Are your black jeans, T-shirt or your little black dress not as black as they used to be?
For the most part, it's pretty inevitable that dark clothes will fade after repeated washings.
That's because the more you wash, the more black dye washes away, especially with denim.
But it is possible to lessen the fading. Here's how to wash dark clothes and keep them looking good.
Laundering lights and darks together is a recipe for color transfer between clothes - and both lights and darks are likely to emerge looking worse for wear.
Take the time to read the fabric care labels on all your clothes, especially dark clothes.
Your clothes will last longer (regardless of color) if you launder them as recommended.
Protect the outside of dark clothes by turning the garment inside out, so it won't come into contact with other clothes, which breaks down the fibers and causes them to appear faded.
Wash dark clothes in cold water (60 to 80 degrees F) to keep the fibers in dark clothes from losing their color.
And always choose and use the shortest cycle possible needed to get them clean. Less time in the washer means less fading.
Always select "cold" for the washing machine's rinse-water temperature - and this goes for all your clothes, regardless of color.
A cold rinse cycle saves energy and is just as effective as warm or hot water and helps prevent dark clothes from fading.
To keep abrasion, snags, and lint to a minimum, zip zippers, button buttons, brush away lint, empty pockets before putting clothes into the washing machine.
Also, only wash items of similar weight together - that is, don't wash a cashmere sweater and jeans in the same load because they're the same color.
To minimize fading when washing dark clothes, avoid laundry detergents with added boosters such as bleach, which can strip the color from dark clothes.
Use a laundry detergent that can tackle the usual wash-day stains, whether they're stairns from body oil, dirt, red wine, or grass.
There are laundry product that are formulated to lessen the fading. Be sure to read the label and look for features like color guard or "for black" or "dark clothes".
If you're using an every-day, all-purpose laundry detergent not forumulated for dark clothes, extra detergent may be necessary to get dark clothes clean in cold water.
Because laundry detergent is designed to be fully activated at warmer temperatures, hen washing in cold water, you'll want to increase the amount of detergent to one-and-a-half to two times the recommended amount.
Tumbling in the dryer with other clothes roughs up the surface of the fibers, creating a halo of fuzz that catches light and makes dark clothes appear faded.
Instead, keep the garments turned inside out and hang them to dry in your laundry room, or lay sweaters flat to dry. The sun will fade them, so don't hang them outside.
Do you have a story or tips to share about washing dark clothes? Share them!