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Clothing Care Tips

Style SOS: How do I keep black clothes black?

Style SOS: How do I keep black clothes black?

My favourite black clothes keep fading. How can I keep this from happening? - John, via Instagram

Your black clothes are often the edgiest pieces in your wardrobe, so they should be the most immune to fading, right? Unfortunately no, as you’ve learned the hard way – even the most badass essentials can get duller with time. Luckily, you don’t have to sit back and watch your darkest staples turn charcoal in colour. Read on for a few simple tricks you can use to keep your favourite black pieces in your wardrobe rotation for longer. 

1. Keep them out of the sun

Exposing your clothes to natural light is a sure-fire way to make them fade, so keep them inside on sunny days (your body temperature will also thank you). 

2. Read the garment label 

You might be missing specific washing requirements that are causing your dark clothing to prematurely fade. 

3. Turn your clothes inside out

This will prevent the fabric from rubbing against other pieces or having direct contact with a detergent that could strip the garment of its colour. 

4. Pick your detergent wisely

There are specific detergents formulated to use with black fabrics, so keep an eye out for bottles labelled for darks. If you do stick with your regular detergent, make sure to use a smaller dose than usual to avoid overworking the pieces. 

5. Shorten your cycles 

The shorter the wash time, the less likely your clothes are to fade. Also, avoid the temptation to wash every time you wear your clothes for the same reason. 

6. Opt for cold water

Washing your clothing in cold water helps prevent fibres from breaking down and losing colour (plus it’s more eco-friendly). 

7. Avoid the dryer 

Heat also speeds up the colour fading process, so try to hang dry your clothes instead. It’ll prevent them from shrinking as well. Win-win. 

8. Reach for the salt shaker

A couple of tablespoons of salt will protect your black clothes from fading. Why? The chloride in it helps preserve the colour. Adding vinegar directly into the machine has a similar effect, plus it will soften your clothes. 


Words: Allison Pavlick
Illustration: Ryan Gillett