A few main washing practices can prevent your favorite black garments from losing their color. Here’s how to keep your black clothes from fading and make them look good.
- Wash only when needed
To limit the effects of fading, you should only wash your black clothes when necessary.
Even though black undergarments and socks should be washed after one wearing, this is not a rule for pants and sweaters. Especially if the clothes are only worn indoors they can usually be worn more than once before needing to be put through the wash.
- Sort by color and weight
The first consideration when sorting clothes is to determine whether a garment should be washed at home or dry cleaned. If you don't know what to do, read the fabric care label.
After you've sorted out the dry clean only items, sort your washable clothes. Whenever possible, wash your black clothes with other black clothes or with other dark garments. Never wash light colored clothing with dark items because black clothes, especially when new can bleed dye onto lighter colors.
Aside from separating clothes according to color, you should also separate them according to weight. Washing delicates with heavy fabrics, using the delicate setting, can damage the fine items and do a poor job cleaning the heavier fabrics. So sort items by color and weight.
- Turn the garments inside out
Protect the outside of the black garment by turning it inside out, shielding it from the agitation, which breaks down the fibers and causes them to appear faded.
You can further reduce the amount of abrasion and friction your clothes experience by closing zippers and fastening any hooks.
- Use the Right Water Temperature
The cold water helps keep the fibers in black laundry from losing their color. Use the shortest cycle possible needed to get them clean.
- Use the Best Washer Cycle
The less time your clothes spend in the washing machine, the less chance the dye has to run and fade. The synthetics wash cycle or a permanent press cycle. These cycles have shorter wash cycles with less agitation that can damage fibers. Also, choose a slower final spin cycle to avoid breakage of fibers.
Tip: never overload the capacity of your machine.
- Add a specialized detergent
There are special detergents that are formulated for use with dark fabrics. These detergents help hold the dye in place during the washing cycle so that dye is less likely to run and the clothes are less likely to fade.
Tip: measure detergent—no pouring.
- Skip the dryer