There is little that is more irritating than loving a most treasured piece of clothing only to have its color fade away in the wash a few months later. This is often what happens, especially to bright, bold colors. It can also happen to whites when they start to look dingy. But this is not what’s destined to happen to clothes and although many detergents will claim that they prevent fading, there are some tips that you can do with any kind of detergent to keep your whites white and your brights bright.
The first thing you must do is read the label on the garment. This will let you know what type of water, wash cycle, and dry cycle must be used for that garment. Not only does this prevent fading but it can help prevent shrinking as well. And although we might be tempted to just throw everything in the dryer, some clothes need a lower temperature while others must be hung dry.
Sort, sort, sort. That is another important step to keeping colors from fading. Because blue isn’t likely to cling to black, this will take less color out of your clothes. There’s an added bonus to this step as well. It will keep your clothes looking the way they should and won’t turn your light colors a shade that you really wish they weren’t.
One of the tricks to keeping your colors from fading may not be as obvious as the first two. This is to turn your clothes inside out. Of course, clothes are the brightest on the outside of them. And why wouldn’t they be? This is the part that everyone sees. By turning clothes inside out in the wash, you can save the amount of wear and tear that is placed on the brightest part of the fabric therefore reducing the fading that occurs from rough handling.
Clothes need lots of room to move and be cleaned thoroughly. For this reason, don’t place too much in the washing machine at once. This will only cause uneven soap deposits and will cause the washing machine to work harder to get through all of the clothes that it is holding. The harder the machine works, the more wear and tear on our clothes and the more fading will occur.
Wash colors in cold water to prevent fading. Warm or hot water leeches color out of clothes as it cleans. There are now available cold water laundry detergents that are strictly for washing clothes in cold water. Although these were first put on the market to help reduce energy, they also prevent clothes from fading.
Leaving clothes in the dryer until they are absolutely dry also takes the color of clothes and causes them to fade. To keep this from happening, remove clothes from the dryer when they are still a little bit damp. This is especially true of bright clothes.
To lock in color, add some vinegar to the wash. This makes the color adhere to the clothing and will keep clothes from fading. The vinegar smell will be washed away with the suds and you will be left with clothes as bright as when you first got them!
To ensure that your clothes don’t lose any of their color, simply follow the steps outlined above. Keeping colors bright and fresh is easy when you just take a few more minutes for your laundry routine!