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in "Bust," "Woman's World," "Southern Exposure" and many other publications. Stanbrough holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from George Mason University.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images