How to Wash Dark Clothes: Reduce Fading!

Washing dark clothes incorrectly can lead to color bleeding as well as fading. Learn how to properly wash your dark clothing here!

How to Wash Dark Clothes

Fade Black

Turn dark clothes inside out and use laundry detergent specifically formulated for darks when washing. Adjust the settings on the washing machine to the cold water setting, as dark clothes must be washed in cold water to avoid bleeding and color fading. When finished washing, air dry dark clothes in a cool place out of contact with direct sunlight.

This is How to Wash Dark Clothes: Reduce Fading.

Washing dark clothes incorrectly can lead to color bleeding, color transference, and color fading. 

The most important thing to avoid when washing dark clothes is hot water. Hot water makes dark clothes bleed color and causes them to fade. Hot water is the enemy of dark clothes. 

To properly wash dark clothes, be sure to turn them inside out before washing, and adjust the washing machine to the cold water setting. It is also preferable to use a laundry detergent specifically formulated for dark clothes when rinsing in the washing machine. 

When drying dark clothes, avoid line drying in the sun as well as machine drying. The best way to dry dark clothes is by air drying them in a cool, dim place, without direct sunlight. 

Continue reading to learn more about how to wash dark clothes, how to dry dark clothes, and how to get stains out of dark clothes. 

How to Wash Dark Clothes in the Washing Machine

Carefully follow the steps below to wash your dark clothes in the washing machine. 

  1. Check the care label on your dark clothing before you do any washing. Some garments have special care instructions that need to be followed. 
  2. Sort your clothes by washing dark clothes together with other dark clothes. Washing light and dark clothes together can possibly lead to color bleeding and transference, as well as the fading of dark colors. 
  3. Turn dark clothing inside out before placing into the washing machine. Turning garments inside out helps to protect the delicate fibers on the outer surface as well as to preserve the rich color of your dark clothes. 
  4. Add laundry detergent that is formulated specifically for dark clothing. If you do not have detergent for dark clothes, use a smaller amount of your regular or gentle laundry detergent. 
  5. Wash Darks With Cold Water to prevent color bleeding. Hot water makes dark garments more likely to bleed color, and will speed up the fading process. Hot water will also shrink the clothes.
  6. Use a regular or gentle wash cycle depending on the type of fabric the garment is made from. Some delicate garments may even require the use of a mesh laundry bag in some cases. Please refer to the garment’s care label before using any particular setting on the washing machine. 
  7. Once the wash cycle has been completed proceed to air dry your dark clothing. Heat can fade dark colors over time, so try to avoid using the washing machine, or drying your dark clothing in the sun. Use a drying rack to lay flat (dry flat), or hang your dark garments to dry in a cool place out of contract with direct sunlight (line dry.)

While your sorting your dirty laundry pile from dark clothes, colored clothes and white clothes to wash, make sure you know how to wash each piece depending on the fabric its made from. Wash your clothes with the respect they need to last as long as possible.

Washing Dark Clothes Tips and Things to Avoid

  • Do not wash with hot water when washing dark clothes. Always wash dark clothes with cold water
  • Avoid overloading your washing machine so that your dark clothes have adequate space to move and mix. 
  • Always turn dark clothing inside out to protect the color from fading. 
  • Remove stains before washing. 
  • Dry your clothes away from sunlight as sunlight can cause the color on your dark garments to fade.
  • If you choose to use the dryer, be sure to use the tumble dry low setting.  

How to Dry Dark Clothes

Machine and line drying in the sun may sound like convenient ways to dry your dark clothes, however it is best for dark clothes to air dry in a dim, cool, place out of contact with direct sunlight. 

Using the dryer can lead to color fading in your dark clothes, because of the heat used in the tumble process. If you really need to use the dryer, if perhaps you are in a rush, 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. 

The ultraviolet light in sunlight is actually bad for dark colors as this can cause the color to fade over time. Although line drying makes clothes smell fresh and crisp, it is better to dry your darks inside, away from contact with direct sunlight.

Once dry, fold your clothes and hang your pants so they are ready to wear.

How to Get Stains Out of Dark Clothing

1. Act Quickly

Act quickly to remove the stain as this is the most important thing you can do to remove 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 dark 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 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. Vinegar will help your darks become darker. 

How to Wash Dark Clothes FAQ

Dark clothes must be washed in cold water. Washing dark clothes in hot water will cause the color to bleed and fade. 

Turn dark clothes inside out, use detergent formulated for dark clothes, wash in cold water, and dry out of contact with direct sunlight to keep them from fading. 

First check the care label to see if the garment is dry clean only or if it has any special care requirements. If the garment can be machine washed, turn it inside out, use detergent for dark clothes, and wash in cold water. 

Dark clothes must be washed in cold water because hot water causes dark clothes to bleed and the color to fade from the surface of the fabric. 

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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