Using iDye stove top method, pot question
  • Hi~
    I did try to do a search, but only one thing came up and didn't answer my question. Can you use a teflon coated pot for the iDye stove top method? Just checking before I go on a thrift store search for a super cheap stainles steel/enamel pot.

  • If the Teflon finish is perfect, then it ought to work fine. Unfortunately, most Teflon pots end up with at least one scratch or thin spot, especially if you're looking at used pots. Just as with enamel, one scratch can make a difference for dyeing.

    Some nonstick surfaces have rusting iron in their scratches, others aluminum, which will react badly with either acid or base. Iron is bad for all types of dye, unless you're trying to dye dull dark colors, because iron tends to interact with the colored section of dyes in such as way as to darken and 'sadden' the color. Aluminum is a big problem if you're using an acid dye, since aluminum reacts with acid, or with a fiber reactive dye, since it reacts with high-pH chemicals like soda ash. Aluminum isn't as likely to alter the colors, though, and is okay if you use only a neutral pH in your dyebath, never an acid or a base.

    Direct dye and disperse dye are less certain to have problems with aluminum. Some recipes for disperse dye for polyester require citric acid or vinegar, but others do not. Direct dye recipes often call for soda ash, but not invariably. You can probably use an aluminum-based Teflon pot with a scratch in it with iDye, if the Jacquard employees here can confirm that its formula contains neither acid nor soda ash.

    If you buy an enameled steel pot that has a scratch that reveals the steel, you cannot fix it so that it's safe to use the pot with food, but it's easy to fix for use in dyeing, if you buy the right sort of paint, a waterproof enamel paint, such as the type sold in tiny bottles for painting over chips on a stove. After this repair, you can use the enameled pot with any sort of dye, regardless of whether it requires acid or soda ash. That makes even a scratched enameled pot a much more versatile dyepot than any nonstick pot that has a scratch in it, since you cannot repair Teflon.