We all want our colored clothes to retain their original color and prolong the longevity of the garments. Both the color fastness and longevity will greatly depend on how you wash colors, which starts with proper laundry sorting. Here are some tips on how to wash colors and keep the colored garments looking good for a long time.
Sort the laundry colors according to color intensity. Wash dark colors separately from light colors to prevent the colors from bleeding during the laundry cycle.
After sorting the laundry by color intensity, sort them again grouping similar colored clothing items together. You don’t want to wash blue jeans with a blue cotton dress shirt. Group dress clothes and casual clothes separately, pairing up color intensity and like fabrics.
Next, to properly sort and wash colors, fasten all the zippers and buttons and turn the colored garments inside out. This will minimize the fabric abrasion during the wash cycle and help retain the shape and color of each garment.
Pre-treat any spots or underarm stains with liquid laundry detergent or a product designed for laundry spot removal, like Shout.
Wash colors in cold water and on the shortest wash cycle possible. Several laundry detergents are specifically formulated to be most effective in cold water wash and will help retain color fastness when washing colors.
Add the laundry detergent to the wash water as the washing machine is filling with the cold water. This will give the laundry detergent time to fully dissolve before adding the laundry.
To wash colors like work clothing or gym wear or any other colored garments that might need more cleaning and deodorizing than a cold water wash can provide, add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the cold wash water. Add the baking soda after adding the laundry detergent, just before the wash cycle begins. Allow the washing machine to agitate for a few seconds to mix the laundry detergent and baking soda, then add the laundry.
Whenever possible, air dry colors. Hang up the garments or place them flat (depending on the garment) and place them somewhere out of the sun, sunlight helps the colored garments dry faster, but it will also fade the colors.
If you must dry colors, use the lowest dryer setting temperature and remove the garments before they are completely dry. Over drying colors will set in wrinkles and cause shrinkage.
If you have colors than run or bleed into another garment during the wash cycle, do not dry the colored garment. That will set the colors permanently. Just rewash that colored garment and the color that bled onto it should come right out.