Clothes are a staple in our lives. We can’t go on living our lives without them. Given how many articles of clothing we own, we need to know how to take care of them. We need to know how to wash colored clothes, so we won’t have to keep spending money buying new ones.
Know Your Colored Clothes
A piece of clothing can be worn up to 120 times. In some cases, it could be more than that. If you want to wear your clothes multiple times, washing them is not enough. You need to be able to figure out the best ways to wash them, especially if you have a lot of colored clothes.
Before you get into washing your clothes, remember that each piece of clothing is different. One of the issues that you would always encounter is how fast your colored clothes fade, especially after several washes.
There are a couple of factors why some of your colored clothes fade faster than others. It’s important to know these, so you would have an idea of what clothes to pick up the next time you buy something.
What’s It Made Of?
Clothes are made of different fibers. And each fiber reacts to colored dyes differently. There are some fibers that take on dyes well. Fibers such as cotton tend not to absorb color well. When exposed to water, the cotton fibers release color easier and faster. This causes the shirt to lose its color, making it more open to fading.
If you have clothes made from polyester and other synthetic fibers, they tend to hold color more.
How Was It Dyed?
How a piece of clothing is dyed is an important factor in how long clothes can last. Dyes are added if there is a need to add colors to the fabric or clothing. There are various dyeing techniques around. Here are some of the most popular ones used in the textile industry:
- Direct Dyes
- Natural Dyes
- VAT Dyes
- Basic Dyes
- All-Purpose Dyes
- Fiber Reactive Dyes
The various processes are for the different types of fabrics out there. If a fabric is dyed using an incompatible method, it might not color well. It can contribute to the fading of the color in your clothes.
What’s The Color Tone?
If you are picking out clothes, remember that the darker it is, the faster it fades. You don’t have to be a color theory expert to know that clothes with darker tones would lose their color far faster than lighter ones.
If you don’t want to deal with clothes fading rapidly, then you need to know how to take care of them.
Wash Your Colored Clothes The Right Way
Washing your clothes involves more than just throwing your garments in the washing machine. There are a couple of basic things you should know before you attempt to wash your clothes. The more you master the correct ways, the more clothes you save from fading!
The Need To Wash
Every single time you wash a piece of clothing, the fibers of its fabric are affected. There can be some damage, causing some wear and tear. Before throwing clothes in the washing machine, ask yourself if there is a need to wash them.
One of the best examples of this kind of situation involves your favorite pair of jeans. Do you wash your denim jeans every single time you use them? There is no need to keep washing them all the time. Doing so would damage the fabric’s fiber, and it would lose its coloring faster.
Sort Your Clothes
This is, perhaps, one of the golden rules of laundry. Never mix light-colored clothes with dark ones. If you do this, there might be some dye transfer, causing some irreversible damage to your clothes.
Before starting your laundry, take time to sort through your dirty clothes. Sorting them won’t take much of your time. It also helps you figure out if you have clothes you need to send to the dry cleaners or something like that.
Picking The Right Laundry Detergent
There are so many laundry detergents in the market today. It’s just a matter of finding the right one for your and your clothes.
If you are going to wash your colored clothes, make sure you pick a detergent meant for dark colors. Make sure you follow the instructions found on the packaging. Putting too much, especially if you are using powder detergent, can leave some residue on your clothes. You can also opt for liquid laundry detergent.
Check The Water Temperature
If you are dealing with colored clothes, you might have to use cold water to wash them. If the water is too hot, it can cause some dye bleeding. It, in turn, can make your clothes fade faster than they should. This is a far cry from what our ancestors were used to. Back then, they boiled pots of hot water and soaked their laundry.
Before starting the load for your colored clothes, make sure you check your washer’s settings.
Read The Label
The labels attached to your clothes aren’t just there for decoration. They aren’t there to be nuisances. They actually serve a purpose.
If you check the labels of your clothes, you will probably find washing instructions on some of them. There are some fabrics that you can’t wash with water. There are some pieces of clothing that you can’t machine wash either.
By reading the labels, you might be saving yourself from a possible headache. When you wash your clothes incorrectly, you risk damaging them. If the damage is severe, you might not be able to wear them again.
Turn Clothes Inside Out
Before you start putting clothes inside the washing machine, perhaps you should try turning them inside out. The inside of our clothes come into contact with our bodies, absorbing our sweat and dirt. It would be easier for the machine to get rid of these impurities from the clothes.
Apart from this, the front part of your clothes is exposed to less friction. When there’s less friction, there’s less impairment to the right side of the clothes.
Pretreat Clothes If Needed
Your washing machine is a powerful household item that can make things easier for you. However, with stained clothes, you might want to help it out a little bit.
Before you start the washing machine, you can pretreat some clothes. If they have stubborn dirt or stains, removing them beforehand can help you out.
If it’s a piece of clothing with hard-to-remove stains, letting it spin around in the washing machine won’t do you any favors. It would just stress the fabric. And it might not entirely remove the dirty spot.
No To Overload
Doing your laundry can take a chunk of your time. There might be times when you might be tempted to stuff your dirty clothes into the washing machine and leave them be. However, this is not the right way! If you are a busy bee, then you might have to manage your time better, so you could finish your laundry in no time.
Overloading the washing machine is not the way to go! Your clothes won’t be getting the right washing and cleaning if you put them all together. You can do it in batches. If the washing machine is full, it won’t be able to wash your clothes thoroughly. And there is not much room for the clothes to move and spin around.
Avoid The Sun
Using your washer and dryer for your laundry can affect your electricity bill. It is why some people would opt to hang their clothes out to dry outdoors. With the heat and wind, you can dry your clothes the natural way.
While this is a cost-cutting and energy-saving method, it might not always be safe for your clothes, specifically your colored clothes.
The Ultraviolet (UV) light can affect your laundry. Exposing your dark-colored clothes to sunlight can cause color fading. Clothes made from natural fabrics like cotton and wool have higher chances of photodegradation.
If you are worried about the bill, there are a lot of energy-saving washing machines that come with dryers out there.
Do You Need A Fabric Softener?
If you want your clothes to smell really fresh, then perhaps you can try using a fabric softener. It’s optional though. You can live without it. However, if you do opt for it, it helps keep the fabrics of your clothes soft.
If you are going to use a fabric softener, take note that not all fabrics need it. Just make sure you look into the different fabrics and whether or not you can use softeners for them.
Washing Colored Clothes: Make It Right
If you are washing your clothes, you have to do it correctly. While you can always buy new ones, it’s not the most practical. It isn’t too late for you to know how to wash your colored clothes the right way! It’s just a matter of taking the time to master this task!
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.