How to use water soluble dye

The most important thing to do is to ensure that the dye is dissolved properly!!

Easy enough to do but it still amazes me how often people get this step wrong.  Perhaps, many people are under the assumption that dyes will dissolve easily in cold water.  This is often not the case.

The method is straight-forward.

To make a solution:

  • Weigh out the required quantity of dye
  • Make a paste using cold water
  • Add hot water to this paste whilst stirring
  • Continue to stir until the dye is dissolved
  • Allow to cool
  • The dye is now ready to use
  • The stability of solutions are good provided they are kept in a cool place and not exposed to direct sunlight.

The points to take note are:

  • Dyes have varying solubility.
  • Adding cold water and making a paste ensures that water can easily get to the surface of the dyes.  This is especially important when using powders.
  • The hot water adds energy into the dissolving process forcing the dye to dissolve quicker.  The temeprature of the water has no effect on the dye.  They were all originally designed for dyeing textiles at 95°C.
  • The stiring ensures that there is good contact between the dye and the water and accelerates the disslving step.
  • This can be done by adding cold water.
  • Make sure that handle the dye solution carefully as dyes can be messy!
  • If you are going to store the solutions  and use the dyes in food then you may have consider adding a preservative.

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