Fixing idye poly on sponges?
  • Hi,

    I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to 'fix' idye poly?

    I have dyed a heap of synthetic face painting sponges black using idye poly according to the directions (stove top boil for 1 hour with the colour intensifier sachet added, as per instructions) - the colour took really well & they look great, but unfortunately no matter how much I wash them there is loose dye coming off them. I've washed them all really well, multiple times & when I rinse them the water runs clear, but the minute I go to use them (with facepaint), or add a little ivory soap to wash them out there's a lot of dye coming out. They are unusable now as they are, so I'm hoping there is something I can use as a fixative-? TIA
  • Hi,
    This is not a common issue with iDye Poly. Are you absolutely sure that your sponges are 100% polyester? It sounds like you are using the wrong dye! Sponges--especially facial sponges--are often made with natural fibers. iPoly will be completely ineffective on natural fibers. You'll want to find out exactly what the sponge is made of. Let me know and I will recommend the appropriate dye. When it comes to dyeing, you must always start by knowing what kind of fiber you are trying to color: this will inform the choice of dye/chemistry required. (And by the way, "synthetic" doesn't nesecarily mean "polyester." It could be rayon, nylon, or some other synthetic fiber).
    If your sponges truly are 100% polester, we'll want to review your methods. There is no fixative, nor a need for one, for poly dyes. Again, if the sponge is not polyester, it is a whole differnt story. Lastly, whenever you are rinsing out excess dye, Synthrapol is recommended (, although it is less critical with iDye Poly. If you are unable to discover what exactly your sponges are made of, you can send us one and we will try to determine this for you. However, the manufacture should be able to tell you what fibers they use...
  • Thank you for the reply. I have managed to get in touch with the seller/distributor of the sponges and am told they are made of Polyurethane.
  • Hi Coral,

    Bummer! The iDye Poly isn't going to be able to hold on to the polyurethane sponges. You will continue to lose color in the way you've experienced.
    You may be able to salvage them, however. I would try a couple of goes using, either the soap you've been using, or Synthrapol in a pot of water - bring the water to a boil, pour off, rinse well (squeezing all the water out at the final rinse) and go again. If it seems to be pulling the dye out of the sponges I'd do it a couple more times. One caveat, though, unless you are able to remove ALL the dye I wouldn't continue to use the sponges as makeup applicators.

    Good luck!
  • Thank you very much for your advice, I appreciate the help. I think it sounds like the sponges are now a lost cause, unfortunately I will have to dispose of them & buy new ones. It's my fault - I should have researched what they were made out of properly BEFORE I went ahead and dyed them! Oh well, live and learn!

    Thanks again for your assistance :)
  • Coral,

    You are most welcome!