The Benefit Of Washing Your New Towels With Salt

A beautiful new towel, perhaps with a bright color or unique pattern, can be an asset to your home's aesthetic. That is, until you wash it the first time, causing the color to fade. Salt could provide you with a solution to this. You'll likely see several benefits to cleaning towels by adding salt to the laundry, including reducing the amount of fading that initially occurs. While there are other products that prevent colors from running, salt is a simple alternative that doesn't cost much.

Many times, when you purchase towels with a significant amount of color to them, the towels haven't been laundered since being dyed. Because of this, those first few washes are likely to lead to an excessive amount of dye loss. That's often why, when you wash a red towel with a white towel, the white one becomes more of a pink color due to the dye loss from the red fabric. 

Salt is primarily made of chloride, which helps to set the color of the towels, preventing the loss of dye and maintaining the bright, vibrant color. There are a few warnings and tips to this process to ensure it goes well and doesn't cause damage to other fabrics. It's not possible to prevent all fading from occurring even with the use of salt, but you will find that the benefits of adding just a small amount of this seasoning to your laundry can be very effective.

Why salt works to minimize color fading on towels

It can be exciting to add a brightly-colored set of new towels to your bathroom remodel, as a bold color could transform a boring white or beige bathroom. However, the worst thing that can happen is for you to lose that color punch within just a few washes. Salt is one of the simplest solutions to this problem, and it works by reducing how soluble the dye coloring is in water. When you add in salt, that means the water becomes less effective at penetrating the towel's fibers. In other words, salt works to set the dye, preventing the water from washing the color away. 

However, the problem with this is that it doesn't create a long-lasting impact. While it reduces fading, it cannot eliminate it. The next time you wash the towel, you'll need to use salt again to prevent more of the dye from coming off. Still, this added step is well worth it, considering that it can protect the vibrance of the color. Keep in mind that this process doesn't prevent dye transfer, which occurs when color from the dye rubs off onto other surfaces. If there is too much dye to attach to the fabric particles, it's going to transfer onto your hand or other items with ease. However, that's not commonly the case when you have store-bought, professionally-dyed towels.

How to use salt with your towels to reduce color loss

Adding salt to the laundry when you're cleaning towels for the first time is quite a simple process. To do this, add 1 cup of salt right into the drum of the washing machine before you load in the towels. If it's a large load, consider using 2 cups instead. Then, launder the towels as the manufacturer recommends on the fabric's tag. You should see a significant reduction in the amount of dye lost in the process. Use cold water during this process, as that can also help prevent the colors in your fabrics from fading. Once they come out of the laundry, you shouldn't notice any leftover salt particles, since they will dissolve in the water.

If you've had a few towels already go through the laundry and lose some of their color as a result, consider using salt in the next load. This doesn't restore the lost dye, but it can help to brighten and set what's present, and that means it could help to minimize additional discoloration going forward. You can use this method on other fabrics as well, though you should follow the recommendations of the manufacturer. Avoid using salt on delicate fabrics, as it could be too harsh. There are other ways to stop colors from fading in the laundry, but this is an all-natural solution that you may be able to use immediately and see significant results.