Laundry Basics: Your Guide to Washing Colored Clothes

Nothing is worse than getting a new colored shirt or dress, only to find that after a few washes, it has faded to a dull, muted shade.

According to experts, several things can cause faded colors, from warm water breaking down fiber fabrics to the incorrect choice of detergent. While taking regular trips to the dry cleaners is a good option, you can also learn basic tips about washing colored clothes affordably and keep them clean and crisp without fading.

How Do You Wash Colored Clothes?

Do They Really Need Washing?

Every time you toss clothes in the washer or bring them to a dry cleaner, regardless of the color and no matter how careful they were treated, there will be a little wear and tear.
Before deciding to wash your colored or dark clothes, ask yourself if those pieces really need cleaning. Perhaps they can go back to the rack for another event before finally washing.

Check the guidelines on how often you should wash the garment. The clothing label sometimes gives specific instructions about cleaning and drying.

Sort Your Clothes Properly

One of the most important considerations when sorting clothes is to determine whether the item can be washed at home or dry-cleaned only. Again, check the clothing care tag. You can use home dry cleaning kits on jeans and sweaters to remove the odors. These are easier on fabrics than washing machines.

After you have identified the washable clothes, check the colors. It is better to separate them by color ranges. Wash dark tones together. Experts recommend mixing greens with blues, pinks with reds, and more. Pastel colors should be washed separately from other colors. Never wash light-colored items with dark clothes to prevent dye transfer.

Avoid mixing dark colored clothes with linen and lint-producing fabrics too! Lint will adhere to dark items, making them look faded.

Heavy fabrics such as denim will also require a different machine setting than delicate items.

Be Mindful of Your Dark Clothes Wash Temperature

Always use a cool water temperature when washing and rinsing colored clothes. Hot water may cause fading or dye bleeding more quickly than cold water.

Choose the Best Detergent for Dark Clothes

There are several detergents formulated for dark-colored clothing. If you do not have one, try using the least amount of your regular powder to clean clothes. Cleaners in liquid form are the best detergent for dark clothes because powders may leave undissolved particles on the fabrics, giving a dull look.

If your washer does not have an automatic dispenser, be sure to add the detergent to the washer tub fist. Adding your clothes first may cause spotting problems or residues.

If you need to use a stain remover, try the solution first in a small spot or on the inside seam to make sure that it will not cause discoloration or fading.

Do They Need Bleaching?

If you have dark clothes that are especially dirty, you may use an all-fabric bleach. This is perfect for colored items. Never use chlorine bleach, as it is only meant for white clothes.

Check the product labels carefully. Also, the hardness of your water may affect how bleach works. Try it first on some clothes you no longer use.

Know the Best Settings to Wash Dark Clothes

Unless heavily caked with dirt, you can use a gentle cycle for washing colored clothes. This involves less agitation, which can help prevent damage to the fibers. A slow spin cycle will also avoid making your clothes look fuzzy and faded.

Experts also recommend the use of front load over top load washers. They do not have a center agitator and are therefore gentler on clothing.

Of course, hand washing is always a good option, especially for colored items.

Load Your Washer Correctly

You need to turn colored garments inside out before washing. This will help prevent attracting lint and causing damages on the fibers, showing frayed ends.

Do not overload your washer! Know your machine’s load capacity!

Turn Away from Sunlight

Even though sunlight drying is a money-saver, colored clothes may fade when exposed to direct sunbeams. Use an indoor drying rack or a tumble dryer.

Unless you are only dealing with lightly soiled colored clothes, you are safer bringing your garments for dry cleaning in Durango, CO. We at Kelly’s Dry Cleaners will not just keep your clothes colorful; we can also guarantee the preservation of the fabrics, making them last longer. Call our office now at 970-903-1642.