Nothing can be more painful than investing your hard-earned money on a few pieces of clothing just for them to become unwearable after one wash. And black clothes are prone to having such stories. But this doesn’t always have to be the case. That being said, how do you prevent black clothes from fading?
Why Do Black Clothes Fade?
Basically, the color fading in black clothes results from the dye washing away, giving off a lightened appearance. This is caused by several day-to-day laundry operations and factors that you might simply ignore. There are so many seemingly inconsequential factors you might have overlooked.
You may find it more satisfying to scrub your black jeans (and jean materials) with a brush instead of throwing them into the washing machine. This is because you want to ensure that the nooks and crannies are very clean and rid of dirt streaks which the washing machine might not remove as you please.
When you use a brush to wash your black jeans, you might scrub excessively, leading to the color coming off.
Not all black clothes tolerate being washed almost every time. You should learn how to wear your black clothes for some time before washing, and not wash them every single time you wear them. Overwashing causes shrinkage, color fading, etc.
Fabric quality can never be overlooked. More often than not, excessive dye in your fabric is the number one cause of your black clothes and even other colored clothes bleeding. The loose or excessive dye can make your black clothes turn grey after washing them once.
Many manufacturers ignorantly or intentionally add excessive black dye to make the black color appear more solid and shiny. Sometimes, it might just be the quality of the dye used. Whichever it is, the result is a black pool when your black clothes are thrown into the water.
How does sunlight contribute to the fading of your black clothes? You probably would have heard that you turn your clothes to the other side (the inner area) when you spread them in the sunlight. Research shows that the UV rays of the sun diminish the pigmentation of a material. Thus, it is advisable to let the inner side of your black clothes direct contact with the sun.
Even though bleach is used to remove stains from clothes, it also whitens the clothes. If you use it to get a tough stain out of your black cloth, it will ruin the color.
5 Ways To Keep Your Black Clothes From Fading
Unlike warm water, cold water is reputable for trapping the colors in clothes during a wash. Coldwater tightens the wall of the fibers, making it difficult for the dye to run out. This way, the shine in your black clothes is maintained.
Although cold water may not be as fast and easy as hot water and warm water for dirt removal, it helps prevent shrinkage in black clothes.
Color catchers, as often called, are technology-made-easy tools to help absorb the colors in your black clothes. They are designed to protect the dye in clothes from running out, especially when you have mixed colors in a single wash, although this is not advisable. Simply throw a sheet or two into your washing machine or bucket of soap and then begin to wash. [3 Ways to Dye Clothes Black ]
Salt can be used in laundry, too. Over the years, salt has been used to maintain the vibrancy in colored clothes, black clothes inclusive. The chloride property in salt locks the dye into the fabrics, even for black dresses with loose or excessive pigment.
Experts say that not more than ½ cup of salt should be added to a bucket of water. Then, soak your black clothes for a few minutes before washing them with soap. If you choose to hand wash, stick with the salt solution.
Vinegar also helps prevent black clothes from fading. Like salt, it is one household staple that comes in handy for your clothes care. However, excessive use of vinegar can diminish a fabric’s quality and appearance. As such, don’t overuse it. Add ½ cup of vinegar into a bucket of cold water and let your black clothes sit in it for a few minutes before you begin to wash.
Replace detergents with bar soaps, and you will see how the vibrancy in your black clothes stands out. Detergents play a prominent role in the bleeding of black clothes. You might have noticed an instant fading whenever you use detergent to wash your clothes, especially if it’s harsh. But bar soap isn’t made with harsh chemicals that bleach black clothes. It’s also an efficient dirt remover.
Want To Restore Color To Your Black Clothes? Follow These Steps
You can restore your black clothes when they fade. You can darken your black jeans, dresses, pants, skirts, shirts, and tops with black dye, among others. Below are some of the ways to restore color to your black clothes.
Black tea/coffee is a reliable, non-toxic, and effective way of darkening your faded black clothes. Coffee or black tea are found to be natural dyes. It has been tested and has shown impressive, lasting results.
Brew two cups of coffee or black tea. Note that the darker the tea, the more impact it has on your black clothes. When you are done brewing the tea or coffee, set it aside. When it’s time to rinse your black clothes after washing, pour the two cups of black tea or coffee into the water. Then, air-dry by hanging.
These are other home remedies that would restore life to your black clothes. You could immerse your black clothes into the water, add salt, and rinse. Repeat till the water is clear. For a more detailed guide, check out this video:
You could also soak the black fabric in ½ cup of salt or vinegar mixed with cold water for about 30 minutes before washing or add salt or vinegar into the washer just as you begin to clean.
Being the most common method used by many, black dye is another reliable go-to. However, for better results, buy professional black dyes. Check the brand’s name that made the dye; if it’s reputable, the chances are that the dye is of good quality.
Also, check the product specifications on the care label; if the black cloth is made with nylon, use a dye that works well for nylon clothes. Avoid using dye on 100% polyester fabric and Spandex.
Here’s how this method works: when rinsing your clothes right after a wash, pour the black dye into the water and let it stay for about 20-30 minutes before air-drying your clothes. Here’s a word of caution: adding excessive black dye to your clothes would completely ruin them. [3 Ways to Dye Clothes Black (Step-by-Step Guide)]
5 Tips For Caring For Your Black Clothes
Don’t wash after every wear
Washing your black clothes after each wear reduces their longevity. Black clothes are more likely to last longer and maintain their colors when you seldom clean them.
Usually, you should wash your black dresses, shirts, and tops after wearing them the second or third time, depending on how much you sweat. If you’re not cleaning them, simply air-dry them to let out the sweat. But for black skirts, gowns, and trousers, you could wash them after the third or fourth wear.
Keep washing short
Spend less time washing your black clothes. You might need to take time and exert effort washing other clothes, but don’t do the same with black clothes. As you already know, friction makes black clothes bleed. If there’s a stain, concentrate on it and afterward, do a quick wash and rinse off immediately.
Use only detergent formulated for black clothes
Detergents aren’t always the best when it comes to washing black clothes because many of the detergents in the market contain clothes-bleaching properties.
Thus, the bleaching properties would destroy the black dye and lighten its dark hue instead of darkening it. This is why it’s advisable to use bar soap or liquid laundry soap. However, if you must use any detergent, it should be black clothes friendly.
Avoid direct contact with sunlight
When you spread your black clothes on the clothesline, do well to ensure that they aren’t facing the sunlight directly. As stated earlier, the sun’s ultraviolet rays aren’t compatible with black fabrics and would diminish its quality.
The washing machine makes laundry easier. You can use it to wash your black clothes, but it isn’t advisable to let it dry your clothes on high heat. Your washer uses a high heating system to dry clothes after a rinse.
That heat isn’t suitable for your black clothes. Black fabrics tend to shrink after receiving too much heat, and you don’t want that. Instead, set the machine on low heat when drying your clothes. If you aren’t sure how to go about that, watch this video:
Black clothes are timeless and versatile wardrobe pieces. They are elegant, daring, and cool, suit every skin tone, and match any clothes color. Following the tips above will make your black clothes last longer and look new always. Besides, ensure you buy high-quality black clothes when clothes shopping as this ensures durability.
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.