How To Wash Black Clothes Without Fading Them

Keeping your black clothes looking new and vibrant can be a bit of a challenge. Over time, it’s normal for clothes to fade, but with the right care, you can keep your black garments looking as good as the day you bought them. 

There are many ways to prevent your black clothes from fading when washing them, such as following the care label, washing on short and cold cycles, using mild laundry products, and more.

In this article, we’ll explore several practical ways to wash black clothes without causing them to lose their colour!

Tips To Preserve The Colour Of Your Black Garments

Black clothes have a classic, timeless appeal, but they’re notorious for fading. 

The good news is, with a bit of know-how, you can significantly slow down this process. Much of it comes down to how you wash them. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Read Your Clothing’s Care Label

That small tag on the inside seam of your clothes isn’t just there for decoration. It’s a care label, full of useful information on how best to treat your garment. 

wash and dry similar colours together care label

This includes whether to machine wash or hand wash, the recommended water temperature, and other care instructions. 

Paying attention to these details can greatly prolong the life and colour of your black clothes!

Check The Pockets

Ever washed a tissue by accident? It’s annoying, right? Well, it can also damage your clothes. 

As humans, it’s normal for us to forget stuff in our pockets. Unfortunately, these trinkets can be the reason why clothes fade, as they get included in the washing machine.

A pair of keys in a pocket of jeans

For example, you may forget something as small as lipstick on your jeans. When you load them in the washer, the pigment from the lipstick may come into contact with your clothing, which could affect its colour and even stain it permanently. 

Make sure to check your pockets and remove pins, keys, and other items before putting the clothes in the washer. Doing so will also protect both your clothes and appliances. 

Even something like tissues or paper can ruin a whole load, especially with dark fabrics where lint and paper residue are more noticeable. 

Sort Your Laundry By Colour

One of the most crucial things to do to maintain the colour of your garments is separating light-coloured fabrics from dark-coloured fabrics. This way, you’ll be able to avoid the repercussions when dyes leach and this also happens with lighter-coloured clothing. 

Sample Laundry Colour Categories

If you have lots of black-coloured shirts, it’s better to wash them together in one load. In case of colour transfers, it wouldn’t be noticeable and you’ll also protect your bright colours effectively.

Sort Your Laundry By Material

Different materials require different care. 

When you wash heavy or rough materials with light and smooth ones, there’s a bigger chance that they would agitate in the washer in a tough manner, which could fade your clothing quickly. Also, it could even be the cause of damage to your fabrics! 

Two people putting clothes in a laundry basket from the washer

Make sure to separate heavier fabrics from lighter ones to prevent rougher fabrics from rubbing against and fading your black clothes.

Pre-Treat Stained Clothes

Tackling stains before the main wash can help avoid the need for harsh washing later, which is a common cause of fading. 

Make sure to pre-treat and pre-wash them before putting them in the normal wash load. You can always use a basin to soak these items and remove any stains and residue. For tough stains, a shop-bought stain remover could work wonders!

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VANISH Fabric Stain Remover Prewash Power Gel 200 ml, Pack of 2
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Turn Clothes Inside Out

Turning clothes inside out is a simple yet effective way to reduce fading!

By doing so, you can make sure that the outer surface of the garment is less exposed to the harsh environment inside the washing machine, which will help preserve its colour. 

Yes, we know that this can be quite time-consuming, but the results are certainly worth the extra effort. To make things easier on your next laundry session, turn your clothes inside out once you take them off and put them in the laundry. 

This way, you won’t have to spend too much time preparing your clothes to be put in the wash. 

SEE ALSO: Is It Better To Wash Clothes Inside Out? (yes! here’s why)

Use Mild Laundry Products

The type of laundry detergent and fabric softener you use can significantly impact the colour retention of your black clothes. This is because the harsh chemicals can strip colour from your fabrics, which may result in the colours quickly fading. 

putting liquid detergent in compartment

To avoid this, go for mild detergents, and if you want to take it a step further, choose ones that are particularly formulated for dark colours. These are designed to clean effectively while being gentle on the fabric’s colour. 

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Persil Colour Protect Laundry Washing Liquid Detergent, Plant Based Biodegradable Stain Remover 2.835L, 105 Washes (Buy 2)
  • Persil Washing Liquids​: For powerful stain removal, look no further than Persil liquid detergents. Whether it’s a quick wash or a 30-degree cycle, you can still expect the same results every time. Now contains plant-based stain removers and packaged in a 100% recyclable bottle that contains recycled plastics, Persil liquids are tough on stains even in cold washes. Persil has not only ensured the bottle is 100% recyclable and contains biodegradable ingredients.
  • Colour Protect: Persil Colour Protect Washing Liquid 105 Wash helps remove tough stains and helps protect colours from fading. With its own unique formula, this detergent removes tough stains like oil, chocolate ice cream, tea and coffee whilst helping keep your clothes looking newer for longer. Persil Colour Protect Washing Liquid is a must-have in your family cupboard, especially if you’ve got kids around!

Make sure to use the appropriate amount of detergent for fresh results!

TIP: Want to keep your clothes vibrant for longer? Use white vinegar as an alternative to fabric softener! 

Do Cold Washes

Cold washes are best for heavily-coloured garments, since hot water can cause the colour in black fabrics to bleed and fade. Using less than 30°C temp in your washer will help preserve the colour of your black garments. 

30 Degree Wash Cycle

When you use low temperatures when washing your coloured clothes, the cold water is less aggressive on fabric dyes, keeping your clothes looking vibrant for longer. Also, cold washes are gentler for fabrics!

SEE ALSO: What Temperature Is A Cold Wash? (here’s what you need to know)

Do Short Cycles

Long wash cycles can be tough on fabrics and cause colours to fade. 

Choose short wash cycles for your black clothes to minimise their exposure to the agitation and friction inside the washing machine.

Read the user manual of your machine to know which programmes finish quicker. If you have a timer you can manually change, you can always choose the quicker cycles, as long as your garments are not heavily soiled. 

SEE ALSO: Quick Wash Vs Normal Washing Machine Cycle – What’s The Difference?

Choose Gentle Programmes

Selecting the gentle cycle on your washing machine is another way to preserve the colour of black clothes. For some machines, they are called “delicate” programmes. 

Delicate Wash Cycle

Gentle cycles are less harsh and reduce the stress on the fabric, which in turn helps to maintain the colour intensity. This setting is especially important for delicate or loosely woven black fabrics, as they are more prone to damage and colour loss.

Finally, Tumble Dry On Low Heat

The way you dry your black clothes is just as important as how you wash them. High heat can be particularly damaging, causing black fabrics to fade and lose their vibrancy. 

Whenever possible, air dry your black garments to prevent heat damage.

washing line with clothes pegs

If you need to use a dryer, go for a low heat setting and remove the clothes while they are still slightly damp. This minimises the exposure to heat and helps to keep the fabric from becoming over-dried, which can also lead to fading.

DID YOU KNOW? The sun’s rays can bleach your black-coloured clothes quickly. When airing your clothes, make sure to not expose them to direct sunlight. 

SEE ALSO: Does Sun Drying Clothes Cause Them To Fade?

Preserve The Classy Look Of Your Black Garments

Maintaining the deep, rich tones of your black clothing is all about adopting the right laundry habits. From reading care labels and sorting laundry effectively to choosing gentle wash cycles and drying techniques, these small changes can have a big impact. 

Remember, a little extra care goes a long way!

Do you have tips to share? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you wash black clothes without them losing colour?

To wash black clothes without them losing colour, it’s important to follow a few key steps: read the item’s care label for specific instructions, wash them on short and cold cycles, use mild laundry products, turn the clothes inside out, and sort your laundry by colour and material. Additionally, doing cold washes, choosing gentle wash cycles, and avoiding high heat when drying can significantly help preserve the colour of your black garments.

Does vinegar keep black clothes from fading?

Yes, vinegar can help keep black clothes from fading. Using white vinegar as an alternative to fabric softener during the wash cycle can aid in colour retention, making it a useful and natural option for maintaining the vibrancy of black clothes.

What should you not do when washing black clothes?

When washing black clothes, you should not ignore the care label instructions, wash them in hot water, use harsh detergents or fabric softeners, mix them with light-coloured or heavily soiled garments, or dry them on high heat. Avoiding these actions will help prevent the black clothes from fading and losing their colour.

Which detergent is best for dark colours?

The best detergent for dark colours is a mild detergent that is specifically formulated for dark or black garments. These detergents are designed to clean effectively while being gentle on the fabric’s colour, helping to extend the life and vibrancy of your dark clothes.

Does sorting laundry really matter?

Yes, sorting laundry really matters, especially when it comes to maintaining the colour and condition of your clothes. Separating dark and light-coloured fabrics prevents colour transfer. Additionally, sorting by material type ensures that delicate fabrics are not damaged by rougher ones, preserving the quality and colour of your garments.

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