Stop the Mess – Smart Packaging for Dye Control

Let’s face it, it’s hard to control the little particles of dye products. When we open their packages, the colorants can go airborne creating a messy workplace. Many of the dyes’ color blooms in contact with water. Areas of the workplace, other materials, or worker’s exposed skin can stain with temporary dye when the colorants come in contact with damp or wet areas.

To overcome the mess, many clients opt for unitized soluble packaging. There are significant advantages to using pre-weighed, packaged dyes and pigments. Unitized packs in a water-soluble or solvent-soluble film bag provide a clean and reliable way to add color into formulations. A good example is using it in the paper and wood industries. Easy to use dye packets are pre-measured to toss in while manufacturing the pulp mixture or wood coating. It’s an easy, no-mess solution to ensuring you’re using the right amount of dye. For other clients, water-soluble packaged dyes can be ready for final packaging and resale. This is a great solution for pond dyes and spray pattern indicator products.

How It Works

Soluble packaging creates a physical film barrier between the colorant and the user. This makes it easy for staff to work with the dye without getting dirty. Workers can drop in portioned packages of dye, like how we do with laundry detergent packets or dishwasher detergent tabs. There’s no mess and no measuring mistakes.

This packaging utilizes a formulated polymer film that later dissolves in an aqueous product. Typical water-soluble films used in this packaging are polyvinyl alcohol, or PVA. The PVA film can form into a package to contain a variety colorants and measurements. Typical packages contain 1 ounce (30 grams) to 16 ounces (450 grams) of colorant. The contents can be a single dye, pigment, or a blended color-matched formulation with any variety of additives.

To insure its integrity, we protect water-soluble packaging from moisture. This is important to keep from leaks in the bags causing the dye to spread to other bags or the workplace. We package the soluble packs into another bag to reduce exposure to water and humidity and then pack them in a box. This action improves the shelf life of the packed product.


This type of packaging is expanding to many commercial applications. We’ve seen clients use the packs in spray pattern indicators, HI&I, pond dyes, excelsior, paper pulp processing, wood coatings, and mulch colorants. Water-soluble packaging offers many distinct advantages for industries. It offers a reliable, easy to use solution to keeping your workspace and staff clean and your products dyed right.

Want to try unitized soluble packaging for your dyes? We can help you find the size and solution best for your processes.

By |March 29th, 2016|Blog|1 Comment

About the Author:

Doug Thompson is Product and Technical Sales Manager at First Source Worldwide. With over 25 years working with color, he proudly boasts the stereotype of Color Geek. He specializes in color use for plastics, coatings, HI&I, as well as singing 80s pop songs.

One Comment

  1. Steven Gilberg April 6, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Doug – Great blog! Any chance this type of packaging could find it’s way into tannery use? Some of my smaller customers might find it useful to have a box of dye containing 25 or 30 pouches with a range of preweighed product vs. scooping out of a box or barrel. How flexible is the packaging when it comes to size of package and color changes?

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