UGGs have a tendency to fade out after a while or whenever you wash them. No matter how much waterproofing spray you apply it’s still going to happen.
The only solution is dyeing the boots. So, how to dye UGG boots?
Buy a suitable dye for your UGGs(suede dyes work great). Dust off and clean the boots before applying any dye. Use the applicator to spread evenly and let the first coat dry for 24 hours. If needed, apply further coatings and finally, buff the boots to revive the tiny fibers.
Could you figure out how many steps I missed here? Well, I didn’t miss any major ones.
If you want an okay job, this short answer is more than enough. But if you want to go over the top, start reading-
Here's What to Expect
- 1 How to Dye UGG Boots?
- 1.1 Step 1: Brush Away Any Dirt on the UGGs
- 1.2 Step 2: Clean the UGGs If Necessary
- 1.3 Step 3: Cover/Tape the Outsole and Logo(optional)
- 1.4 Step 4: Stuff the UGGs with Socks/Newspaper
- 1.5 Step 5: Dip the Applicator into the Dye
- 1.6 Step 6: Start Spreading Over Broad Areas First
- 1.7 Step 7: Use Circular Motions for Massaging the Dye
- 1.8 Step 8: Let the First Coat Dry for 24 Hours/Overnight
- 1.9 Step 9: Apply More Coat If Necessary, If not, Buff the Boots
- 2 Best Dye for UGG Boots
- 3 Things to Consider While Doing the Job
- 4 How to Protect The New Dye of UGG Boots?
- 5 FAQs
- 6 Wrapping Up
How to Dye UGG Boots?
Some people suggest using Rit dye for dyeing UGGs. But that method requires you to keep the boots submerged in water for a long time.
If you want to do some extensive damage and lose the fluffiness of the boots, then go ahead. Otherwise, here’s how to restore UGG boot color-
Step 1: Brush Away Any Dirt on the UGGs
Get a soft-bristled brush and dust out any dirt or debris sitting on top of the boots. This preliminary brushing will do 2 things.
One, it’ll remove the troublesome dirt. Two, the tiny fibers on your UGGs will be standing on, letting the dye soak much easily into the surface. You’d also want to remove any smell or worst case, mold from your UGGs at this point.
However, don’t brush in the same direction as you always do. Do the opposite just for this one time. The reason’s in the paragraph above.
Step 2: Clean the UGGs If Necessary
The preliminary brushing will take care of most dirt and debris. However, your UGGs might need extensive cleaning if they’ve been through some rough days recently.
Although you might consider washing your UGGs in the washing machine if they’re REALLY dirty.
Once you’re done with that, dry the boots and move on to the next step.
Step 3: Cover/Tape the Outsole and Logo(optional)
UGGs don’t have laces, so there’s no need to remove them. However, most UGGs do have a logo on the ankle area of the boots. Also, there’s the slightly different colored outsole.
And trust on this, you don’t want to dye over those parts. The final outcome wouldn’t be satisfying.
The easiest solution? Put some painter’s tape over them and protect them from any dye stains.
You can skip this step if you think you can stay extra careful. But if it were up to me, I’d take all the precautions. Because once that dye sets in, removing it can be a nightmare. It’s kind of buying a wrong-sized pair of UGGs. Once it’s done, it’s hard to go back.
Step 4: Stuff the UGGs with Socks/Newspaper
Grab a couple of sheets of newspaper and crumple them into balls. Put those inside your UGGs ensuring they cover every inch from heel to toe.
Doing so, you’ll get 2 benefits.
First of all, the boots are going to hold their ideal shape throughout the dyeing process. And second, there’s less risk of the dye mixing in with the interior.
UGGs have a pretty high ankle. So, you need to fill them up to the brim. Also, if you don’t have any old newspapers. Any old socks or rags would work too. A similar process is involved when you want to stretch UGG boots.
Step 5: Dip the Applicator into the Dye
Most dyes come with a cotton ball applicator. While those are quite great, you can always use other things such as a sponge or toothbrush if you think that’s easier.
Before you dip the applicator, check whether you need to dilute or mix the dye with anything else. This varies from brand to brand so make sure to read the instructions.
When dipping the applicator into the dye, ensure that the bristles are thoroughly wet. Drip off the excess dye unless you want uneven spots.
Your target should be to get ½ tbsp of dye for every application. And as it’s basically chemical, you should be wearing a pair of rubber gloves.
Step 6: Start Spreading Over Broad Areas First
Using the cotton applicator, start spreading the dye on flat, broad surfaces first. The tighter nooks and crannies can wait for a while.
Like I said before, don’t apply too much on the first take. When it comes to dyes, you can always apply more later but you can’t apply less.
Other than that, remember not to apply too much on a single spot. This will lead to creating a permanent dark spot there.
And trust me, you don’t want to go through the irritating process of mixing it in.
Step 7: Use Circular Motions for Massaging the Dye
Slow and steady.
That should be your motto especially if this is your first time. Follow a methodical process and go slow when you’re first applying.
Select a small area, finish that and move on to the next area. While you’re doing this, make sure you don’t leave any obvious gaps.
Don’t stress over areas like the seams and stitchings. Just leave them as it is. I’ll explain why in a second.
Step 8: Let the First Coat Dry for 24 Hours/Overnight
Keep your newly dyed UGGs in a well-ventilated cool area to let them dry. Usually, it takes around 1-2 hours to dry to the touch.
But that varies a lot depending on the brand. And you never know the actual color at that stage.
This is why the ideal thing to do is wait for 24 hours. Then you’ll know the actual color as the dye will have had ample time to set camp.
Whatever you do, just don’t take any drastic measures to fasten the drying process. Unless of course, you want permanent damage.
Step 9: Apply More Coat If Necessary, If not, Buff the Boots
For people who haven’t got much experience, it’s hard getting an even coat on the first try. If that’s your case, then don’t worry.
It can even take four coatings for the perfect dye job. Just don’t lose your patience.
Although it’s easy to get confused as the initial coloration will look much darker than what you’ll see when it dries.
On the other hand, applying too much dye can ruin the leather by drying it out. Keep a healthy balance and your UGGs will be fine. Genuine sheepskin leather is quite durable.
Finally, wrap things up by buffing up your UGGs to make the tiny fibers go standing again.
Best Dye for UGG Boots
These suede dyes are more or less the same. There isn’t much difference except with the last two products. Here’s a quick description of each of them-
Fiebing’s Suede Dye (Best Choice)
You can’t go wrong with Fiebing’s Suede Dye. It’s a trusted brand in the footwear community. Even though you’ll need a few coatings for an even job, you should still go for it.
Angelus Suede Dye (Second Best)
If you ask me, there’s really not much difference with the Angelus Suede Dye. I personally like both. But people seem to like the previous one more. And I do have to agree that the packaging is much better too.
Tarrago Color Dye (Most Color Options)
You might not have heard about the brand that much. But the Tarrago Color Dye has the most options from this bunch. Whether you want to dye dark brown or ivory, Tarrango’s got you covered.
Saphir Liquid Dye Teinture Francaise (Richest Color and Most Expensive)
Saphir has always been a premium brand regardless of what product they come up with. Even though the price is more than double compared to other brands, the quality is impeccable. You might be done with it in one coating.
Tarrago Re-Color Dye Nourishing Spray (A Must-have Backup Option)
Sometimes you don’t have the energy to re-dye your boots. A simple touch-up would fix things in no time. Well, that’s where the Tarrago Re-Color Dye Nourishing Spray comes in. Give your boots a couple of sprays and they’ll be back to their old form.
Things to Consider While Doing the Job
As you see, it’s a pretty straightforward method. You get better at it with time and practice. But here are a few pointers to make the task even easier-
Cover the Area with Newspaper
No matter how careful you are, there are going to be spills and drops.
The easiest solution?
Put some newspaper where you’re working. It’s even better if you can do it in your garage or outside your house. You never know when something’s going to get stained.
Use a Separate Applicator Brush to Get It Done Faster
I’ve seen people recommend toothbrushes for applying the dye. But I honestly don’t know how that’s better than a cotton ball applicator.
Just think about it. Have you ever seen someone painting something with a toothbrush? You haven’t, right? Well, me neither.
What you can do is use professional paintbrushes. You will have much better stability and control than you’d with a cotton ball applicator.
The Threads Might Not Take the Color As You’d Expect
It’s not the 90’s anymore. Manufacturers don’t use natural cotton-based thread anymore. Instead, they now use more durable threads made from nylon and polyester.
Despite the improved durability, these modern threads do not soak up any moisture. This is good for the long term.
However, this also means you won’t be able to dye the threads even with multiple applications. So, do what you can and leave them like that.
How to Protect The New Dye of UGG Boots?
At the end of the day, it’s not a permanent fix. Well, you don’t have to deal with it every single day. But you do need to fix it up every couple of months if you want that color to stay like that.
Here’s how to do that-
A Waterproofing Spray Is a Must
If you decide to wear sheepskin leather, suede, or nubuck, there’s no alternative to spending on a quality protector spray.
No matter how well the dyeing job is, it will start coming once it comes in contact with water. A waterproofing spray can save you from that trouble and keep the dye for much longer.
- When spraying, keep a distance of 6-8(15-20 cm) inches
- Let the UGGs dry for an hour
- Apply another layer and wait for another hour
- Make sure to cover every inch of the boots but don’t oversaturate
Use a Dye Nourishing Spray from Time to Time
At times you might notice that the color of your UGGs is fading again. While you can always re-do the dyeing process. Sometimes you just don’t have it in you.
The alternative? Buy a dye nourishing spray.
Simply give your boots a few sprays (choose the right color) and they’ll be good as new again.
Although remember that it won’t last that long. If you want better results, you need to dye again with the lengthy method.
Be Careful When You Clean the Dyed Boots
From time to time, you have to brush your UGGs to keep out dirt and debris. But no matter how hard you try, there will be stains at one point.
When removing those, make sure to use as little water or liquid as possible. Because no matter how little the amount, the boots are going to bleed out some of the dye.
The best approach?
Don’t let your UGG boots get dirty in the first place.
Avoid Wearing Dyed UGGs in Wet Conditions
You need to understand something. Your boots aren’t new anymore. They’re refurbished.
So, you need to be careful when wearing them. Wear these boots on clear days and steer clear of wet grass, puddles, snow, or anything like that.
And this goes out even if you apply waterproofing spray. That spray alone won’t be enough to protect from everything.
Follow a few rules and you’ll get many more years out of those comfy UGGs.
Proper Storing Is More Important Than You Think
Whenever you’re not wearing your UGGs, you should be storing them in a drawstring dust bag.
Keep them on the top shelf with the mouth open a little bit and they’ll maintain their condition. But don’t forget to take them out every once in a while for breathing.
Unlike a regular shoebox, there won’t be any trapped moisture. You can further up your game with a boot tree. But if that’s too fancy for you, regular newspapers or socks work just as well.
How long does the dye take to dry?
The dye usually dries between 2-24 hours depending on the brand. But the longer you wait, the harder it’ll be to wash out the dye from the boots. If you’re not in a hurry, it’s ideal to let them dry at least overnight.
Is the dye waterproof after drying?
The dye won’t be waterproof no matter how long you let it dry. If you want to wear those boots outside, you must apply a waterproofing spray. And you have to keep doing it every couple of months while ensuring you avoid wet conditions as much as possible.
Can you use all types of dye for UGGs?
No, you can’t use all types of dye for UGGs. It needs to be compatible with sheepskin leather. However, most dyes that work for suede also work quite well for sheepskin leather. So, you have plenty of options.
Can you dye uggs with Dylon?
Dylon dye requires you to submerge the entire boot into water. While that works remarkably for regular fabric, it’d just create a mess for boots like UGGs. The boots will never be the same and the softness will be gone after going through the process.
Should you use Rit dye on UGG boots?
Rit dye mixes well with fabric. But you have to keep in mind that fabric isn’t the only material of UGGs. On top of that, keeping the boots submerged underwater for that long can result in irreversible damages.
Well, now you know the ins and outs of how to dye UGG boots. With only a little bit of effort, you can bring back the pristine condition of the boots.
What’s more, you can give new colors to your boots and match them with other outfits without spending much money.
If you’ve got any other tips, don’t forget to leave a comment down below.
Richard is the Head of Content here at Bootpedia. It’s not like he dedicated his entire life towards boots but he did work at multiple footwear stores for over 7 years. Anything that’s posted here is double-checked by him. So, don’t worry about getting the wrong info off the internet.