How to - Dyeing RC parts

by eluminerRC | March 23, 2013 | (7) Posted in How To

This is "how to" video on how to dye RC parts using RIT dye in powder form. I am not responsible if you damage or destroy any of your parts using this method. I am just sharing with you how I do this and what effect this method has.


I will use dyed parts in my quadcopter build, however hole step is just for looks. It has nothing to do with function. :)

RIT dye is product for dyeing fabric. However, people figured out that this stuff dyes plastic materials very well and it's very popular within RC community. Black dye in particular dyes stuff perfectly and it's almost impossible to tell if something is dyed or not. Huge advantage of dyeing is that you can't scratch it of and it doesn't add additional layer like paint does.

1. This process is completely IRREVERSIBLE, so make sure that this is what you want!
2. If you splash the dye on the stove or kitchen element, clean it ASAP. Dye will leave marks on pretty much anything (plastic, wood...). Be aware of that risk!
3. Temperature, on one hand, is important for proper dyeing (dye doesn't really do anything in cold water), but on the other hand high temperature could melt the plastic. So, be very careful with water temperature. If you warp something like connector you will have hard time to plug it in later.
4. Be aware that by dyeing anything that has metal parts you risk corrosion. Dye itself doesn't affect metal, however water does. So e.g. wires and connectors (T-plug) could corrode if you don't dry them properly. Also, you can't really prevent water from entering the wire so be aware of that risk. You can't dry it completely either. I suggest not using first few inches of dyed wire if possible.

1. I recommend to stick with BLACK dye only. You can dye parts with other colours as well, however, results aren't usually that great. Also, you can only dye from light to dark colours. So, e.g. you can dye white plastic to any colour, but blue can only be dyed black.
2. Make sure that all parts are completely clean and free of any dirt, oil and/or grease. Dye will not penetrate trough this and you will end up with uneven and ugly results.
3. RIT dye will not dye stainless steel pots and they are easy to clean after dyeing. Also, you can safely use them for cooking afterwards. However, the best way is to use some old pot that you don't use for cooking anymore.
4. I use around 1/3 of the bag for the amount of water I've used in the video. Of course, for more water you need more dye.
5. You can reuse dye. Just heat it up again and you are good to go. Of course, you can't dye stuff endlessly without adding more dye. But you will notice when there is to little dye, don't worry. :)
6. Dyeing usually takes between 15-30 minutes, however it depends on type of plastic and it could take up to an hour. If something doesn't dye even after an hour it probably will never dye. Most plastics dyes just fine and wires to. You can't dye metal parts!
7. I usually use a peace of wood for stirring. It's great because it sops water so it's a lot harder to accidentally splash around. You can also use a peace of silverware (fork, spoon or something).
8. When dyeing servo wires it's good idea to remove pins from servo connector and dye wires with pins but without connectors. That way you don't risk melting or warping the connector and it's a lot easier to dry this later which is important to prevent corrosion.
9. If you have few bigger parts instead of many small ones, you can just use fishing string and loop them all together. That way you will be able to pull them out easily. For small parts I recommend using some kind of basket like I did.

You need:
RIT dye in powder form

Stainless steel pot, stove, paper towel, aluminium foil and something to prevent parts from sticking to the bottom of the pot (fishing wire will do for bigger parts)


Enjoy RC as much as I do! :)


apache64 on March 26, 2013
what a great tip, i was amased that plastic parts will take the dye so easily. it will make for a great quadcopter with all black parts, very stealthy :-) thanks again..
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eluminerRC on March 26, 2013
Yep, dye does wonders on plastic. I haven't come across a plastic that doesn't dye well.

Yeah, quad will be black and white. I hope that it won't be so stealthy that I won't be able to see it. :-P
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mdrm on June 14, 2013
Is it possble to dye red silcon wire black? I have too much red wire!
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eluminerRC on June 14, 2013
I've successfully dyed servo wire from HK which they claim to be "soft silicon". So, you should be able to dye any silicon wire using RIT dye.
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How to - Dyeing RC parts