The Ideal Temperature For Washing Dark Clothing To Prevent Fading

Black is a neutral, dependable, and flattering shade, and nearly everyone has a few black clothing items in their wardrobe. According to I Heart Intelligence, people who wear a lot of black tend to be perceived as confident, intelligent, and attractive. Clothing items can also affect the mood of the person wearing them, and dark colors like black and brown foster a sense of security, strength, and mystery (via The Good Trade). 

We love our dark clothes, but these versatile garments aren't always sunshine and rainbows. After wearing your favorite navy trousers or little black dress a few times, you may notice that these colors tend to fade very quickly — or worse, the dye may bleed onto and stain your other light-colored items. The rules for washing white clothes are pretty well-known, but do you know how to care for your dark garments on laundry day? Here's what you should be doing to preserve the dye in your darker clothing.

Keep it cool

If you're washing your dark clothes in hot water, you need to cool your jets; hot water is notorious for causing dye to bleed. Washing in water that's too hot will fade your dark clothes quickly, and the dye may bleed onto and stain lighter items in the mix. Professional cleaners at The Maids explain that hot water molecules move faster than cold water molecules, rubbing themselves into the fabric and causing the fibers to open up. This is great for removing dirt and stain from lighter clothes, but open fibers can also release dye molecules from dark clothes.  

When it comes to washing dark clothes, you'll want to use cool water, roughly between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (via Wash Laundry). Turning your clothes inside out and using a mild, color-safe detergent will also help to preserve their color. If your dark clothes are new, it's always best to wash them separately a few times before tossing them in with a batch of other items. You can also find detergents and laundry additives specifically formulated for dark clothing. After a thorough comparison, Home Cleaning Planet recommends using Woolite Dark Defense and OxiClean Dark Protect Laundry Booster. 

Follow other care tips

One tip that's often overlooked is ensuring your body is clean before wearing dark clothes. According to some fashion experts, durable items like dark denim and jeans should go through at least 10 to 12 wears before washing (via Real Simple). Wearing dark clothes while you're sweaty or stinky means you'll have to wash them soon after. By only wearing these clothes when you're clean, you can wash them less often and help them last longer. You can even place jeans in the freezer overnight to eliminate any odor between washes!

If your favorite dark clothes are truly becoming too faded to wear, remember that re-dying is an option. You can find clothing dye at most fabric and craft stores for less than $10 per bottle. Just be sure to choose the right dye for your fabric type. One bottle or pack of dye is usually enough to refresh multiple pieces of clothing. Re-dying your clothes is an eco-friendly way to avoid throwing them out, and it'll save you from spending money on new clothes every year.