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How to wash colored clothes

It’s tempting to think that throwing all your clothes in the washing machine together will save time. But committing this cardinal sin of not sorting your laundry into whites, lights, and darks might end up costing you. Over time, your favorite shirts won’t be as bright as they were when you first bought them. The main culprits here are bleeding and fading. What can you do to keep your colored clothes looking their best? Let’s go over how to wash colored laundry, step by step.

How to color sort laundry

Sorting your laundry correctly can dramatically prolong the life of your colored clothes. After sorting out the delicates that need to be washed by hand or on gentle cycles, sort the remaining laundry by color: whites, lights, and darks. While it’s easy to determine which items are white, sorting lights and darks can be a bit trickier. “Lights” are those colored light gray, pastel, or are white with patterns. “Darks” are black, navy, red, brown, and dark gray.

Choosing the right wash cycle and temperature to wash colored clothes

Once you’ve sorted your colors, it’s time to select the right wash cycle. Check the garment care label symbols for instructions. Most of your everyday clothes should be washed on the permanent press cycle. Generally, the “regular” cycle is to be reserved for heavier items like towels.

As for temperature, wash light colored clothes in warm or cold water and dark colored clothes in cold. This is to reduce the likelihood of your darks “bleeding,” which happens when the dye used on your garments isn’t stable or deep enough in the fibers. Reds especially are more prone to bleeding in warmer water temperatures. Opting for colder washing temperatures also prevents colored clothes from fading. Understanding the right washing temperature for colored clothes will give longer lasting life to your favorite garments.

How to do color laundry: Step by step

  1. Sort your colors into light and dark piles.
  2. Add a pile to the washing machine drum.
  3. Add your favorite Persil® laundry detergent to the dispenser, or throw a pre-measured Disc™ into the drum. Check the package instructions for the correct dosage according to how large the load is and how dirty the clothes are.
  4. Select the correct washing cycle and temperature. Generally, lights can be washed on either warm or cold, and darks on cold.
  5. Dry your garments according to the care instructions. Those that can be tumble-dried should be dried on low heat.

Tips on how to brighten colored clothes

  • Opt for colder temperatures.
  • Do not tumble dry on high heat.
  • Choose a brightening detergent like those offered by Persil®. Persil® Intense Fresh Scent liquid detergent keeps your colors bright, and provides a deep clean without fading. 

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