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How to Wash Colored Clothes: The Ultimate Guide

Noticing stains, faded colors, or holes wearing into your favorite outfits? Most people throw their clothes out, excited to shop for something new! In fact, the average American throws away 65 pounds of clothes every year.

Instead of wasting time and money, why not take a preventative approach?

Learning the best way to wash colored clothes can help you keep those bright colors lasting longer. Otherwise, you’re going to need to put more money in your clothing budget.

Keep reading to learn how to wash colored clothes. With these tips, you can give your colorful garments the attention and care they need. Say goodbye to fading colors with these 10 tips! 

1. Read the Label

The first step to ensuring your colored garments last is to read the label on each article of clothing. Different fabrics require different types of care. Instead of throwing all of your clothes into one load, separate them by their instructions.

For example, some fabrics require you to wash them by hand. Others say you can throw them in the washing machine, but need to use cold versus warm water. Don’t forget to make note of which clothes need to visit a dry cleaner as well. 

Reading these labels can help you ensure each article of clothing receives the care it needs.

Otherwise, you might start noticing fading fabrics or holes in your clothes. 

2. Sort by Color

Next, start sorting! Separate your dark colors, whites, and lighter colors into separate loads. If you have a huge stack of laundry to do, you can even separate clothes by individual colors. 

What colors can be washed together?

Try to separate bright colors, such as purples, reds, oranges, and yellows into one load. 

Then, isolate blues and greens into a different stack.  

3. Check for Stains

Before chucking your clothes into the washer, check each article of clothing for stains. Some stains seem impossible to remove, leaving you with clothes that appear dirty and unseemingly. People spend approximately $161 a month on clothes, but replacing stained clothing can bump that number up.

Learning how to wash colored clothes can help you avoid overspending on clothing every year.

If you find any stains, pre-treat them using a small amount of laundry detergent.

There are also stain sticks you can use for more effective pre-wash treatments. 

Add a little detergent to the stain. Then, rub the fabric together to work the detergent into the fibers. Once you’ve pre-treated these stains, go ahead and throw your clothes in with the rest of the load. 

4. Go Inside Out

Before putting new clothes into the washing machine, make sure to turn them inside out.

Try to avoid stuffing machine as well. Instead, remember to separate your clothes by color, which allows for smaller loads. 

Then, wash these new clothes on a gentle cycle.

When more friction is applied to the surface of a fabric, it’s more likely to face. Turning your clothes inside out can help avoid damaging the outer surface of your clothes. You can also use this tip when drying your clothes to make sure the colors don’t fade away. 

5. Chill Out

As you learn how to wash colored clothes, don’t forget to keep those new clothes apart from the rest! In order to keep your brand new, brightly colored clothes looking radiant, wash them using cold water. 

Washing colored clothes in cold water will reduce:

  • The chance your clothes will shrink or fade
  • Wrinkles (and the amount of time you spend ironing)
  • Your energy costs 

Cold water is still effective for removing stains. In fact, not all stains respond to warm water. Blood and sweat will set into the fabric when you wash your clothes in warmer temperatures. 

Delicate fabrics respond better to colder temperatures, as do dark, colorful fabrics.

6. Soak It

Soak your brightest articles of clothing in salty water. Salt is cheap, environmentally-friendly, and can help keep your clothes looking bright.

Salt can also help prevent the colors from running off, to a degree. 

Before soaking one article of clothing with another, make sure it’s not colorfast. This will help you avoid stains.

Then, fill your washer with cold water. Add half a cup of salt, then your clothing. Let it sit before adding detergent and other clothes to the washer.

Then, run the washer as you normally would!

White vinegar can help as well. Environmentally-friendly, white vinegar can maintain the bright color of your clothes and restore any lost luster. Add half a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to clear away any detergent residue that could cause the fabric to yellow. 

7. Use Fabric Protection

In addition to keeping your clothes bright and clean, you might also want to avoid stretching and fuzzing. The next time you wash your clothes, consider using fabric conditioner. 

When you wash your clothes, the heat, friction, and agitation can damage fibers. Fabric conditioners can help strengthen those fibers, keeping them smooth. They also help your clothes to maintain their shape.

When the fibers break, the colors will appear dimmer as well. Using fabric conditioners will protect your clothes from fading. 

8. Don’t Let It Sit

While your washer machine is running, many of us head off to complete other chores or errands. Letting your clothes sit damp can cause the colors to leech. Instead, make sure to remove your clothes from the machine as soon as the wash cycle is complete.

Then, separate your clothes to dry.

9. Hang Dry

Try to avoid using the dryer. Instead, hang your colored clothes and let them dry. 

Friction and heat from the dryer can cause your clothes to fade faster. 

10. Measure It Right

The next time you wash your clothes, try to use as little laundry detergent as possible. A little goes a long way! Overdosing your clothes with detergent can cause residual detergent to turn your clothes yellow.

Keep Those Colors Shining Bright: How to Wash Colored Clothes

Keep your clothes nice and bright! With this guide on how to wash colored clothes, you can keep everything in your wardrobe looking brand new.

Need a washer or dryer to start your next rinse cycle? Explore our leasing options today!

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