How to boost the colour and brightness of your clothes

Check out a number of laundry ideas and organisation tips for home that will make doing washing easier.


basket of colourful clothes

Key steps:

  • Always wash your clothes in batches of similar colours
  • Avoid high temperatures when washing and drying coloured clothes
  • You can change your laundry methods to keep your white and black clothes bright and bold too!

Regardless of their laundry experience, everyone has wondered how to wash colours at one time or another. If this is your burning question right now, you’re in luck! Not only does Surf Colour and Black have you covered, our list of laundry tips explains how to boost colour brightness on your clothes.

Choose your detergent carefully and remember to always sort your laundry. Washing colours that are similar together can help prevent colour run and other damage caused in the machine.

How to wash colours: Choosing your detergent?

The trick to keeping your coloured clothes looking great is washing them in the right way. There are specialist laundry detergents designed for different coloured clothes – and for good reason! The ingredients you can use on light or white coloured clothes can differ to those used on darks. Get it wrong and you could end up with colour run or fading.

Washing colours: How to prevent colour run or fading?

If you’ve been wondering how to make clothes brighter, you could find the answer in an unexpected place: your pantry! While you should always use a specialist detergent to wash coloured clothes, some household items can be used to help boost results when needed.

  • Salt – add half a cup to the laundry cycle when washing new clothes. This can help to stop dye from bleeding when washing colours
  • Vinegar – when added to your laundry, colours can look brighter because the vinegar can prevent detergent residue from building up in your machine
  • Baking soda – add half a cup to your wash cycle for a great natural deodoriser and colour preserver.

How to make colours brighter?

Following a few simple rules can really help to preserve the colour of your clothes in the wash and help you keep your clothes looking brighter for longer.

  1. Sort your clothes before you wash them. This can help prevent lighter clothes being stained by darker colours and also prevent premature fading of dark colours
  2. Turn coloured clothes inside out before washing. This will expose the inner side of the fabric to the full force of the water pressure and detergent to help preserve dyes
  3. Don’t dry clothes in direct sunlight. You may think learning how to wash colours is all about what happens in the machine, but what happens afterwards is just as important. The sun can be a natural bleaching agent so keep clothes out of its path
  4. Avoid using tumble dryers. The heat from these machines can sometimes cause colours to fade, particularly on dark clothes. Where possible, always air dry
  5. Try a colder wash. This doesn’t just apply to washing colours – washing all your laundry at lower temperatures is better for the environment and could save you money on your energy bill. For coloured clothes, it can also help preserve their brightness as heat can damage fibres and lead to fading.

Washing colours, darks and lights – final tips

Finally, it is important to remember that learning how to make clothes brighter isn’t just important for bold colours. You’ll also want to keep whites and light coloured clothes crisp and sparkling, as well as preventing fading on dark and black clothes.

Read our article on how to wash white clothes to find out more.

Originally published