Question about Laundry, how do I keep colors from fading?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Oilpatch197, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    700
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    SouthEastern Illinois
    I wash my clothes with Tide and warm water on rinse I use cold water, then put them in the dryer with a fabric softner sheet and set on medium heat, my Charcoal work shirts are fading. What causes colors to fade and is there a better way to wash clothes?
     
  2. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate Supporter

    Messages:
    44,802
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    I think they will fade less if you turn them inside out before washing.

    Angie
     

  3. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    700
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    SouthEastern Illinois
    Good Idea, will color safe bleach help?
     
  4. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate Supporter

    Messages:
    44,802
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    I wouldn't use bleach, by I would use OxyClean..

    Angie
     
  5. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

    Messages:
    7,456
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Turtle Island/Yelm, WA "Land of the Dancing Spirit
    HI! Detergents have "brighteners" in them that will eventually dull colors. Dryers are hard on clothes, they beat them up, rough up the surface of the fabric so it appears dull. You can get a laundry soap that is truly soap and use that(or use mild shampoo for wool blends and superwash wools--just a tad). You said your work shirts were fading--how dirty do they get? Like just sweaty or greasy and muddy? You can help preserve the dye in new shirts by washing them with vinegar first, I just go glub glub glub like in a medium wash. Turn the shirts inside out to wash and hang up your shirts to dry(I think hanging to dry makes the biggest difference).
    The other reason colors fade is that it's just cheap dye and fabric. Look for "yarn dyed". Hope that helps!!

    FOrgot to say that soaking in dish liquid or pretreating a greasy spot with straight dish liquid and letting set overnite(for hydraulic fluid for instance:)) will get rid of greasy stuff--dont' let a grease stain go through the dryer.

    Borax is great for giving detergent or soap a boost in "scrubbing action" if you have hard water.

    Probably more than you wanted to know. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    700
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    SouthEastern Illinois
    Okay can you recommend a soap for clothes washing? I am afraid I cannot clothes line dry.

    The clothes rarely get dirty, just need refreshing. These are 100% cotton T-shirts


    I was using Ultra PLUS, with 1/2 cup of Super Washing soda, a natural soap booster(I got hard water)
     
  7. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

    Messages:
    1,588
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    I use vinegar in place of fabric softener but I think it also has the added benefit of helping to "set" the color.

    Does anyone know whether this is true or just an old wives tale?

    /VM
     
  8. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,283
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    If you have an upmarket appliance place near you, you might be able to get Persil dark - a German laundry detergent for dark clothes. Really does make a difference. Don't a couple of American companies make these now?
     
  9. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Location:
    Effingham, Illinois 5b
    My mom always washed my new colored t-shirts in salt water before I ever wore them and let them line dry. It seemed to work, instructions that came with a new Cub Scout yellow t-shirt said to do it that way and it worked. Alot of the above hints are also good.
     
  10. straight shot

    straight shot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    224
    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    I use ERA regular on hubbys work clothes. I found that Tide would fade them rather quickly. I also don't use the recomended amount, only 1/2 cup per large load. Dry them on Med heat.
     
  11. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,376
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2003
    Cold water helps, and I find that washing soda does speed fading. With hard water, a little extra detergent will work better. Some stuff is just gonna fade no matter what you do. (I've never found soap to fade stuff less than detergent.) You might try a detergent just for dark colors.
     
  12. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,553
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    You might want to "renew" you work shirts by redying them with Rites...if you're up to that ... it's a lot cheapers then buying new clothes. Follow the directions to the letter.

    When you do get new ones - the less cotton the less fade.

    Hugs
    marlene
     
  13. newatthis

    newatthis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    383
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    I wash mostly in cold water.
    (my thinking is you take out mustard and blood stains with cold water, why not just wash in cold.) It does work for us plus it is cheaper as our water heater doesn't have to warm up.
     
  14. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,750
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    I agree, I wash everything on cold (except towels which I do in warm). But, all my shirts get washed in cold with Purex. I think this will be the last laundry detergent I buy though until I at least try home made. I also line dry everything. I've found that clothes hanging on plastic hangars dry just fine too when it's rainy out. Could you try that? slide the shower curtain over and hang your work shirts on plastic hangars and just see how it comes out.
     
  15. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,725
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Ok, here's my take on the subject.

    1. when clothes are new, turn them inside out then soak them overnight in warm salt water. That sets the dye so they won't fade so easy.

    2. Soap does not totally rinse out of clothes, it forms a film on them and makes them look faded when they aren't. Once a month when you do laundry, don't use soap at all. Put a cup of white vinegar in the wash cycle. After the agitator runs a few minutes, open the lid and you'll probably see lots of suds. If they still look faded after doing this, then they are truly faded and you won't get the bright color back.

    3. Never use dryer sheets. They cause a build up of oil in the lint trap and eventually can cause a fire in the dryer. If they cause oil to build up in the lint trap, I wonder what they are putting on the clothes? Get one of those downy balls and use liquid fabric softener, or better yet, use vinegar in every rinse cycle in place of fabric softener.

    DD used to work in a laundry and used this method. She got lots of repete customers cause their clothes looked soooo nice. LOL Also, she never used shout or any of the pretreaters. She used some stuff that she got at the dollar store called M80 hand cleaner (will even take out stains that are set in and gets out baby formula!). One little container that costs a dollar will last for several months. Shhhhhh, DD would strangle me if she knew I was giving away her secrets!

    Delicate fabrics should never be completely dried in the dryer. Take them out when slightly damp and finish drying them on a plastic hanger.

    Never dry any clothing with elastic in it. Heat breaks down the elasticity and they won't snap back into shape like they used to.

    edited to add: She also told me to use only fragrance free laundry soaps. The scents they add can dull colors & irratate your skin.
     
  16. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    700
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    SouthEastern Illinois
    I was told to NEVER use fabric softner in the washer, it gums up your pump with softener crud.

    Now What are the doses/and type of vinegar do I use, will white vinegar be Okay at a cup in the rinse water? :shrug:

    and do I pour in the vinegar into the "liquid bleach" spout on the washer, or directly into the wash water?
     
  17. largentdepoche

    largentdepoche Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,750
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Ditto, never use a ton of softner.

    MIL has dementia and would pour 1/4 of a bottle (I mean a BIG bottle) per load of clothes. It molded our washer from the inside out, it was disgusting.

    I water down my softner so it's half water half softner.

    I don't know where to put the vinegar since our machines are different.

    Kat
     
  18. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,725
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    I use one of those nifty little downy balls and fill it with vinegar, then drop it in the washer at the beginning of the wash cycle. It opens at the proper time for the rinse cycle. If you don't have the ball, then yes put a cup of vinegar directly in the rinse water after the machine fills (I use the ball cause I always missed catching the rinse cycle and would have to waste water repeting the cycle).

    I wouldn't put the vinegar in the bleach dispenser, just pour it in the water. After using the vinegar on a few loads, try decreasing down to about 1/2 cup per load. Be sure to use WHITE vinegar. Cider vinegar is for food, white vinegar is for cleaning. Remember to check the water when using the vinegar. You might have to rinse again if the vinegar cleans a lot of soap film out of the clothes. The first time I used vinegar in the rinse cycle I had to rinse 3 times to get all the soap out of the clothes (using vinegar with each rinse). They had a large soap buildup in them and looked like new again after getting all the soap film off.
     
  19. deb

    deb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,649
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Location:
    WI
    Most detergents have whiteners in them so every time you wash your work shirts you are "brightening"/fading them. Since your work shirts are charcoal, then I would definitely wash them in a detergent made for dark colors. Consumer Reports tested a couple of the dark color detergents and found them to clean clothes well while preserving the fabric color.

    deb
    in wi
     
  20. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    16,352
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I wear a lot of dark clothes and have found that it's best to wash them in cold water, inside out. I use a dark colors detergent but only use a mere fraction of the recomended amount on the gentlest cycle possible. I avoid the dryer at all costs and have found that it's not as hard as one would think. Hang your clothes on a hanger on the shower rod or over the back of a chair and they dry quite quickly. If the clothes are cotton and you have no static cling issues, don't use a fabric softener. If you wear a lot of sweaters, and have static problems, just use a spray on static guard product as needed. If your clothes are basically clean, there is no need for warm water nor is there a need for a lot of detergent. I don't wash without detergent but I do have an additional rinse cycle on my washer and use that to be sure the small amount of detergent residue doesn't remain on my clothes. I have absolutely no fading issues on my dark clothes. I was just clearing out my closet of clothes that no longer fit and had to look at the tag on a pair of dress slacks to be sure I was not sending the womens shelter the brand new pair that was considerably smaller than the pair I bought 2 years ago. Avoiding the dryer, prevents that worn flimsy look and appropriate type detergents in small doses prevents fading. Cold water saves money and keeps the fibers fresh without fading.