HOW TO KEEP BLACK CLOTHES FROM FADING IN THE WASH

Raise your hand if you’ve ever worn black in the hot Arkansas summer to hide sweat stains.

What’s worse than sweat stains? Stepping out into the sun and realizing that your black outfit is actually a combination of several different shades of “black”. Somehow your black t-shirt has faded with a brown tint and your jeans are a little more gray than the last time you wore them.

Don’t panic. There is a way to care for your black or dark colored garments without stripping them of their color. Here are a few tips from the team at Hangers Cleaners located in central Arkansas.

Wash your black garments:

…Less

Even on the most gentle setting, the washing machine can damage the fibers of your garment and cause dark colors to fade. Before you throw your black jeans in the laundry basket ask yourself: Does it really need to be washed? Use natural spot cleaning methods to keep the garment clean and avoid the washing machine for a few more washes.

…Carefully

While you are acclimating your new black garment into your wardrobe and wash routine, make sure to check the care tag before every wash. How dirty is the garment? If they weren’t the victim of a recent food fight or a choice garment for a mud run, wash them as gently and slowly as possible. Consider hand washing. A slow spin and gentle cycle will lessen the agitation and prevent the fibers from losing too much dye.

…In Cold Water

Heat is the enemy when it comes to dark garments. Wash them on a cold cycle and skip the dryer. Hang dry them indoors, away from the sun.

….Inside Out

Turn your garment inside out to reduce agitation. If it must go through the wash, you want the inside of the garment—the side that doesn’t show as much—to face the majority of the agitation. By turning the garment inside out you are protecting the exterior fibers from being agitated and losing dye.

Speaking of agitation, remember to close buttons, clasps and zippers. These garment features can cause damage if not closed properly before a wash.

…In Vinegar

That’s right, white distilled vinegar is your best friend when it comes to naturally protecting the dark colors in your garments. There are a few ways to treat dark clothes with vinegar.

– Add a cup of vinegar to the wash during the rinse cycle. This will give it time to rinse out and not leave any odor.

– Soak your jeans, inside out, in a solution of 1 cup vinegar and cold water for 30 minutes. Rinse and hang dry away from the sun.

…With Like Fabrics

It might take some extra time on laundry day, but it really does pay to sort your laundry by color, fabric and by how dirty they are. Dyes tend to loosen in the wash and spread to the whole load. Most of us have had that awful experience of pulling your once-white shirt out of the dryer only to discover that it’s now light pink or gray.

It’s also important to sort based on fabric types. Tougher fabrics will cause more agitation to delicate garments in the wash. This is especially true when it comes to dark garments. If you wash a black garment with a lint producing garment you’re likely to find an unflattering hue of fuzz on the black garment.