One of the clothing care tips I learnt from my old lady while growing up was to soak and wash new darks and colored clothes in salty water. Mum said that it sets dye in fabrics, preventing them from losing a lot of color during subsequent washes.
And if your mum is in any way like mine, you can’t argue with these girls, even when your gut wants to take their advice with a grain of salt.
But keeping clothes from fading with salt is not one of the unfounded myths passed down generations. It is a tip that actually works, depending on the kind of fabric and the kind of dye used in the textiles.
So, how do you keep clothes from fading with salt?
How to keep clothes from Fading with Salt
Salt helps your colors and dulls to retain most of their original color (meaning that they might continue to lose color in subsequent washes), which keeps them in pristine condition. But for this to work, you have to treat the garments in salty water while they are still new. Soaking them in salty water after a couple of washes might not work.
Step 1: Combine 1 gallon cold water with ¼ cup regular salt and stir until the salt dissolves completely. Multiply the ingredients by two or three if soaking a large garment or multiple clothing items.
Step 2: Place your garment in the solution and ensure that it is completely submerged.
Step 3: Let the garment sit in the salt water solution for 3 hours or slightly more.
Step 4: Wring the garment and wash it (preferably by hands) in a solution of water and a bit of detergent. Add another ¼ cup of salt into the wash solution.
How to Prevent Jeans from Fading with Salt
One of the common type of clothing to wash in salty water is denim. Denim jeans are made of cotton which is a natural fiber. Natural fibers have a tendency of shedding dye a lot faster than blended fabrics. On the other hand, synthetic fibers hold dye pretty well.
As for denims, they shed color persistently. That being the case, you have to launder them in salty water from the first wash onwards. You can either use regular or epsom salt. To be honest, salt does not completely stop fading. It slows down the process, making your jeans retain a rich color for much longer.
Treat your jeans by combining ¼ cup salt with a gallon of water. Next, soak the jeans and remove it from the solution after 3 hours.
Turn it inside out and wash gently in a solution of cold water, salt and mild detergent. Rinse in cold water and hang to dry under a shade or indoors.
Most importantly, always ensure that you add ¼ cup of salt to the wash solution every time you launder your jeans.
Other Uses of Salt in Laundry
Baking soda and vinegar have one thing in common; they are regular household products that find an array of uses in laundry. But something many do not know, salt is equally useful when it comes to cleaning and maintaining clothing.
Below is a list of ways in which you can use salt to meet a variety of your laundry needs.
Remove sweat stains
Sweat stains are easy to remove but not from all fabrics. If you notice that your garment is discolored or yellowish around the armpit section even after washing, the fabric has developed a stain that you cannot treat with regular laundry detergent.
Simply combine a gallon of warm water with ¼ cup of salt and soak your garment. Let it sit in the solution for 15 minutes then wash as normal.
If your iron’s soleplate has accumulated gunk from burnt fabric fibers, one of the ways to clear the dirt is by using salt.
Spread a ¼ cup of salt on a brown paper or paper towel. Turn the iron to the highest temperature and iron over the salt repeatedly until it sands away the gunk. Turn off the iron and use a damp cloth to wipe off salt residue from the soleplate.
Remove fresh blood stains from clothes
Salt is one of the most reliable stain removal agents for blood stains. Sprinkle enough salt on a raw blood stain and set the garment aside for 3 minutes that wash off the stain under running water.
As for old blood or egg stains, combine ¼ cup salt with a gallon of water and stir until the salt dissolves completely. Next, soak stained clothing inside and let it sit in the solution for 15 minutes then launder as normal.
Remove wine stains
Sprinkle salt on a raw wine stain and set the garment aside for five minutes then wash as normal.
To treat an old red wine stain, prepare a salty water solution by combining a gallon of warm water with a ¼ cup salt. Dissolve the salt completely then soak the garment for 15 minutes. Finish up by washing as normal.
Use salt and lemon to remove salsa stains
Salsa is delicious in the mouth, but a drop on your clothing eventually becomes a problematic stain. A safe way to remove salsa stains by using a combination of salt and lemon juice. Preferably, treat stain as soon as possible or before it dries.
Begin by using a putty knife or spoon to scrap off as much salsa as possible. Next, wet the section under running tap water if the stain is dry. Sprinkle the section with salt and press juice from a ½ lemon on the spot. Set the clothing aside for 10 minutes then wash the stain under running water.
Absorb greasy stains from clothes
A common household cleaner for absorbing greasy stains is baking soda. But did know that you can use salt to accomplish the same purpose? Sprinkle a new grease stain with a generous amount of salt. The particles will absorb the oil before it sets in.
Follow up by washing the spot with dish soap under running water.
Removing mildew stains with salt and vinegar
Use salt and vinegar to prepare a thick paste. Apply the past on mildew spots on your clothing and let the garment sit in the sunlight until you notice that the stains have faded.
Alternatively, combine salt and lemon juice to prepare a similar paste. In a similar manner, apply it on the mildew stains on your garment and expose the spots to direct sunlight until they the fade away.
Finish up by laundering the garment as normal.
Remove odor from trainers
According to HimalayansaltUSA, you can use salt to remove odor from trainers. When you sprinkle salt liberally into the trainers, it absorbs moisture and odors.
In the same way, salt absorbs moisture and bad odor from clothes. Use it to reduce dumpiness and moldy odors from your clothes.
Treat unknown stains
Salt is a good starting point for treating unknown stains because it safe on most fabrics. Use a gallon of warm water and ¼ cup of salt to prepare a solution of salty water.
Soak your garment in the solution for 2 to 3 hours then wash it as normal. If the stains do not disappear, proceed with a different stain removal method.
Use Lemon and Salt to Treat Old Ink Stains
Treat old stubborn ink stains with a combination of lemon juice and salt. Wet the stained section under running water first, then sprinkle it with a generous amount of salt.
Cut a lemon into two halves and use your fingers to press juice from one half directly on the stain. Let the garment sit in the sun for at least 15 minutes then wash the section under running water.