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Tips for keeping colors bright

Molly Cerreta Smith has enjoyed a career in the publishing industry for more than 10 years. As an editor of several regional magazines, she has had the opportunity throughout her career to meet many local celebrities, businesspeople, ent...

Clothes so bright, you gotta wear shades

When you buy colorful clothing, you expect it to stay bright, right? That's not always the case. But there are some things you can do to prevent fading and keep colorful clothing bright and bold wear after wear.

Woman hanging clothes to dry

Don’t over-wash brights

Before tossing your clothes into the hamper after just one light use, consider re-hanging them instead. Many items such as sweaters, jackets and jeans can be worn a few times before needing a wash, unless they are really soiled.

Read up on how to get stains out of your clothes >>

Read care instructions

This sounds like a "duh," but many clothing items have specific care instructions designed to help them hold their color. Check your brights' tags for washing and drying directions such as wash in cold water only, lay flat to dry, etc. Hot water tends to cause colored clothing's dyes to bleed much quicker than cold water. And always obey the "dry clean only" instructions… unless you are a true gambler.

Wash like colors together

The more you sort like colors, the better chance you'll have that your clothes won't fade (or worse, bleed onto another non-like color clothing item).

Check out these bright, candy-colored clothing and accessories we love >>

Choose the right detergent

You'll find many products on the shelves designed to help brightly-colored clothing hold its color and avoid fading. Choosing the proper detergent, such as Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach, will go a long way in keeping your colors bright. It encompasses an element designed to remove the toughest stains (such as ground-in dirt), but it is also gentle enough to be used on colorfast washables.

Do not overstuff the washer/dryer

Don’t cram all your colors into the washing machine at once. This not only prevents clothes from getting properly cleaned, but it also causes stress on clothing as it often becomes entangled during the washing process. Your clothes should be able to move freely in the wash.

Be gentle

Choose the gentle cycle to protect your colors. The agitation of a regular wash cycle causes clothes to collide with one another, and it moves clothes very quickly through the detergent-filled water. Both of these attributes can cause dyes to fade.

Teach your kids these laundry tips >>

Don't dry

Even if the clothing instructions say "tumble dry," air dry your favorite brights as the heat of the dryer can often impact the dyes used in colored clothing.

Tip

If you are skeptical of accidentally fading a favorite item, take it to the dry cleaner and express your concerns before handing it over.

More clothing care articles

Take control of your laundry
Real moms share their tips for laundry
How to extend the life of your clothes

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