Laundry is a necessary evil of modern-day living. Yet, as essential as having clean clothes is, laundering your tops, bottoms, and other items causes wear and tear to your clothes over time. You might have noticed that dark colors tend to fade, while whites grow duller with time. Luckily, you can protect your clothes from these and other issues with just a few tweaks. Here are some tips to keep in mind when washing your clothes.
Keeping Your Whites Bright
Usually, whites turn gray over time due to improper sorting before washing. How many times have you thrown in a white shirt with a pair of blue socks or your favorite blue jeans? These mistakes contribute to dullness over time, so to keep your whites bright, make sure you’re only washing whites with other whites. Use the hottest water your fabric can handle, as this is the most effective in removing dirt and residue. And, if you have a white item that needs particular attention, pre-soak it before washing in a mix of water and either enzyme detergent or oxygen bleach. Then, wash separately from other items.
Maintaining Dark Clothing
Dark clothing tends to deteriorate over time, after months or years of rubbing against other clothes in the washing machine. This causes the fibers of your clothes and linens to break down, resulting in the gray-ish tone to your old black shirts. The heat from your dryer and water doesn’t help matters, either. Always use cold water when washing a load of darks and use the shortest cycle. Dry your pieces on the coolest temperature setting possible or go the rustic route and hang them out to air dry, which will help them maintain their original appearance.
Preserving Bright Colors
Like dark clothing, brightly colored clothing is susceptible to time spent in the washer and dryer and the hot water. Though it’s natural for bright colors to shed dye over time, you can delay this process by washing bright items with items of the same intensity. For example, you could wash vivid brights together, and pastels in another load. When you bring home a new, brightly colored item, wash it by itself for the first few cycles, since new items are more likely to bleed large amounts of dye. Finally, try turning your brights inside out before washing, which can protect the exterior of the garment.
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