how to wash dark clothes

Dark clothes are a fun part of our wardrobe.

But to keep the dark colors we love so much intact requires a bit of special care on wash day.

Dark clothing is prone to fading during the wash cycle.

If you wash dark clothes properly they'll both stay colorful and last longer. 

Here is a quick guide on how to wash dark clothes safely, while keeping their bold colors intact.

Wash Dark Clothes Separately

Come wash day, take the time to sort your clothes according to color. 

Washing lights and darks together is a recipe for color transfer between clothes - and both will emerge looking worse for wear.

Plus, it's less expensive to wash dark clothes correctly than it is to replace them. Keep that in mind as you sort.

Wash dark clothes separately both to preserve the dark items' original color and to prevent bleeding onto lighter clothes.

Read fabric care labels before you wash dark clothes as well. Your clothes will last longer (regardless of color) if you launder them as recommended.

Wash New Dark Clothes Inside Out

For its first washing, turn dark clothes inside out and machine wash cold (60 to 80 degrees F) in the gentle wash cycle. This is the key to preventing dark clothes from fading.

Using a cold wash cycle the first time slows the dye transfer process, while a warm wash loosens up the fabric and has the opposite effect - allowing color to be released from the fabric more quickly.

Always select "cold" for the 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.

Wash Dark Clothes in the Shortest Cycle

Wash dark clothes in the shortest cycle possible. The less tim dark clothes are in the washer, the better. This will  help minimize color fading.

Minimize Abrasion During the Wash Cycle

To keep abrasion, snags, and lint to a minimum, zip zippers, button buttons, brush away lint, empty pockets and turn dark clothes inside out.

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 both dark.

Choose a Laundry Detergent That Won't Fade Dark Clothes

Choose a laundry detergent specially formulated for dark clothes, or stick to a basic, additive-free detergent when washing dark clothes.

To keep minimize fading, avoid washing dark clothes in a laundry detergent that has added boosters such as bleach, that can strip the color from your dark clothes.

If dark clothes are heavily soiled, or if you're washing a large load of darks, add extra laundry detergent to ensure the load gets clean the first time.

This is because laundry detergent is generally made to activate fully at warmer temperatures. When washing in cold water as you should with dark clothes, you'll want to increase the amount of detergent to one-and-a-half to two times the recommended amount. 

Line Dry Dark Clothes

Avoid putting dark clothes in the dryer as it can cause dark clothing to fade faster and set any missed stains.

Instead, hang your dark clothes to dry away from direct sunlight, which can quickly fade colors. Or invest in a space-saving clothes drying rack.

› How to Wash Dark Clothes