Author Topic: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic  (Read 8628 times)

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Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« on: Wed, 26 March 2014, 16:34:56 »
So for a bit I was unsuccessfully running dye on some buckling spring keys and was confused as to why that was. I've now just dyed my M0116 keys red with a packet that I've had for years, completely successfully. Apparently RIT changed their formula back in 2011, and it no longer works on PBT. Has anyone else already noticed this and found a replacement?
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Offline naasfu

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 26 March 2014, 16:37:31 »
I have not had time to do further research, but I found some mentions of "iDye":
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=52149.msg1229405#msg1229405

edit:  oh and if you find something that works, please give us an update. :)  I bought some blank HHKB sets for dyeing, and also a cheap set of white PBT for testing, but I haven't had a chance to do more research on dyes.
« Last Edit: Wed, 26 March 2014, 17:12:37 by naasfu »
a cute stray cat combination that comes out happily when you look at your face is cute

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Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 26 March 2014, 17:10:14 »
What I can tell you off the bat is that the 2011 Formula Change coincided with a 2011 trademark/copyright change on the box. Therefore any dye from them with an older than that trademark date should work as normal. It being a powder, it should be stable, so it doesn't matter how old it is either.

My scarlet that I used has a 2009 there, and it worked, and one of the ones I recently bought has a 2010 on it and hopefully it works as well.
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Offline naasfu

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 26 March 2014, 17:17:53 »
Cool, thanks for that tip.  I can check my local arts and craft stores to see if they have old vintage RIT dye powder.

Do you have any pics of the keys you dyed with scarlet RIT dye?  I like pictures.  :)
a cute stray cat combination that comes out happily when you look at your face is cute

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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 26 March 2014, 17:28:22 »
Are you certain that new product will not work?

Not that I am trying to be argumentative, but my experience was that certain RIT colors (scarlet, orange, black) work great, some are splotchy and uneven (cocoa brown, dark green), and some are worthless (every blue that I have tried) and these were probably all or mostly old formula.

I clean very well, mix to at least triple the specified concentration, slight boil for at least several minutes, and rinse with salt water.
The difference in characterization of crime and who commits it skews what criminality looks like demographically. "What we're seeing so far is very similar to the process that we see with Islamic violent Jihad radicalization," said former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, "This wanting to belong to a cause greater than yourself, wanting to get affirmation from a group who may not even know who you are or ever met you. And then feeling like you're part of this deployment, this cause. You heard him say on the clip 'It's my job to protect this.'
No, it's not your job. But you think it is. And video last night shows him walking around roaming around with the assault rifle not really doing much of protecting anything." Figliuzzi made it clear that calling these characters "troubled" is a misnomer. "I would assert," Figliuzzi continued. "that it's time we stopped using the word ‘troubled’ with regard to white young people who act out like this and start thinking about the radicalized term that we used when people of color or people of Islamic faith act out like this. This is a radicalization process that's happening. It happened with the El Paso shooter in Texas. We kept hearing he was troubled. No, he was radicalized. And it's happening online."

Offline funkymeeba

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 26 March 2014, 17:52:09 »
I have had RIT be extremely flaky. I have had Scarlett and Tangerine work in the past, but now all I get is a very pale, unappealing color. Multiple attempts just have not worked out.

I have been having much better luck with the little packets of iDye Poly (ordered from Dharma Trading).
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Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 26 March 2014, 19:39:20 »
Other than navy blue, I've never tried any blues, and that time I was doing it to cover up a mishap and as such they ended up otaku. I also did a forest green batch the same way, those are visible with enough light. The one time I tried black on the darker keys (the "pebble" originally ones) that came out as more of a dark brown than black - apparently there were variations even at the time of black formula. This Model M has green keys that are great looking, but I'm not even sure which green it was anymore as I did it some time ago.

Yes, now that I'm paying attention I am as certain as I can be. With the exception of the one mishap (which was two sets of keys at once with a mix of liquid dyes), every time I've done it has worked perfectly fine. Right up until the last time I tried to do it and I got a new something (some kind of blue I suspect) which didn't work and then now even new yellow won't work.

I'm also not sure it matters what steps are used to do it, I've done with salt, without salt (supposedly salt is to make it set on fabrics) and I usually do one packet per set of keys with completely different amounts of water. When I'm dumping out the water there's also always enough color left there that I suspect I could do more than one set of keys at once - or even in series - with the same packet. When I did it today I even did what someone else said he did, which was to bring the dye in some water to a boil in the microwave, and have the keys already simmering in water and then just dump it all in. Almost immediately the red started taking.

If it's been inconsistent, keep in mind that 2011 was some time ago and also how long these dyes can sit on the shelves. The 2010 marked one I got yesterday was an orange, and clearly had to have been sitting there for some time. To add even more variation to the mix is the fact that when they were changing formulas in 2011, they did it gradually for the powders. So even some colors at that time will work, if the batch was early enough, but I'm not willing to experiment when I know a hard and fast cutoff date to look for. There was a disc golf forum I ran across which had people trying to work out which batches would work.

For the record, on RIT's own site they have a blog post about the formula change, and the fact that the new formula doesn't work on certain plastics anymore. Even if it's not mentioned specifically PBT is obviously one of them.

Yes, I can take some pictures.
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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 26 March 2014, 19:52:51 »
dumping out the water there's also always enough color left there that I suspect I could do more than one set of keys at once

Boy, I am glad that I save my dye. I run it through a fine metal sieve to get out the junk and store it in glass jars.

I have re-used dye multiple times with great results. If it worked once, it will work again. Each use probably concentrates it, if anything.

My primary dyeing experiments were probably in 2011-2012, so I might have bought most of my dye at the tail-end of the good stuff.
The difference in characterization of crime and who commits it skews what criminality looks like demographically. "What we're seeing so far is very similar to the process that we see with Islamic violent Jihad radicalization," said former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, "This wanting to belong to a cause greater than yourself, wanting to get affirmation from a group who may not even know who you are or ever met you. And then feeling like you're part of this deployment, this cause. You heard him say on the clip 'It's my job to protect this.'
No, it's not your job. But you think it is. And video last night shows him walking around roaming around with the assault rifle not really doing much of protecting anything." Figliuzzi made it clear that calling these characters "troubled" is a misnomer. "I would assert," Figliuzzi continued. "that it's time we stopped using the word ‘troubled’ with regard to white young people who act out like this and start thinking about the radicalized term that we used when people of color or people of Islamic faith act out like this. This is a radicalization process that's happening. It happened with the El Paso shooter in Texas. We kept hearing he was troubled. No, he was radicalized. And it's happening online."

Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 27 March 2014, 00:27:19 »
How many times have you reused a single packet? There must be a maximum possible number, because at least some of the moles of dye would have to end up trapped in the plastic rather than staying in solution.

Now that you've said that I might try to do that, but I'd want to boil off the water (and given the fumes some of the dye must also go gaseous) to reduce the space required to store it. Seems like it would take alot of jars.

Given my join date, I must have done almost all of mine at around the same time frame. The last one I tried to do was the one that flat out did not work, so that makes sense especially since I think I tried to do one of the other blues.

Here's pics of the new scarlet set.
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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 27 March 2014, 07:18:43 »
How many times have you reused a single packet?

to reduce the space required to store it. Seems like it would take alot of jars.


First, I use old glass soy sauce bottles that are probably about a pint, one per color. They do not fill a cardboard 6-pack carton. I probably have black, scarlet, dark green, and tangerine.

I know that I have used scarlet 3 times and black 3-4, and they are about used up.

Also, I have only done IBM PBT from the 1980s-90s.

The difference in characterization of crime and who commits it skews what criminality looks like demographically. "What we're seeing so far is very similar to the process that we see with Islamic violent Jihad radicalization," said former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, "This wanting to belong to a cause greater than yourself, wanting to get affirmation from a group who may not even know who you are or ever met you. And then feeling like you're part of this deployment, this cause. You heard him say on the clip 'It's my job to protect this.'
No, it's not your job. But you think it is. And video last night shows him walking around roaming around with the assault rifle not really doing much of protecting anything." Figliuzzi made it clear that calling these characters "troubled" is a misnomer. "I would assert," Figliuzzi continued. "that it's time we stopped using the word ‘troubled’ with regard to white young people who act out like this and start thinking about the radicalized term that we used when people of color or people of Islamic faith act out like this. This is a radicalization process that's happening. It happened with the El Paso shooter in Texas. We kept hearing he was troubled. No, he was radicalized. And it's happening online."

Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 27 March 2014, 12:03:13 »
I've done plenty of different PBTs, some cherry POS PBT, several apple PBT, a couple space invaders, and a couple IBM. I think that's all, but I may be forgetting something.

Also, in case anyone's wondering, the spacebar in that (and most) apple sets is very ABS, so it will be getting VHT blacked instead, along with the power button - I didn't check what it is though.
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Offline naasfu

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 28 March 2014, 18:40:37 »
Here's pics of the new scarlet set.

Thanks for posting those pics.  Looks like this scarlet dye job came out pretty well. :)
a cute stray cat combination that comes out happily when you look at your face is cute

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Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 14 May 2014, 18:16:45 »
I've now done a set of AEKII keys with a 2010 teal, pics to be posted once it is totally finished. They however turned green instead of teal for some reason.

Since I was doing them to replace my orange set that I had on it, because I'm keeping the orange caps but selling the board, I had first pulled off that set. That board is modded to be white alps including sliders, and I saw something interesting. While dye never comes off on fingers from the keys during use, it seems to have tinged the white sliders towards orange a bit. The only exception being the spacebar, because its ABS and was therefore painted black - its slider still looks like it did before. Has anyone noticed this?
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Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 21 May 2014, 21:34:04 »
Here are those pics
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Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 03:27:00 »
I've also now used iDye poly, and it seems to work. Or at least it will for one set, still not sure if what happened is normal for this or not. Both of these sets were intended to be Model M black blanks for sale, and I will be updating my sale post with them right after this.

The first set worked fully as expected, and turned all black. The only problem was that unlike RIT dye, which all that needs to be done afterwards is to rinse them off to get excess dye off and then let it dry, for these there was excess dye somehow caked on. Rinsing didn't work, dye still came off on hands and dripped onto the paper towels I was using for drying. Putting them through the dishwasher had more or less the same result, they came out dripping dye. What I eventually had to do was to /boil them in comet/. That finally did it.

The second set I dyed immediately after the first, and it had the same cleaning problems. However, they did not come out looking as black in the first place. They were close, but seemed faded somehow and tinged purple when examined closely. I skipped the dishwasher because the other set came out of that not much better, so I immediately boiled them in comet afterwards. The water turned much darker with these than the others, and when I got them out and rinsed them off, some looked black still and others looked more a very dark navy blue. I considered that perhaps it was the darker keys that were still black looking, but one of the black ones has the locating underline on it, and no matter where that was from it would have been an ivory key. If noone ends up wanting this set like this, I'll have to attempt to redye them, first with the dye I saved.
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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 08:08:56 »
Too bad. My black RIT must be the old style because mine have come out awesome and perfect.
The difference in characterization of crime and who commits it skews what criminality looks like demographically. "What we're seeing so far is very similar to the process that we see with Islamic violent Jihad radicalization," said former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, "This wanting to belong to a cause greater than yourself, wanting to get affirmation from a group who may not even know who you are or ever met you. And then feeling like you're part of this deployment, this cause. You heard him say on the clip 'It's my job to protect this.'
No, it's not your job. But you think it is. And video last night shows him walking around roaming around with the assault rifle not really doing much of protecting anything." Figliuzzi made it clear that calling these characters "troubled" is a misnomer. "I would assert," Figliuzzi continued. "that it's time we stopped using the word ‘troubled’ with regard to white young people who act out like this and start thinking about the radicalized term that we used when people of color or people of Islamic faith act out like this. This is a radicalization process that's happening. It happened with the El Paso shooter in Texas. We kept hearing he was troubled. No, he was radicalized. And it's happening online."

Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 14:25:20 »
Well the first set I did looks like it should, just with a massive cleaning step I've never had to do before. It was possibly all the dye sticking like that that made the next set not go as dark, because not as much stayed in solution.

Once these two sell, I'll be buying two new sets from unicomp in order to do other colors. I have a hunch for a possible reason, but I won't be able to test it until I have another blank canvas.
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Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 14:34:29 »
I'm not understanding why you're selling black blank dyed sets.  Unicomp sells those for cheaper than you're listing them.

Am I missing something?
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Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 15:25:45 »
Do they? You have to pay like $35 at least including shipping for the regular ivory/pebble set.

I checked and you're right, apparently the set not having letters makes it cheaper for them. But you still have to add spacebar and shipping to their price. I have trended my price down to reflect that, but with shipping being like $7 to send this stuff, the result isn't much left.

As was discussed early in the post there was discovery of rit's changed formula. The first set was from years ago when it had first happened and ended up different gross shades of yellow, because I had tried unusable blue from back then and then recently usable yellow to see if it would work. Now it's a usable uniform black. The second set was new from unicomp to replace that one, but got hit by the same thing because that occurred right before the discovery. I had a third set that was originally the result of mixed liquid dye not working, so it got dyed darker to cover that up, and that set has sold. So there are two Model M's without keys currently because neither I nor the other owner want to use blank sets. I found I could with the already sold set use blank, I just end up rotating away from them in fairly short order.

TL;DR
Because they were the result of mishaps, and I want keys with legends and a good color scheme.

Thanks for telling me about that, though. I guess Unicomp has learned a little bit, because I remembered when people would have bought them by now. They didn't used to do that, I had stopped posting here by the time you joined for some time. They still refuse to sell a full set of colored and lettered keys, however.
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Offline nubbinator

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 20:05:44 »
I just tried RIT and Dylon dyes and neither of them worked.  Tried the iDye Poly and it worked ridiculously fast and well.  The caps weren't even in a full minute and they were done.

Side note, it also worked on some sleeving I had lying around, so if someone wanted to do custom color sleeves outside the normal colors, it works...at least if you use good quality sleeving.  I don't know if it would work with some of the crappy Chinese sleeving (MODdiy and the like) and PET/Techflex some people use, but it should work with BitsPower and Mod/Smart.  I didn't try it on MDPC, so I couldn't say.

Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 23:08:32 »
Did you have trouble with getting them clean afterwards?
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Offline nubbinator

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 24 May 2014, 23:20:41 »
Nope, no problems at all.  There was a little bit of an issue with the sleeving, but the caps cleaned up fine.

Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 25 May 2014, 01:03:24 »
You should post pictures of them.
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Offline Xowie

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 21 June 2014, 20:32:01 »
Slight grave dig (my apologies) but I didn't feel like a new thread was necessary.

Tried RIT dye this weekend. Yesterday I dyed my HHKB caps scarlet and had wonderful results. This Dye came in white pouch
Today I went to a different store to pick up more RIT dye and the results were less than stellar. I tried Royal Blue, Scarlet and Black. All three gave meh results. All three of these came in a brown pouch.
I am at a toss up between trying iDye Polly or going back to the first store and seeing if they have better stock in other colors.
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Offline nubbinator

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #24 on: Sat, 21 June 2014, 20:33:00 »
Do the iDye Poly.  It's markedly better.

Offline Xowie

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 21 June 2014, 21:01:20 »
I am definitely leaning towards that. Out of curiosity, have you tried it with ABS plastic?
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Offline nubbinator

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 21 June 2014, 21:02:12 »
I haven't unless the sleeving I tried it on was ABS.  It worked pretty well on the sleeving as well.

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 22 June 2014, 09:58:59 »
Very interesting reading through this thread. I bought some teal rit dye a few weeks ago and to my surprise after leaving it in the die for over 15 minutes, literally nothing happen to the keys (white PBT). Definitely going to look into some of the options mentioned in here as I am still keen to give it another go and it actually work  :))

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 22 June 2014, 11:45:36 »
Somebody should make this thread sticky:

http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=35444.msg658453#msg658453

Check out post #14 especially.

Remember that the temperature required to make RIT dye "take" is very close to the boiling point. ABS softens and deforms 10-15 degrees below that, which makes it extremely difficult, if not almost impossible to do them.

I have boiled PBT caps from 1980s-90s IBMs for 20 minutes without damaging them, and gotten good results.
The difference in characterization of crime and who commits it skews what criminality looks like demographically. "What we're seeing so far is very similar to the process that we see with Islamic violent Jihad radicalization," said former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, "This wanting to belong to a cause greater than yourself, wanting to get affirmation from a group who may not even know who you are or ever met you. And then feeling like you're part of this deployment, this cause. You heard him say on the clip 'It's my job to protect this.'
No, it's not your job. But you think it is. And video last night shows him walking around roaming around with the assault rifle not really doing much of protecting anything." Figliuzzi made it clear that calling these characters "troubled" is a misnomer. "I would assert," Figliuzzi continued. "that it's time we stopped using the word ‘troubled’ with regard to white young people who act out like this and start thinking about the radicalized term that we used when people of color or people of Islamic faith act out like this. This is a radicalization process that's happening. It happened with the El Paso shooter in Texas. We kept hearing he was troubled. No, he was radicalized. And it's happening online."

Offline berserkfan

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 22 June 2014, 14:11:34 »
Very interesting reading through this thread. I bought some teal rit dye a few weeks ago and to my surprise after leaving it in the die for over 15 minutes, literally nothing happen to the keys (white PBT). Definitely going to look into some of the options mentioned in here as I am still keen to give it another go and it actually work  :))

You need the dye to be boiling (or extremely hot)

50 or 60 Celsius isn't going to make it.
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Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Yet Another RIT Dye Topic
« Reply #30 on: Wed, 25 June 2014, 03:34:40 »
Please make sure your RIT dyes are pre-2011 formula change if you want to use them. Otherwise the only result will be your ruined keys because the new formula does not work on plastic. Also, I've not noticed any difference whatsoever in RIT packet colors as to the different formulas.

Keep this in mind also when looking at that thread from 2012, this would be right when the new formula began to propagate to places, especially in more commonly used colors. It is possible to still find some of the old as I have.

I, too, think that the self-dissolving packet of the iDye Poly is the cause of my trouble with needing to clean the keys afterwards, I was going to test that theory and report back if it was true but haven't gotten around to it yet. So far I've only tried the two sets in the black that I showed, but will sometime soonish do others.
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