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10 Tips to Prevent Clothes from Fading

by Product Specialist

Faded jeans are trendy, but in most cases, faded clothes are a bust. A faded black, slinky camisole looks gray and sadly down-market. A bright red shirt that loses its color is simply a sallow pink.

But you can preserve the looks of your favorite shirts, shorts, dresses and other garments. Here are 10 easy-to-follow tips to help you keep your clothes looking new and vibrant.

  1. Read the tag. The manufacturer gives you critical information about washing and drying on the tag. For example, it might say wash in cold, dry on low, etc.
  2. Wash in cold water. If you usually throw all your clothes into one load, cold water is the setting to choose. Rule of thumb: the warmer the water, the quicker the fading.
  3. Wash lights, darks and whites separately. The best approach is to wash dark clothes with other darks, lights with light, whites by themselves.
  4. Learn your washer settings. If your clothes are just lightly soiled, don't choose the Heavy setting. This just adds more wear and tear and encourages fading. Instead, select a less vigorous setting for your load.
  5. Hang dry if possible. It's convenient to use the dryer for everything. But it roughs up the surface fibers on your clothes. This can make them look faded, even if they are still full color.
  6. Air out, don't wash. If you've barely worn a shirt and it isn't spotted, don't put it in the washer. Simply hang it up to air out. Hanging lets wrinkles drop away and odors disappear.
  7. Wash clothes inside out. The fibers on your clothes fade from the action of the washer. When you turn them inside out, the part no one sees takes the brunt of the wear and tear.
  8. Use fabric conditioner. This lubricates fibers, reducing friction, so they wear more slowly. It delays fading.
  9. Use vinegar. One-half cup vinegar in each wash reduces fading and also acts like a fabric softener. The smell goes away in the rinse cycle.
  10. Salt your new clothes. The first time you wash a garment, add half a cup of salt. This helps lock in the color, stopping the bleeding that gives it a faded appearance.