Prevent Fading Colors In Your Clothing - Tips & Tricks You Can Use

by Heidi

Heidi has shared her tips for how to prevent fading colors in your laundry. I've added some headings to her tips to help you find what you're looking for below.

Set Dye With Vinegar

This first tip from Heidi will help you prevent fading by setting the dye in the clothes to begin with, so it doesn't come out and get washed away with the wash water.Try soaking new clothes in cold water with white distilled vinegar for an hour in a bucket one article at a time.


In a five gallon bucket you would only need 1/2 cup of vinegar. Then rinse the article, put it in the dryer, and let it dry fully. The vinegar and the dryer should set a majority of the dye.

Other Factors That Can Lead To Fading Colors

Some other factors that may lead to clothes fading or looking faded are optical brighteners in laundry detergents, chlorinated water, pilling of fabrics, and exposure to sunlight. These factors can lead to fading as well.

Things which can help solve these problem are to buy detergents with no optical brighteners, buy ones that have dechlorinators in them, or buy gentle laundry detergents that prevent pilling (you can also use liquid fabric softeners to help prevent pilling).

We have a full house filter hooked to our water that pulls chlorine out, so I do not need a special dechlorinating detergent.

I wash my colors in cold water the first few times and use a liquid fabric softener to help protect the fabrics and prevent pilling in the drying process.

However, with time and going outside into the sunshine, colors and darks can fade as the sun gradually bleaches them. You can't do anything about it. Like all things in life, nothing lasts forever.

Taylor says:

Thanks Heidi for sharing your tips for how to prevent fading colors in clothing.

In regard to sunlight, if you are noticing that your upholstered items are beginning to fade, try closing the blinds or curtains while the sun it shining directly on the fabric, which can significantly slow the fading process.

Also know that, over time, your curtains themselves will most likely get bleached by the sun and need to be replaced.

I've honestly never heard of any laundry detergents which have dechlorinators in them, so if anyone knows about these I would love for you to share your knowledge in the comments to help me and other readers out.

However, I am aware that one of the laundry detergents which does not contain optical brighteners is Seventh Generation laundry detergent. I would assume many other eco-friendly detergents also don't have this ingredient, but I am not sure about the exact ingredients in each variety without more research.

There are also detergents made specifically for dark colored clothing, which are touted to help and prevent fading. (You can see a video below about washing in cold water, versus using Tide Total Care, for example). Additional detergents made specifically for dark colors that come to my mind include Cheer for darks, and Dark Wash Woolite.

Has anyone used any of these detergents to wash their clothes? If so, I would love to hear your review of them, to say if they really seemed to helped to prevent fading colors in your laundry. You can share your laundry detergent review here.

In addition, do you have any laundry tips of your own, like Heidi? If so, you can share your household tips for laundry here.

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Fading Colors In Your Laundry - What Detergents Prevent This?

Fading colors are not something we want in our clothing.

I personally hate it when I get a new shirt and after a couple of times in the wash it goes from bright to kinda dull looking.

Lots of things contribute to this phenomenon, including dyes that are not completely colorfast, but also the type of laundry detergent you use, and the temperature at which you wash your clothes.

Consumer Reports provided this interesting video (below) which did a test amongst a few different detergents to see which one was best and keeping clothes from fading after many washes.

The three detergents that were tested included All Small And Mighty, and two versions of Tide detergent, Tide Total Care and Tide Coldwater.

The reason that Consumer Reports was testing Tide Total care is because Tide has developed this detergent, and created an ad campaign around the fact that it prevents fading in your clothing.

I thought the results of the testing were interesting, because according to the test results All Small & Mighty severely faded the clothing.

Then, both Tide Total Care and Tide Coldwater both faded the clothing much less than All did.

The result, according to Consumer Reports, is that Tide Total Care does the job it was supposed to do, keep clothes from fading, but that it cost more, so you might as well use the Tide Coldwater which did just as good of a job, but cost less.

Here is the video for the full details. (Be sure to scroll down after the video for my additional thoughts about this "test" though.)



OK, now that you've seen the video, at first blush you would think that Tide Coldwater is definitely the way to go with washing your clothes to prevent fading.

Taylor says: Here are links to buy this or related products. If you make a purchase I receive a small commission which helps support this site and my family.



Taylor says: Here are links to buy this or related products. If you make a purchase I receive a small commission which helps support this site and my family.


However, after I thought about it for a while I wonder if the lack of fading with Tide Coldwater had something to do with the fact that all that clothing was washed in cold water, not a warmer temperature?

Since fading colors in your laundry increases with water temperature, it goes without saying that clothing washed in cold water, with any detergent, should be less faded than the same clothing, washed with the same detergent, in hot water.

Tell me your thoughts in the comments about this issue.

I wish I could find out more about this study to see if there were any other variables than what was mentioned.

Related Links At Stain-Removal-101.com

Best Laundry Detergent For You - Ratings, Reviews And Information

Laundry Tips & Tricks For Busy Moms

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Comments for Fading Colors In Your Laundry - What Detergents Prevent This?

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mine still fade
by: Anonymous

I have always washed my clothes in cold water with fabric softener and I find that they fade really fast. I use Tide and they still fade.

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