How to Wash Colored Clothes: Prevent Fading!

Stop your colored clothes from bleeding and fading by reading our step-by-step guide on how to wash colored clothes.

How to Wash Colored Clothes

Colored Fabric

Turn your colored clothes inside out before placing them into the washing machine, and be sure to wash them with similar colored clothing to prevent fading. Add gentle laundry detergent and do not overload the washing machine with clothes. Wash your colored clothes with cold water and use the delicate/gentle setting on the washing machine. Do not use hot water to wash colored clothes.

This is How to Wash Colored Clothes: Prevent Fading!

Colored clothes must be properly washed to prevent fading and color bleeding so that you can maximize the useful life of the garments. 

The main thing you want to avoid is heat. This means washing clothes in cold water, and air drying out of direct contact with sunlight.

Wash colored clothes properly by first sorting your laundry so that colored clothes get washed with other colored clothes, the same way you would wash your whites and wash your darks

Turn colored clothing inside out before placing into the washing machine so that the outer surface is better preserved and the color is protected from fading. 

Adjust the settings on the washing machine to delicate and wash with cold water. Never use hot water to wash colored or dark clothes. 

Once you’ve finished the rinse cycle, air dry your colored clothing in a dim place by hanging or laying flat. Then fold and put away.

Continue reading to learn how to wash colored clothes

How to Wash Colored Clothes in the Washing Machine

Carefully follow the steps below in order to properly wash colored clothes in the washing machine. 

Things You'll Need:

  • Washing machine 
  • Laundry detergent appropriate for colored clothes 
  • Mesh laundry bag (optional)
  • Drying rack or place to hang clothes

How to Wash Colored Clothes

  1. Check the care label on your clothes before administering any type of wash procedure. Be sure to note if your garment has any special care requirements. 
  2. Sort the laundry so that colored clothes are washed with other similar colored clothes, preferably of similar weight and fabric as well. Do not mix your colored clothes with white or dark laundry while in the wash. 
  3. Remove stains from your garments as best as you can before placing them into the wash. If your garment is heavily soiled (perhaps you were in a food fight) be sure to remove as much debris as possible before placing it into the washing machine. (How to Get Stains Out of Colored Clothes) 
  4. Turn the clothes inside out. Turning your colored clothes inside out when washing will help to preserve the colors for longer. It will also protect the outer surface of your garments better. (OPTIONAL: Place your delicate colored clothes in a mesh laundry bag)
  5. Load the washing machine so that there is still space around the agitator for movement and mixing. Fill front load washers loosely so that the garments are able to be rinsed and washed properly. 
  6. Add laundry detergent to the washing machine. Add the correct amount of detergent, as more does not mean better in this case. Adding too much laundry detergent can lead to the colors fading from your colored clothes. 
  7. Adjust the settings on the washing machine to wash with cold water. Never use hot water to wash colored or dark clothes, as hot water will increase the likelihood of bleeding and color fading. 
  8. Use the gentle/delicate setting on the washing machine to wash colored clothes. Only increase the setting to normal if your clothes are heavily soiled. 
  9. Air dry your clothes in a dim place out of contact with sunlight. If you wish to use the dryer, then be sure to use the air dry or tumble dry low settings. 

Once you have separated your whites, darks and colored clothing, the next step is to understand what each piece of clothing needs for proper care. Let our guides help you make your wardrobe last as long as possible and wash your clothes with the most respect possbile.

How to Wash Colored Clothes Tips

Use the tips below to get the best results possible when washing your colored clothes. 

  • Do not use hot water to wash your colored clothes in the washing machine. Hot water will cause the color to bleed and fade from your colored garments.
  • Air dry colored clothes for the best results in the long term. The heat and tumble dry action in the dryer will cause the color on your clothes to fade and could also cause damage to the fabric’s fibers. 
  • Do not overload the washing machine. Allow free space in the washing machine so that the clothes can mix and cleanse properly. 
  • Wash colored clothes separately from white and dark clothing. Do not mix colors and shades in the washing machine. Doing this will cause colors to fade, transfer, and mix. 

How to Dry Colored Clothes

Although it may sound convenient to line or machine dry your colored clothes, it is actually best to air dry your garments in a dim, cool place, out of contact with direct sunlight. 

Air dry your colored fabrics by laying them flat on an indoor drying rack (dry flat), or by hanging them evenly in the closet. 

It is best to avoid drying colored clothes outside because the ultraviolet light in sunlight is actually bad for colored colors and can cause the color to fade over time. Although line drying makes clothes smell fresh and crisp, it is better to dry your colored clothes inside, away from contact with direct sunlight.

Using the dryer can lead to color fading in your colored clothes, because of the heat used in the tumble process. If you really need to use the dryer, adjust the settings to air dry or tumble dry low before beginning the tumble cycle. Also be sure to check the item’s care label to make sure it isn’t too delicate to machine dry. 

How to get Stains out of Colored Clothes

Use the following tips to help get stains out of your colored clothes quickly and effectively!

1. Act Quickly

Act quickly to remove the stain, as this is the most important thing you can do to in removing it. Use a damp cloth to dab, not rub, the stain to get the majority of the stain out before trying more aggressive removal methods.

2. Lemon Juice & White Vinegar

Lemon juice and white vinegar are both great substances for removing stains from colored clothes. Dampen a cloth with either one part lemon juice or white vinegar mixed with one part water and dab directly onto the stain to pull it out of the fabric.

3. Baking Soda

Baking Soda and other absorbent powders such as talcum powder and cornstarch are great for helping to remove oil and grease stains from colored clothing. Cover the stain in baking soda, and then place a book or something heavy overtop and leave it to sit overnight. In the morning brush the powder off and check if there has been any improvement.

4. Soak

Let your garment soak in lukewarm water with laundry detergent for 10 to 15 minutes as soon as the stain has occurred, to give yourself a good opportunity to remove the stain before it settles in.

5. White Vinegar

Add white vinegar to the fabric softener compartment while also using laundry detergent in the washing machine to remove stains as well as soap residue. 

How to Wash Colored Clothes FAQ

Wash colored clothes in cold water to avoid the colors from bleeding and fading. Using hot water in the washing machine will make your dark and colored garments bleed and fade. 

Wash with cold water and use the gentle/delicate settings on the washing machine. Turn your colored clothes inside out before washing to protect the colors from fading. 

White should be washed with whites, colored clothes with colored clothes, and darks with darks. Mixing laundry in the washing machine can lead to color bleed, transference, and fading. 

Turn the garments inside out, wash with cold water, use the correct laundry detergent, and wash together with similarly colored garments. 

Tall Paul
Tall Paul
I am 6'7 (203cm) / 235lb (106 kg) model and ex-athlete. Since I was a teen I had trouble finding clothes. I was too tall for off the rack and was too lean for Big & Tall.

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