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