As treasured as your faded jeans or old t-shirt may be, we strive to keep our clothes looking like new. But washing and drying seem to work against us, fading some items after just one wash. We’ll discuss how to keep clothes from fading with some easy washing and drying tips. With simple steps like reading labels and separating colors, you can better preserve the clothing you love.
How to Keep Clothes From Fading? Try These Color-Saving Tricks
Repeated washing and drying and exposure to light and chemicals can cause clothing to lose its color over time. So, how to keep colors bright while still getting clothes clean? Our tips and tricks detail how to keep clothes from fading as well as how to restore faded items.
Separate Laundry by Color
Dark clothing tends to bleed color, at least during the first few washings. To keep black clothes from fading and prevent lighter items from looking dingy or stained, separate light and dark colors. Then wash only items of similar color together, with a separate load for whites.
Follow Washing Instructions on Tags
Knowing how to keep clothes from fading can be as simple as reading the tag on your clothing. Taking the time to read these garment-specific washing instructions can help make sure you care for items correctly.
Turn Items Inside Out
Turning clothes inside out before washing saves the exterior from friction that can lead to fading. Your clothing will still get clean while the interior that no one sees bears the brunt of friction and fading.
Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Cold water can actually keep color from fading by keeping clothing fibers closed. Warm water opens fibers, allowing the dye to bleed. What’s the best laundry detergent to keep colors from fading? There are some that are formulated to work best with cold water. However, adding ½ cup of vinegar to your wash load can also prevent fading and act as a natural fabric softener.
Skip the Dryer
Does the dryer fade clothes? Unfortunately, the dryer’s repeated tumbling and friction can make the surface of clothes rough. This roughness makes clothing appear faded even if the colors are retained. Leave clothes inside out when drying and dry for as little time as necessary, skipping the dryer altogether if possible.
Choose the Right Setting
Washing clothes on a heavy-duty wash setting when they’re not that dirty can lead to unnecessary wear and tear. Even a regular cycle setting can exacerbate fading and bleeding. Opt for a permanent press or gentle setting when washing clothes to better preserve color and fabric.
How to Restore Faded Clothes
Now that you know how to keep clothes from fading, is there any hope for items that have already lost their color? Here’s how to restore faded clothes with some simple techniques and basic household supplies:
- Wash with salt: Detergent buildup on clothing can lead to a faded appearance, specifically with powdered detergents. Salt can break up this buildup, restoring color and brightness. Add ½ cup of table salt to the washer drum and wash and dry as usual.
- Wash with Vinegar: Vinegar can also break up detergent buildup, as well as the minerals in hard water. Add ½ cup of white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser of a front load washer or directly in the drum of a top loader. Wash and dry as usual.
- Brighten whites by adding ½ cup of baking soda or 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to your wash load along with laundry detergent.