Washing Colors

by Julia Woodbury
(last updated January 4, 2016)

A tag on a new pair of jeans might instruct you to wash them before wearing them. Why? To prevent your legs from turning blue. Newer clothes will often have dyes that are not entirely bonded to their material. Even old clothes can wreak havoc in the washer if they are not washed with similar colors. For this reason you should separate your colored clothes into loads based on their color and recommended washing temperature. The standard is cold whites, hot whites, cold darks, and hot darks. It would be prudent to even have a wash that is all reds.

If you want to protect the brightness of your colors and if you want to prevent bleeding, try washing all your colors in cold water. If you do need to use warm water, try adding salt to the wash. You can add up to half a cup of salt to a large wash to freeze bleeding and retain color.

Feel free to try the various color-protecting products available in stores. Some are more effective than others simply because of the difference between hard and soft water. If you would like to use around-the-house items you can try a salt and vinegar solution to set the colors prior to washing. This process requires these materials:

  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 gallon of lukewarm water

Mix all three of these together and then add your article of clothing. Let the item soak for an hour and then rinse with cold water. If color is bleeding into the rinse water, try the process again. Once the colors have been set in an article of clothing, they shouldn't bleed onto other clothes. Only do this process on single-colored items. For example, you shouldn't try this on a red shirt with a white collar, otherwise the collar will turn pink and stay that way.

Author Bio

Julia Woodbury

Julia Woodbury is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University. She delights in the written word and has interests in magazine writing and editing. ...

MORE FROM JULIA

Making Yellowed Silk White Again

So maybe you inherited your grandmother's silk wedding dress or your grandfather's silk hankie. Or maybe you have some ...

Discover More

Cleaning a Flagstone Walkway

Usually you wouldn't think that you would ever need to clean rocks, but when those rocks, like flagstone, are a part of ...

Discover More

Washing Your Cat

Anyone who has chased a soapy, sopping wet feline around the house knows the risks of bathing cats. Here are some tips on ...

Discover More

Remove Stubborn Stains Quickly Get everything looking clean again: Walls, floors, baseboards, counters, blinds, appliances, and more. Micro-scrubbers easily reach into surface grooves, lifting dirt away. This low-cost 8-pack is great for stubborn stains and touble areas. Check out Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 8-Pack today!

More Cleaning Tips

Dealing with Graying Whites

It can be extremely frustrating to find that your favorite white shirt, or table cloth comes out of the laundry gray and ...

Discover More

Removing Rust Stains from Cotton

Cotton is an extremely popular type of material that almost seems to love to collect stains. Rust is a type of stain that ...

Discover More

Dealing With Maple Syrup Stains

Whether it is fresh, or a day or two old maple syrup can be a fairly difficult stain to remove. When dealing with maple ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 9?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.