wikiHow to Set Colors in Clothes

With regular washings, clothing can become dull and faded. However, this doesn't have to be the case. In fact, it is possible to maintain the bright, vibrant colors often seen in newly purchased-clothing. Understanding how to set colors in clothes will ensure that they will look like new for years to come.


  1. 1
    Prepare the clothes to be washed.
    • Some people prefer to wash newly-purchased clothing before wearing it for the first time. If this sounds like you, remember to remove all of the tags and stickers from the clothes before preparing to wash them. If the clothes have been worn before their first washing, the tags already will have been removed, making this step unnecessary.
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  2. 2
    Adjust the settings on your washing machine.
    • To set the color in your clothes, it is essential that they are washed in water that is as cold as possible. Adjust the water temperature settings on your machine before placing the clothing inside it. If you are especially concerned about the clothing, consider turning off the water heater for the time being. This will ensure that the water is very cold.
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  3. 3
    Place the clothing in the washing machine.
    • During the first washing of new clothes, they should be washed either alone or with other clothing that is of a very similar color.
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  4. 4
    Add salt to the washing machine.
    • In food, salt acts as a preservative, extending the shelf life of many products. Similarly, when used correctly, salt can maintain vibrant colors in clothes. Add 1/4 of a cup of iodized salt to the washing machine, directly on top of the clothing.
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  5. 5
    Run the washing machine.
    • Consider using a gentle to medium speed setting on the washing machine during this first bout of washing.
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  6. 6
    Dry the clothes.
    • As discussed above, heat is notorious for leaching color from clothing. Because of this, it is important that clothes are dried without the use of excessive heat. Air dry your clothes as much as possible, either by placing them on a drying rack, clothesline, or simply by hanging them on a shower curtain. If you must use a dryer, put the setting on tumble dry. This will limit the amount of heat to which your clothing is exposed. Then hang the clothing immediately when the dryer finishes the cycle.
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  • If you are especially concerned about a particular piece of clothing, you may want to have the item dry cleaned. While many people only dry clean silk, wool, and other similar items which cannot be washed in traditional methods, it is also possible to dry clean cotton, denim, and other similar products. Talk with the manager at the dry cleaning facility you frequent. Make sure that he or she is aware of the importance of maintaining the color in the product being cleaned.

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Categories: Laundry