It’s frustrating when you spend an entire week’s paycheck on a new wardrobe, only to discover your new clothes have faded after washing them just once in the washing machine. The fact is that all clothes are susceptible to fading, regardless of color and fabric. It’s a natural process that occurs through the breakdown and degradation of its fibers. But there are ways to preserve the color of your clothes and protect against this phenomenon.
Read the Care Label
I know this probably sounds like common sense, but it’s still worth mentioning that you should read the care label on your clothes before washing them. This reveals the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to clean and care for them. Some manufacturers may recommend tumble-dry only, or others may recommend dry-clean only. The only way you’ll know what’s recommended by the manufacturer is by reading the care label.
Wash with Similar Colors
The golden rule of laundry 101 is to wash clothes of similar color together. It’s not uncommon for clothes to “bleed” colors, meaning some of their dyes leak and seep onto other nearby colors. Assuming you wash similar-colored clothes together, this shouldn’t cause any problems. But if you wash reds with whites, you may discover some of your white clothes having more of a pinkish tint — and that’s never a good thing. Always separate your clothes according to color before washing them.
Wash Clothes Inside Out
Another tip I’ve learned over the years is that washing your clothes inside out can help preserve their color. By washing your clothes inside out, it protects the exterior (the front) from fading. The interior may still fade — at least some — but being that no one really sees the inside of your clothes, this shouldn’t be a problem. It only takes a couple of minutes to turn your clothes inside out before washing them, but doing so can make a world of difference in preserving their original color.
Wash with Vinegar
No, that’s not a typo. Washing your clothes with vinegar can actually protect against fading. Granted, vinegar has somewhat of an unpleasant smell, but it goes away, after which your clothes will be nice and fresh. Simply add 1 cup of white vinegar to your washing machine, and wash your clothes like normal. The vinegar works to protect the fabric from fading.
These are just a few tips to help preserve the original color of your clothes.