How to Prevent Bleeding and Fading in the Washing Machine

Nothing is quite as frustrating as seeing your favorite white blouse turned pink by something that faded in the washing machine. Just as aggravating is finding colors in what was once a bright-colored shirt, bleeding into each other, or finding clothes that once looked new, faded and washed out. Here are some tips to help keep your favorite garments looking new.

  • To prevent bleeding, pre-soak your bright colored clothing for 24 hours prior to washing in a solution of 1 cup of white vinegar mixed in 1 quart of water. This will help set the colors into the material.
  • To help prevent fading, pre-test a bright-colored garment in cold water in a bucket before putting it in the washing machine. If it fades, try pre-soaking it with the vinegar solution. If it still fades, you should wash it by hand in cold water.
  • After pre-testing, if colors do not fade, wash like colors together in cold water with a mild laundry detergent.
  • Wash white clothes separately from colored clothes.
  • Add 1 or 2 cups of white vinegar along with your laundry detergent to each load in your washing machine, to help keep all your clothes brighter. White vinegar also acts as a natural fabric softener.
  • Line-dry if possible. Dryers tend to fade clothes faster.