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Nothing is worse than buying a fresh pair of jeans or black shirt, only to find that after a few washes, they have faded to a dull, muted color.
According to Real Simple, faded blacks are the result of warm water breaking down fibers, and although an easy suggestion would be to never wash your dark outfits, your clothes do have to get clean. Taking multiple trips to the dry cleaner is not only time consuming, but expensive too.
If you own a dark wardrobe and want to keep your clothing clean and crisp without fading, try these six tips that can help preserve your darker clothes.
1. Spot Treat Between Washes
Unless your clothing is really dirty or you’re very active in them, you can go four to five times without washing them. If you have any minor stains or spills, spot-treat them using a stain remover, gently blotting the affected area and letting air dry.
2. Wash On Cold
Whenever you do run a dark cycle, always use cold water. Warm water can hasten dye loss, so use a short, cool cycle to help preserve the fabric’s dye and fibers.
3. Turn Them Inside Out
Turning your dark clothing inside out minimizes the friction from rubbing against other clothing, which can break their fibers. Don’t forget to also close zippers and fasten any hooks.
4. Wash Only With Like Clothing
Keep your lights with your lights and your darks with your darks. Heavy items can ruin delicate clothing, and washing items of the same weight ensure they get properly cleaned with the appropriate cycle.
5. Use A Specialized Detergent
Use a specialized detergent for cold-water loads that can help neutralize the chlorine found in tap water, which can fade color. Use a small amount of detergent, as too much soap can leave a streaky residue on dark clothing.
6. Hang To Dry
The heat of the dryer can cause dark clothes to fade, so lay flat or hang dry whenever washing a dark load. If you do need to use a dryer, make sure you choose a short cycle time and the lowest temperature possible to avoid over-drying.