Part of having a sassy, fun wardrobe is keeping colorful clothes in tip top shape. It can be tough to keep them looking vibrant and bright even after many washes. Just last week I talked about washing white clothes to keep whites from greying and yellowing. Now, I want to talk about how to washing colors. Washing colors might seem simpler than whites, but there are a few tips to keep in mind to keep colors vibrant and fabrics in tip top shape. Here are 7 tips on how to wash colored clothes to keep your colors vibrant.
1.) Sort Clothes By Color and Fabric
Keep in mind that to keep your clothes in good shape your must sort laundry loads correctly. This should be a rather strict process of sorting all whites, darks and light colors apart. When you have a piece of clothing considered a delicate (think lace, silk, nylon, hand wash items and types of wool, etc.), regardless of the color, wash those separately. If you are looking for a way to divide your colored loads, sort into dark, bright and light colors. Put blacks, navy, brown, grey and other dark hues together in one load. Put bold colors – tblues, greens, yellows, reds and pinks – in a separate load. Then, pastel and light colors belong in their own load too. Try not to overload the washer, as colors will seep out of clothes in the wash. Less is more.
2.) Wash New Clothes Separately
Brand new clothing is bright and distinct, having never been washed or washed lightly. This means colors are likely to seep out in the wash. The first time you wash new clothing or outfits, plan to wash separately from your normal colored clothes loads. If colors seep out during the wash, you don’t run the risk of a large seepage tinting your other clothes or hurting other colors in your load. If you really don’t have the time or space to wash these clothes separately, plan to wash them only with like colors in a load to avoid damage to other colors.
3.) Turn Denim Inside Out
It’s easy to notice that over a year or two those dark denim jeans you purchase, now look a little stone washed. Yup, it’s true. Denim bleeds alot in the wash over time. The best way to keep your jeans from tinting other colors is to wash them with light dark colors, and take the time to turn them inside out before a wash. This holds true for pants, jackets and any other denim item you wash.
4.) Treat Stains Prior to Wash
To stay tough on stains and keep your clothes as clean and bright as possible, treat stains before putting them into the wash. A number of great stain removers are on the market. Without picking a favorite or a best brand, I’ve used everything from Shout to OxyClean and Tide stain removers that all work great. The point is that to increase your chance of fully removing a stain, treat your colored clothes before adding them into the wash. Soaking in water, using stain removers or other home remedies will be the best was to ensure stains fully come out of clothes.
5.) Wash in Cold Water on the Gentle Cycle
Colored clothes should be washed in cold water on gentle cycles. Colored clothes are prone to leak and warm to hot water will increase the seepage of dye into the load of clothes. Not good. Sticking with cold water for colored loads will limit leaking dyes. Washing on gentle cycle with the right amount of detergent is normally strong enough to clean colored clothes, so don’t worry about choosing heavy duty cycles if your clothes are especially dirty. Sticking with gentle cycle will keep your clothes brighter and in better shape for longer.
6.) Add a Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets
Choose whichever laundry detergent you like, but also consider adding fabric softener and dryer sheets to keep your fabrics in tip top shape and as clean as possible. Laundry conditioner (or fabric softener) is sold by many different brands. Adding it to a wash load works to protect your clothes and reduce the friction that happens in a washing machine. This helps clothes to avoid fading, stretching out, growing stiff or fuzzy over many washes. It’s a worthwhile add in every load. Dryer sheets keep your clothes feeling soft as they come out of the dryer by reducing static electricity. Their chemicals work against electrostatic charges to get rid of shock when you touch them and keep clothes soft.
7.) Tumble Dry on Low
Even if you have a larger load of colored clothes, dryers can take a heavy toll on clothes. Tumble dry your colored clothes on low to maintain brightness and softness over time. The higher the heat in the dryer, you run the risk that colors and fabric fibers will be damaged. Even if it takes longer than normal, tumble dry colored clothes on low.