How to wash dark or black clothes without fading them

Not sure how to wash dark clothes without fading them? Follow our tips, including advice on what temperature to wash dark clothes at, to find out.


how to wash dark or black clothes without fading them

Most of us own at least some dark or black clothes – some of us own a lot. Whatever your style, from goth to pure business, black is popular for a reason: it’s smart, sexy, and never goes out of fashion.

Caring for your darks is about more than just separating out loads of washing. There are a range of ways to stop your favourite blacks and navies from fading before their time. Read on to find out.

If you’re wondering how to wash dark clothes and specifically, how to wash black jeans without fading them, try Surf’s Perfect Dark liquid detergent with Midnight Orchid scent. Always test detergent on a hidden piece of fabric first, and read the label carefully.

How to wash black clothes without fading – Sorting your washing

It’s well known that to keep whites bright, we need to wash them separately but not many people realise that it works both ways! Dark clothing washed with coloured or light clothing will start to fade, or leach dye. For this reason, it’s best to wash darks and blacks on their own.

When sorting your dark clothes, try to stay on the lookout for different types of fabric, and always empty pockets. A big pile of black clothes can blend into one mass, but if there’s one forgotten tissue in there, you’re going to have a tough time getting rid of the white residue afterwards.

Washing dark clothes: Key steps

To achieve good results when washing dark clothes, follow these tips:

  • When thinking about how to wash black clothes without fading them, always wash darks separately from lights. Blacks, navies, and other very dark colours can go together
  • Check the care labels of your clothes before washing them together. Red clothes often recommend being washed by hand at first as this dye is known to run at first
  • When it comes to dark clothes, the wash temperature is very important. Wash darks in cold water to preserve the dye for longer. Hot washes can cause dye to run and fade so choose a detergent that can be used on a cool wash and lower the temperature
  • When washing dark clothes, choose a washing detergent that is suitable for dark colours, and always avoid additives such as bleach which can be lethal to darks!
  • Avoid tumble-drying dark clothing as the heat can distress the fibres of the fabric and cause the colour to fade. If air-drying, hang items out of direct sunlight to avoid fading
  • Remember that delicates need a gentle wash. You might even be better off handwashing them with liquid detergent in a sink if your machine doesn’t have a close enough setting.

How to wash dark clothes without fading them – Choosing a wash cycle

Darks need a cold, short cycle. Remember when it comes to preserving dark clothes, the wash temperature is crucial.  Depending on the level of soiling, it might be best to pre-treat some stains with a damp cloth and a dab of laundry detergent so you can pop them on a quicker cycle.

If you’ve wondered what temperature to wash dark clothes then 30°C is generally a fairly safe temperature for most darks – remember to check your detergent to see if it is suitable for use at this temperature first though.

With these tips, washing dark clothes should be much easier. If you find sorting laundry a bit of a chore then why not invest in a couple of small laundry baskets for your room so you can sort your laundry as you get undressed?

Originally published