How to Wash Dark Clothes Without Fading
Dark jeans, sweaters, shirts, and other articles of clothing will lose their appeal once they start to fade. Typically these clothes look best when their color is bold and deep and once it begins to turn grey or ashen, the pieces will look old and worn and outdated. How you clean and wash your clothes will greatly affect the color and their overall appearance, so consider a few tips for doing this properly.
Hot water is the leading culprit of fading for dark clothes. The warmer the water, the more ink and dye it will pull out of the garment. White clothes are best washed in hot water as this will help to keep them clean and bright, but dark clothes should always be washed in cold water. Don’t think that cold water won’t get your clothes clean; today’s washers agitate your clothes so much that there’s little chance any dirt is left over at the end of a cycle.
The detergent you use will also affect the amount of fading you might get with clothes. Strong, harsh detergents can also strip dyes, especially in looser materials like cotton. Using detergent meant for baby clothes is a good choice for clothes you want to protect, like your favorite jeans. These detergents are very gentle and only give your clothes a light cleaning.
Because washing machines today are so effective, it’s also good to consider hand washing your delicate items and clothes you want to protect. Sweaters and those items with threads that may get caught in an agitator are best washed by hand anyway, so you can easily toss in your favorite jeans or other clothes when you do your hand washing. Use that same baby detergent or a delicate detergent like Woolite to hold the color and protect your clothes.
It may sound odd, but bright sunlight can also fade clothes. The light fades the dye and makes them look worn out. If you use a clothesline to dry your clothes, be mindful of their exposure to bright sunlight. Put them out in the early morning or evening hours when the sun isn’t so bright. Take clothes off the line as soon as they’re dry so they have less exposure to the light. You might also want to consider drying your dark clothes in a dryer for the last few minutes so they can tumble and not be stiff, and this saves the amount of time they’ll spend on a line.
These simple tips should keep your dark clothes looking like new no matter their material or color. Be mindful of how you wash them and the products you use, and they should always look their best!