Q:

How do I keep dark clothes from fading?

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Quick Answer

To keep dark clothes from fading, it is important to pay attention to the care labels on clothes, wash dark-colored clothes together in cold water, turn dark clothes inside out and add vinegar to the wash cycle. People should not overload the washer and should not allow dark clothing to get too hot in the dryer to prevent fading.

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Full Answer

Though it is easy to overlook, the care label contains important information for the care of clothes. Instructions, such as washing with like colors, water temperature and drying procedures, should be followed to prevent fading. Washing like colors together prevents color from ruining other clothes in the washer and helps eliminate fading. The wash and dry process is rough on clothes, so clothes should be turned inside out to prevent them from fading and looking "worn." Colors can be washed in cold water to prevent fading, and many laundry detergents are now designed to work adequately in cold water as well as warm. Over drying causes dark colors and bright colors to fade. A timer on the dryer can remind people to remove clothes promptly once the cycle has stopped.

Vinegar is not only a natural fabric softener for the laundry, but it also keeps colors from fading during the laundry cycle. The smell is quite intense; however, it goes away in the wash cycle. If lasting color is especially important, clothing owners should consider washing clothes on the gentle cycle, hand washing certain clothes and hanging them up to dry rather than using the dryer.

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