Six steps to stop dark clothes fading in the washing machine

There’s nothing worse than opening the washing machine to find your favourite item of clothing has faded.

Dark jeans, sweatshirts, jogging bottoms and t-shirts among other laundry items are all prone to fading in the washing machine if they’re not washed correctly.

With this in mind, cleaning expert Petya Holevich from Fantastic Services, a UK-based company of experts helping people with house maintenance matters, has shared six steps homeowners must take to ensure their clothes don’t “fade” in the washing machine.

1. Wash dark jeans inside out

Before putting dark jeans in the washing machine, turn them inside out to minimise fading.

By washing them inside out, homeowners are minimising their exposure to water and the detergent which can cause the denim to fade.

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2. Use cold water

It’s best to use cold water instead of hot or warm water when washing dark jeans. Cold water is less likely to cause “colour bleeding and fading”.

3. Choose a gentle cycle

Petya said when washing dark jeans, it’s best to use a gentle or delicate cycle because these are less aggressive and reduce friction, which can usually contribute to “colour loss”.

If there isn’t a gentle wash cycle on the washing machine, homeowners can hand-wash their dark jeans instead.

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4. Use a mild detergent

Petya warned: “Avoid using harsh laundry detergents that contain bleach or other strong chemicals.

“Instead, choose a mild one specifically formulated for dark or coloured clothing.

“These are designed to be gentle on the fabric and help preserve its colour.”

5. Minimise agitation

Over-agitating dark jeans or dark items of clothing can contribute to colour fading. To stop this happening, avoid overloading the washing machine and wash dark jeans and colours separately.

Separating clothing and not overloading the machine will prevent excessive rubbing and friction during the wash cycle.

6. Skip fabric softener

Fabric softeners leave clothes smelling divine, however, they can leave a residue on fabrics which can affect the colour of dark jeans, in particular.

Petya added: “If you want to preserve the colour of your dark jeans, it’s recommended to skip it altogether and use a DIY alternative, such as white vinegar and baking soda.”

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