It goes without saying that clothes look their best when the colors are crisp and new. It is everyone’s wish to maintain their color. After a few tossing and drying of your brightly colored clothes, they tend to fade. While this is almost inevitable, you can surely prolong the youthful look of your garment. Especially if clothes grow on you and have favorites like me, which I will still wear even with the faded bright hue. But with time you painfully know you have to let them go unwillingly. That literally hurts, unless of course, you are going for that comfortably stained and faded look.
Then there are stains. If not well treated after they appear on your cloth, stains can be such a turn off on a brightly colored cloth. Wait till it sets and become permanent, then your fancy dinner dress becomes utterly useless. If possible you can recycle and use it as a nightgown (for those who can’t just let it go). If you thought you are the only one struggling with maintaining your whites white, then you are wrong. You have found your people. It has been a struggle for several of us until we learned of a few tips. Try them and see the transformation.
Keeping Whites White
The first step in maintaining your white clothes while washing is by sorting the dirty laundry. Put the whites together and start with that load. As you are loading the washer, do not overload it. This is to prevent the dirt from redepositing itself in another cloth. There should be enough space between clothes for whiter clothes. With white clothes, select a detergent that has optical brighteners. These brighteners fool the eye into seeing the cloth is whiter than it actually is. This is achieved by bending the UV light waves to showcase blue light and minimize the amount of yellow light our eyes perceive making the cloth look whiter.
I should have probably started by mentioning that you should adequately deal with stains. Before you load the washer, ensure that stains are taken care of. Otherwise, due to the pressure applied to the fabric while washing, they might set and be impossible to remove. After you have properly washed the garment, add one cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle. This is to ensure that all dulling detergent residue is removed. If ready for drying, line-dry them outside if possible. The ultraviolet rays from the sun will naturally whiten the fabric. If there’s hard water in your area, then you’d want to invest in water softeners and add to each load of laundry. If not, the minerals in the water will deposit in your cloth making it look yellow regardless of how well you’ve washed it.
Soak Brightly Colored Clothes in Salty Water
Soaking brightly colored clothes in salty water is actually a habit I learned from my mother. There are commercial products that you can use, yet salt is not only cheap and environmentally friendly but also gets the job well done. Your clothes will be brighter and prevent running to a degree too. Before soaking any cloth with another, ensure it is not colorfast to prevent stains. Fill the washer or basin with cold water, add half a cup of salt then add your cloth. In the morning, add detergent and other clothes if you wish then run the washer as you normally would.
Do Not Over Dry
While over-drying in the sun is good for your white colors, it goes bad with brightly colored ones. Whether you are line drying or using a dryer, don’t let it dry for long. The heat is harsh on dyes and cloth fibers. Makes the color fade quite fast. Or if you are cloth lining, do it under a shade.
Turn Inside Out
It is not rocket science that the more friction is applied on the surface of the fabric, the more faded it will be. Therefore, turning the cloth inside out, will help in keeping the damage on the inside where it is not seen. The same applies to when you are line drying, you need to turn the clothes.
Wash Only When Necessary
Sometimes we wash clothes more often than we should. For the sake of preserving your clothes’ fabric and color, washing when necessary is the easiest way. If you are careful not to get stains on your cloth, you can get several wears before you wash. Use a dry sponge to remove any deodorant streaks and dust collected throughout the day. Some clothes like jeans don’t need to be washed unless they start to show dirt. That can be four to five years.
Don’t Stuff The Washer
Just like when washing whites, do not stuff the washer. This is to prevent removed dirt from redepositing itself on another fabric.
White vinegar is heavenly sent. It can not only maintain the bright hue of your clothes but also restore luster to your clothes. After a proper wash, add half a cup of vinegar to every rinse cycle to rinse away detergent residue from the fabric that may cause yellowing. You can also soak new items in a solution of vinegar to prevent them from running. Additionally, one cup of household ammonia added to the rinsing water will help brighten clothes. But do not use ammonia if bleach has been in use.
Amount of Laundry Detergent
Use as little laundry detergent as possible. That which you only need, overdosing on the laundry detergent is not a guarantee for a cleaner cloth, in fact, it has the opposite effect. When the residue of the detergent stays on the fabric, it makes it turn yellow. If line drying, the suds tend to attract dirt.
Launder brightly colored clothes after every wear even if they look clean. This is because body oil and perspiration can easily stain then fabric. It is also essential for you to clean your washing machine regularly to prevent staining.
For a person who hates ironing, jeans are God sent to me. I’m always on the quest to find the best pair, and no wonder it’s a never-ending job for me. I can’t seem to get enough of them –I’m what they call a total jeans addict. It’s probably because I not only love how relaxing they are but also the fact that you can manipulate them to match the occasion at hand. You know how you feel when you are in the right flattering pair of jeans, perfect, right? Most importantly, they come in different style, color, and design. Whichever your taste might be, you will be well taken care of. Jeans lovers can back me when I say, for a long time I’ve struggled maintaining my jeans.
They just seem to fade quicker than they should and I couldn’t place what I was doing wrong. Trust me, I’m a believer of buying quality, therefore cheap was out of reason (though to some people, this might be the reason. You get what you pay for. Nevertheless, you can still maintain them). Regardless, after I invested so much on a designer pair, only for it to fade so fast before I could even say ‘goodness’. I felt so betrayed (I don’t know by whom exactly…. I think the jeans) and I knew I had to do something before heartbreak. Unless you are down for the faded and stretched look, you will thank me for sharing what I’ve learned since then.
Keep them clean
It goes without saying; the cleaner the garment the better and newer it looks. Although when it comes to jeans, you don’t need to wash as frequently as other clothing. Spot washing will also help lengthen the period before the next wash. But personally, I think it’s harder for ladies to adhere to this tradition than guys. Remember the dreaded sag at the knee or bum after wearing your jeans without washing? Ladies know what I’m talking about. Washing your jeans helps them get their shape back as well as keep them looking fresh. I can’t seem to bring myself to wear my jeans more than twice if you are like me, you should take more care in the cleaning process. With just a little extra care, they will always look good even after that frequent wash. Here are some tips while washing.
Turn the jeans inside out prior to washing
Turn the jeans inside out to help reduce the detergent from wearing out its dye. Additionally, a lot of friction is involved while tossing and it will be much easier on the appearance of the jeans when washed inside out. This should become a standard habit because jeans washed inside out will maintain more of their color.
Use vinegar while washing
If you see that your jeans have started to fade with each wash, start dying. It will brighten or darken your jeans more. You can also opt to use vinegar, which will not add color to your cloth but will preserve the remaining one. You might also consider using vinegar as your detergent. While detergents are harsh in order to eliminate stains and may not be able to differentiate between a stain and dye, vinegar is milder while getting the same results.
Hugely avoid bleaching
While bleaching does very well with white clothes, it severely damages other colors. If you are using bleach on your white clothes, be good to change the water. Simple thing to do but hugely saves your jeans. You should not use any bleaching agent when washing your colored jeans. The worst thing about bleach stained clothes, Is the fact that they can’t be easily reversed. In fact, most victims I know just wholly count them as a loss.
This doesn’t mean you wholly give up on using any detergent. There are literally dozens of laundry detergents that are color-safe for your jeans. It might be overwhelming settling on one since each of them claims to be the best. Therefore, the best way to shop for the detergent you need is to understand what you need for your cloth. Choose the one that will preserve the color of your jeans or that which has an additive that prevents or reduces bleeding.
Wash with similar color
It sounds like a no-brainer but it is still worth mentioning. You should always clean jeans of similar color together. I learned this lesson the hard way. Since I had only a handful of clothes to wash, I thought why not throw them all in the washer, mark you, none was bleeding as far as I was concerned. You can imagine the shock I got when I saw the big navy blue patch on my peach silk blouse. I actually think it’s more painful to lose a cloth on a discoloring stain than on a tear. It’s because it feels so careless plus there’s nothing you can do about it and chances are, you’ll never get to wear the cloth again. Therefore, save yourself a headache by sorting out your laundry first.
Don’t use the dryer
While there are great benefits of using the dryer than line drying especially during winter, it is not so friendly to your jeans. Since you want your jeans looking new and fresh after every wash, it is best if you consider line drying them. The heat and tumbling from the dryer only weakens and reshapes your cloth gradually. Besides, line drying also has an added advantage of making clothes smell so fresh that a dryer can’t achieve in the absence of a detergent. You also need to know that the ultra-violet rays of the sun don’t go smoothly on dark colored clothes when exposed to it for long. Either hang them under a shade or remove them as soon as they are dry. If you lack a line dryer because they are literally banned in some neighborhood, either use low heat in a dryer. Or a shower curtain rod can suffice as your line dryer.
When you use these tips on your good set of jeans, you will wear them longer than before. It is also essential when it comes to jeans; you adopt the mantra of quality over quantity.