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How To Wash Striped Clothing

Crisp, nautical stripes are a classic wardrobe staple, and the fear of color bleeding during the wash cycle is also a classic fear. Earn your stripes with our definitive, foolproof washing guide.

A white box with a navy and white pinstriped clothing item and a white notecard inside.

Step 1: Test for Color Bleeding

Find an inconspicuous area on your striped clothing, such as a seam or hem, and dip it in warm water. If you are not able to submerge a part of the item in water, you can do a “spot test.” To spot test, wet a clean, lint-free cloth and blot the item. If dye releases into the water or onto the cloth, you’ll know that, if washed, there would be bleeding onto the other areas of the fabric.

If there is significant dye release, you may want to take it to the dry cleaner to prevent color bleeding. If there is minimal dye release and it's the first time you are washing an item, you should wash the item alone.

Step 2: Pretreat Stains

For old and new stains - including makeup, grease, and food - on washable striped clothes, pre-treat with our Stain Solution. Use our Stain Brush or your finger to blend the solution before washing.

Step 3: Handwash

If this your first time washing a delicate striped garment, we recommend handwashing. Fill a basin or sink with cool water to help prevent excess color bleeding. Add Delicate Wash and agitate the water to dissolve the detergent. Let soak 30 minutes, then thoroughly rinse before air drying.

A washing machine being adjusted to the delicates setting.

Step 4: Or Machine Wash

Sort your stripes depending on the primary color in the garment—for example, for a navy and white striped shirt with thicker navy stripes, wash with a load of colors. If the colors are even, then take your pick of piles. Select a detergent to help maintain vibrancy, like Darks Detergent.

Machine wash on cool with an extra rinse spin cycle, if possible. If it’s your first time washing an item, we suggest washing it by itself.

Step 5: Dry

Hang or machine dry according to fabric type.