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How To Keep Colorful Clothes Bright | The Laundress

Enjoy beautifully brighter colors and richer darks every time you wash with our brilliance boosting, color preserving tricks that stop clothes from fading. Brighter clothes (and days!) are ahead with these bright tricks.

Sort it Out

Sort laundry before washing, grouping colors in one pile to be washed together. Lots of items in a laundry basket are likely to have a pattern (stripes, plaids, polka dots, and/or florals) containing more than one color. Sort each patterned item based on the color in the majority. If the colors are even, then take your pick of piles.


Look out for vibrant-colored items! If the item is one solid color, the sure way to know it will bleed is to wash it alone, by hand. For vibrant, patterned items, first test to see if any of the colors bleed when wet. If so, don't wash it. For more information regarding fabric testing, refer to our comprehensive testing guide.

Single Out Stains

Use Stain Solution or Wash & Stain Bar to pretreat any soiled or discolored areas of the garment. The Stain Solution best removes tannin stains or stains that are rich in color. The Wash & Stain Bar is ideal for treating grease and oil-based messes. Both are color-safe.to pretreat any soiled or discolored areas of the garment. Stain Solution best removes tannin stains or stains that are rich in color. The Wash & Stain Bar is ideal for treating grease and oil-based messes. Both are color-safe, and can be used on all fabrics including silk and wool. Note, to prevent dye loss, avoid leaving the pre-treatment on the fabric for longer than 30 minutes. Always follow up with a wash or wipe away with a damp Lint-Free Cleaning Cloths.

Come Clean (and Colorful) in the Machine

For everyday cotton, linen, and durable synthetic fabrics, launder with Darks Detergent, specially formulated with color guard and enzymes that preserve color and remove lint and build up from fibers. Opt for a warm or cold water temperature and turn items inside out to protect color. For heavy duty fabrics in lighter, brighter colors and patterns that are extra dingy, revive them using the power of our oxygen-based All-Purpose Bleach Alternative Add 1-2 capfuls of the All-Purpose Bleach Alternative beads into the drum along with your detergent, and select a hot wash temperature. This oxygen bleach is safe on colors and can be used on cotton, linen, and durable synthetic fabrics that can tolerate a hot water wash. Do not use on silk, woolens, or leather, and avoid use on very dark, heavily dyed fabrics.

Ditch the Dryer

Most color fading occurs in the dryer so we recommend machine drying only when necessary. As high heat can discolor fabrics over time, always set your dryer to the lowest heat setting when using. Line drying is the best method for color preservation - and helps maintain the elasticity, shape, and integrity of your garment too!

Keep It Fresh

Clean your washing machine monthly to protect clothing from color-dulling machine build up, lime scale, and rust. First, empty your machine. Then, add ½ cup Scented Vinegar and 2 capfuls of All-Purpose Bleach Alternative to the machine dispenser and run your machine with hot water for a long load. Wipe down your fabric softener and bleach dispensers with a wet cloth or by spritzing with Surface Cleaner, and run a second load with just hot water to finish.


NOTE: All-Purpose Bleach Alternative should be added directly to the machine drum or detergent dispenser. Never add it to your machine’s bleach dispenser.


Clearing out the dryer lint trap before every cycle will also help prevent colors from becoming dull. A clean lint screen will reduce drying time, remove lint from your garments more effectively and prevent extra build-up on clean laundry. Dryer drums collect a lot of lint too and we recommend wiping down once a month with a Lint-Free Cleaning Cloth and Surface Cleaner.


Finally, going longer between washes will help protect the integrity of your colorful or dark clothes. In between washes and wears, spritz with Fabric Fresh Classic to remove odors and add a crisp, laundry-fresh scent. A quick steam will also whisk away odors and wrinkles!

The Laundress Product of Perfection

While other bleaches are made with hydrogen peroxide and contain blue dye, the All-Purpose Bleach Alternative is a 100% sodium percarbonate, chlorine-free oxygen bleach that has no artificial dye and is color safe. It also features beads that activate on contact making it more effective than liquid bleaches, which are pre-activated in packaging. Do not use on silk, wool, or leather.