Clean Living Masthead New



Back to Black

Keeping Darks from Fading

DogAre your black jeans, t-shirt or your little black dress not as black as they used to be? For the most part, it’s pretty inevitable that dark clothes will fade after repeated washings. "I have used these tips to keep my dark clothes from fading and they work so I hope that you will give them a try!" says, Nancy Bock, American Cleaning Institute’s  Senior Vice President, Meetings & Education.

  1. There are laundry products that are formulated to lessen the fading. Be sure to read the product label and look for features like color guard or "for black" or "dark clothes". And always follow the product and garment label instructions before using.
  2. If machine washing is recommended, you can turn the garment inside out, so it won’t come into contact with other clothes, and use a shorter wash cycle.
  3. Consider washing dark clothes in cold water, then air-dry. Hot water and drying clothes in a dryer can cause fading to happen faster.
  4. Use a dryer sheet to help remove pet hair and repel lint. And remember to clean the lint trap in your dryer after each and every use.
  5. Oily stains can be trouble for black fabric. Make melted chocolate disappear by pretreating with a product containing enzymes. Don’t put in the dryer until the stain is gone. You may need to rewash with a color safe bleach.

Be sure to check the ACI Stain Removal Chart for more stain removal help.