One of the main things that can make perfectly good clothing 'unwearable' is when the colour fades, and the garment looks less than brand new - but how do you prevent clothes from fading?
Worry no more about black jeans that are starting to look decidedly grey, or that rainbow coloured shirt that's looking dull and sad. Plus, we'll give you some tips on how to keep your white clothes bright too, so your multicoloured wardrobe can stay popping for longer. Here's how to prevent clothes from fading.
What causes clothes to fade?
Colour in clothing can fade because the chemicals or substances that are dyed into the fabric break down over time. Unfortunately, this is inevitable over a long period of time, but if you buy more quality items of clothing (while following our top tips) you can prevent clothes from fading quickly with a few pieces of know-how. Yep, you don't really need any tools for this, just some nuggets of knowledge. So here they are!
How to prevent clothes from fading
1. Read the care label.
Yep, the label full of laundry care symbols on the inside of your shirt isn't there just to make you itchy, it'll tell you how to wash and care for the garment. This includes washing temperature, cycle, and whether it's suitable for machine drying. It's true that we usually recommend a 30 degree wash for most things (lower temperature, lower energy bill) but some things can afford to be washed warmer - the care label will tell you this.
2. Separate, separate, separate!
We've said it before and we'll say it again - you NEED to separate your laundry by colour (and by fabric, but we'll get onto that another day). It's one of the simplest ways to prevent clothes from fading.
We recommend having three separate colour loads for whites and very lights, mid range colours, and darks. If you have a high volume of laundry, you could even divide these categories further.
If you wash a pink shirt with some black jeans, of course the pink is going to come out looking faded, because the dye from the jeans will have seeped into it. Similarly, to keep your whites looking bright, only ever wash whites with white (or very light) garments.
Once garments have faded, it's tricky to get them back to normal. However, you can try this tip. As newer garments tend to leak more dye, washing older black garments with new black garments can also help with fading, as the black dye from the newer garment may seep into the older, faded garment, giving it a boost of black dye!
3. Choose the right products.
Specifically, we're talking about stain remover, as some of the harsh stain removers you can find in supermarkets can tend to be a little too harsh for our fabrics, and can fade clothes subsequently. Ditch them, and try our Tough Love Stain Remover, our 'power 'powder' that can bust anything from tomato sauce stains to mildew, and it won't fade colour fast fabrics!
4. Wash cold.
We've already sort of mentioned this - we love a cold wash. But it'll actually help to prevent clothes from fading too, as hot water is more conducive to leaking dye. Keep it cold, and the dye is more likely to stay put.
5. Wash clothes inside out.
There are actually countless reasons to wash your clothes inside out, but it can help prevent clothes from fading too. Well, kind of. Think of it this way: if the colour fades from the inside of the garment rather than the outside, who's going to notice?
6. Consider the sun.
If you want your light coloured clothes to shine bright, you can harness the UV rays from the sun as a natural bleach, by air drying your clothes in the sun.
However, with colours and darks, you want to stay away from direct sunlight, as the same UV rays that are a godsend for your whites, could be the downfall of your darks. The sun will bleach your clothes, causing them to fade. To be safe, always air dry your clothes inside out, so if they do get hit by a little sun, any fading will hopefully be hidden.
There you go, now you know how to prevent clothes from fading - hopefully your wardrobe will be bright and colourful for years to come, and you won't face any faded fabrics any time soon.
Shop the whole Clothes Doctor range to make laundry day an absolute pleasure, every time.