Cleaning Clothing

How to keep Black Clothes from Fading

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Black is a luxurious color that looks good on everyone. Unfortunately, black clothes often fade from too many washes and improper care. Here are laundry methods that keep black clothes black.

1. Never use powder laundry detergent when washing black clothes. They will often leave streaks of powder all over your favorite black dress. Always use liquid laundry detergent.

2. When shopping for liquid laundry detergent, check the label closely. You of course know to avoid any liquid laundry detergent with bleach. But also check to make sure the laundry detergent doesn't include titanium dioxide, which will increase the chances of your black clothes fading. Look for liquid detergents that are especially made for dark clothes (like Cheer Dark). Don't use liquid laundry detergent that promises to "brighten your clothes," because they are designed to brighten your other colors, not your black clothes.

3. Consider using an environmentally friendly natural liquid laundry detergent that is free from most of the chemicals that cause damage to clothes.

4. Always use cold water when washing black clothes, and wash them on the gentle or delicate cycle, no matter how dirty they are. Using a more aggressive wash cycle will contribute to the black fading away.

5. Avoid using liquid fabric softener when washing your black clothes. Fabric softeners contain ingredients that contribute to discoloration of black fabric.

6. Add a cup of vinegar to your wash. This is an old home remedy that has been used for generations to keep black clothes black. Don't worry about the smell - your detergent will take away all the vinegar smell and you won't notice it after it's out of the wash.

7. Never use a clothes dryer to dry your black clothes. The heat that comes from drying black clothes in a dryer will suck the black right out of them.

8. Line dry all black clothes, but keep them out of the sun and dry them inside your house instead. Sunlight wreaks havoc on black clothes, and bleaches them to a dull gray. Instead, set up an inside clothes drying rack. Make sure the drying rack is made of wood or plastic, because wire or metal will leave rust stains on your black clothes.

Follow these steps and your black wardrobe will stay that way. Few clothes are more unappealing than the once-black but now a strange grayish color dress that has faded from its former black glory.

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