Colors that Don’t Run: How to Keep the Colors in Your Clothes

These days everyone has to pitch in and do a load of laundry. Besides, keeping your clothes looking great isn’t a job for someone else; it’s your job. But this may be new territory for you, so I’m going to help you know how to keep the colors from bleeding and fading.

First, you have to know what to look for. If you see warnings such as “color may wash off,” “do not use detergent,” “wash before wearing,” or “use cold water,” chances are those deep hues may bleed. If the label doesn’t mention these warnings, your clothing is likely colorfast, meaning the dyes are more resistant to bleeding and fading. Also, synthetic fabrics retain color better than natural fibers, such as cotton or wool.

Guys – make sure you follow these simple steps from our friends at Speed Queen to keep your clothes looking brand new.

  1. Separate lights and pastels from dark-colored clothes, then wash similar colors together. If any dyes are released, they won’t discolor other clothes.
  2. Turn clothes inside-out to reduce friction that leads to fading on the outside. This is how you make sure your concert t-shirt collection gets passed down to the next generation.
  3. Wash heavy fabrics apart from more delicate ones, and zip all zippers to reduce friction. This is especially important for jeans.
  4. Wash in cold water, which keeps fibers closed, trapping dye inside. Warm water opens fibers and sets dye free. Some detergents are specially designed to work well in cold water, and using cold water also saves money.
  5. Don’t overfill your washer or pack clothes into the washer. Not only will they come out cleaner, clothing also will be exposed to less friction.
  6. Add one-half cup salt to the wash or 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to help hold in colors.
  7. Use color-catcher sheets, which trap extraneous dyes during the wash cycle to prevent bleeding.
  8. Don’t overstuff your dryer. Clothes will dry faster.

In most cases, clothing will stop releasing dye after a few washes. But it’s best to continue using these tips to minimize bleeding and fading. Everyone at your house will thank you for keeping their clothes looking like new.


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