Every closet is incomplete without black clothes unless you are Lisa Rae. Think of the little black dress that makes you look so chic, or the black suits that give you credit for the best dressed employee in your firm every time you don them, or even the casual pair of black jeans. Bottom-line, all these pieces are timeless, and you can wear them year in year out with confidence.
But black clothes are sensitive and require ultimate TLC. Most of them bleed and fade easily, but this can also depend on how you wash and care for them. In this article, I outline a step by step guide for how to wash black clothes properly to minimize wear and tear.
To start with, let’s dive into the caring tips.
How to Care for Black Clothes
Your black clothes may be made to last, but if you do not take ultimate care for them, they will fade quickly, develop lint, and before you know it, they will not be in wearable condition.
There are several things you can do to make the last longer, while still looking as good as new.
Do not Wash after Every Wear
The good thing about black clothes is that you do not have to wash them after every wear. Of course this does not apply to every black clothing. But some like denim can even go up to five wears before you decide to toss them into the washer.
Remember that black clothes shed a little color every time you wash them. This creates the need to care for them in ways other than washing.
Keep them Inside Out
Clothes begin to wear out the moment you buy and put them on for the first time. It does not matter whether you wear them to a rough hiking trip or a high-end dinner. Every chance a piece of clothing gets on the body is an opportunity to come into contact with body oils, sweat and probably dirt, dust and stains from the surroundings.
As for black clothes, even mere exposure to sunlight is a problem. You might have an idea that the sun has a mild bleaching effect that makes whites whiter. Well, it also makes your blacks brighter, and I do not think that’s something to look forward to.
Once you remove your black clothes, turn them inside out to ensure that the wearable side does not come into contact with the gleams of sunshine that sneak into your bedroom and clothes rack every summer morning or evening.
Keeping clothes inside out also protects the wearable side from collecting small invisible dirt and dust particles.
Sort Clothes Properly When Washing
When it comes picking lint, black clothing does the most. Some people argue that it doesn’t. But the black background provides the most contrast for brightly colored lint balls, giving them the pop they need to stand out.
Whatsoever the case, you want your clothes to remain pill free for as long as possible, and the fabric fibers to stay intact. A reliable way to achieve this is by sorting clothes properly when washing.
First off, begin by separating your blacks from lights and whites. Secondly, sort by fabric. Some rough fabrics have abrasive properties and can pull threads from softer fabrics.
Cover your Clothes with Transparent Plastic Bags
Plastic storage bags are a quick solution for protecting your black clothes from all manner of dirt. When seasons change and you have to wait for the next few months to wear your favorite black dress, do not allow it to become a safe haven for all sorts of clingy dirt.
Cover the clothing nicely with transparent plastic bags like the ones you see at the dry cleaners. I would recommend HANGERWORLD plastic garment bags. They will save you the trouble of washing your nice, pricy blacks unnecessarily.
Having said that, plastic bags are a temporary solution especially if your room or closet is poorly ventilated. Humid rooms with little fresh air provide a perfect breeding ground for molds and mildew. Clothes made from natural fibers can also become permanently discolored.
Wipe Stains Promptly
You cannot completely stay away from pesky accidents that leave your clothes marred with stains. When they happen, do not wait until a stain dries up.
Wipe it and rinse off thoroughly. Further, avoid using stain removers that claim to brighten and lighten stains. They mostly contain bleaching or oxidizing agents that can cause fading on the sections you apply them.
If you allow a stain to dry and get absorbed into the fabric fibers, you might also end up washing your clothing prematurely.
When it comes to blacks, spare yourself the trouble of ironing unless the wrinkles on the clothing look bloody awful. Ironing has its advantages, the main being making your clothes look crisp and neat. On the other hand, the heat can quickly damage the appearance of your blacks.
Instead of ironing, reduce wrinkling by straightening clothes with hands when hanging on a clothesline to dry. Additionally, ensure that you hang clothes on hangers immediately after drying them. Do not keep them crumpled up.
How to Wash Black Clothes in a Washer
A washer offers you a quick solution for your dirty laundry. That said, you must know how and when to use it, to avoid ruining your clothes. As for black clothes, you do not just throw them into the drum and run a normal cycle. You have to follow best practices to keep your clothes looking good for a long time.
Step 1: Sort Laundry
One of the reasons your blacks have white lint balls and your whites look dingily is because you still think that laundry sorting is a joke. Separating laundry is not only important but necessary. It helps preserve your clothes in their original condition.
Separate blacks from whites and colors, then sort blacks by fabric. Wash heavy fabrics such as towels separately because they leave fuzz on lighter fabrics, and they can also be abrasive.
Step 2: Check the Care Label
The care tag on your clothes is important. It tells you how to handle your garments. The detergent to use, the washing method, how to dry, and whether to iron or not. Check the care label and determine how to handle the different blacks in your laundry basket. Machine wash only the ones that should be machine washed.
Step 3: Turn the Garments Inside Out
Black clothes are best washed inside out. This allows you to preserve their colors and the integrity of the fabric. Turn each piece inside out and ensure that you empty the pockets as well. Place the most delicate items in a laundry mesh bag before placing them into the drum.
Step 4: Add Detergent for Blacks into the Washer
Don’t just grab your regular detergent and pour it into the laundry detergent compartment. You’ve got to do things differently if you want to enjoy the newness of your black clothing much longer.
Get yourself a reputable brand of laundry detergent for blacks and let it do the magic for you. In this case, Woolite All Darks comes highly recommended. If you do not have laundry detergent for darks, use a very little amount of regular detergent.
Step 5: Place your Clothes in the Washer
How you carry out this step should depend on the kind of machine that you own. If you have a front loader, go ahead and place your clothes in the machine and wash on cold. If using a top loader, run the machine for a few seconds to mix the detergent with water before placing your dirty clothes in the drum.
Wash your blacks on the shortest cycle and use the extra rinse cycle to rinse off the detergent properly.
Step 6: Hang to Dry
The best way to dry blacks is by line drying them on a clothesline. However, not all fabrics are good for the hanging. Lay stretchy fabrics to dry flat on a clothes rack or table.
Bear in mind that darks should still be turned inside out when drying. Exposing the outer side to sunlight speeds up fading. You can further preserve your clothes by drying them under a shade.
Drying blacks in a tumble dryer is not recommended. Choose the lowest heat setting if you have no choice but to use it.
Step 7: Store in Hangers
After your black clothes have dried, use hangers to arrange them nicely in your closet. This minimizes wrinkling resulting to minimal ironing.
How to Hand Wash Black Clothes
It is not a must that you use a machine to wash black clothes. You can wash most of them by hand, and in fact, some should only be hand washed.
Step 1: Fill a bathtub or wash basin with cold water and add laundry detergent for darks.
Step 2: Place your clothes inside and ensure that they are completely submerged.
Step 3: Wash each piece gently with hands.
Step 4: Drain the water and fill the tub or basin with cold water.
Step 5: Rinse the garments repeatedly until you remove the soapy residue completely.
Step 6: Wring gently to avoid introducing wrinkles into the garments and hang to dry. Preferably, hang under a shade or indoors to prevent fading.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to Wash Black Clothes?
You can machine wash or hand wash black clothes depending on the instructions given in the care tag. That said, there are important tips to follow for both methods to avoid ruining your darks. For starters, separate black clothes from whites and colors then turn them inside out. Use cold water and make sure your chose a laundry detergent for darks. Wash gently on cold. Choose a quick cycle if using a washing machine. Lastly, hang your black clothing to dry because heat from the dryer accelerates fading.
How do you keep black clothes from fading?
There is no one single thing that you can do to keep black clothes from fading. You have invest in consistent effort when caring and washing your blacks. Some of the best practices include minimizing the instances of washing, washing in cold water and using laundry detergent for darks, hanging to dry indoors or under the shade instead of tumble drying, minimizing ironing and turning the garments inside out when washing and drying.
Do you wash black clothes in hot or cold water?
Always wash black clothing in cold water. Hot water causes bleeding and fading, and it can also cause permanent wrinkles on some fabrics.
Should you wash black clothes?
You should wash black clothes but try to minimize the times you wash them as much as possible. Black clothes experience a bit of wear every time you wash them. This does not always manifest with fading or color bleeding. The fabric ages gradually and you only begin to notice after some time. This is why you have to wash black clothes only when it is absolutely necessary.
What does vinegar do to black clothes?
Add vinegar to the rinse cycle of your darks so that it can act as a fabric softener. Vinegar softens your darks to the touch, and it also removes excess soap and deodorizes your clothes.
Can you wash black and grey together?
It is safe to wash black and grey clothes together. Both are darks and have commonalities in terms of sharing detergent and cold water settings.
Why do black clothes come out of the washer with white marks?
The white marks you see on black clothes from the washer are laundry detergent streaks. Correct this problem by ensuring that you do not pour detergent directly on your clothes. Another thing you can do is to clean the detergent compartment on your washer so that it can dispense soap properly. Lastly, allow your machine to agitate for a few seconds so that soap and water can mix properly if using a top loader.
Why do my black clothes have lint after washing?
Your black clothes have lint after washing as a result of abrasion. Some heavy fabrics can be rough on softer fabrics thus pulling little threads from the fabric fibers. Besides sorting laundry by color, you should also sort by fabric. While some fabrics act as abrasives, others such as towels release fibers that get trapped as lint balls by other fabrics.
Can I wash white with black?
You should not wash whites with blacks because laundering them together makes white clothing become dingily. Further, white clothes and black clothes do not share detergent. You might need to use detergents with bleaching agents for whites, while blacks go well with laundry detergent for darks.