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How to wash your coloured clothes

Clothestip | 6 minute read |

Washing coloured clothes can sometimes seem a bit tricky, especially when you're unsure about the dos and don'ts. The vibrant shades add a lively spark to our wardrobes, but they also require a little extra care to maintain their bright appearance.


In this guide, we'll navigate through the simple steps to keep your coloured garments looking fresh, even after numerous washes, and address the common question: 'what colours can you wash together?' to simplify your laundry routine.


Why you shouldn’t wash colours and whites together

Wash coloured clothes

Combining colours and whites may seem like a time-saver, but it's a practice best avoided. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Colour bleeding: Colour bleeding is the most common issue. When mixed, the dye from coloured clothes can transfer to whites, leaving them discoloured.
  2. Fabric damage: Different fabrics have distinct care needs. Mixing them can result in damage or unwanted stretching, affecting the longevity of your garments.
  3. Detergent effectiveness: Detergents work optimally at specific temperatures. Whites and colours often require different settings, which could affect the effectiveness of your wash.


If pressed for time, a cold wash cycle might be a safer bet to prevent colour transfer, although it's not a foolproof solution.


It’s not only true for coloured clothes but also for washing dark clothes and washing jeans.


Causes of clothes fading when washed in a washing machine

Here are the main factors that cause your clothes to fade when you wash them:

  • Hot water: Hot water can easily cause the dye to peel off the fabric, leading to quick fading.
  • Bleach: Bleach, especially the type that is not specifically designed for colored clothes, can fade clothes, especially dark or colored ones.
  • Detergent with strong bleach: Some detergents contain strong bleach that helps to effectively clean stains, but can also fade and thin the fabric.
  • Over-spinning: The strong spinning cycle in the washing machine can fade and damage the fabric.


Steps for washing coloured clothes

Wash coloured clothes

To ensure your vibrant garments remain colourful and fade-free, we've outlined a series of essential steps to help guide you. By following these carefully curated guidelines, you'll not only preserve the vibrancy of your coloured clothing but also extend their longevity.

Step 1: Check labels

Care labels provide crucial information on how to wash each garment without causing damage. They indicate the maximum temperature, washing cycle, and whether or not the item can be tumble dried.

Step 2: Sort clothing

As mentioned, it isn't advisable to wash colours and whites together because of the risk of colour bleeding, therefore, sorting clothes into different loads based on colour is crucial. Separating whites, darks, and bright colours will help maintain the integrity of each garment's colour and prevent any colour transfer during washing.

Step 3: Pretreat clothes

Before you even begin to wash your clothes, it's also important to pretreat them. This process involves applying a stain remover to specific spots or stains before starting the washing machine. Pretreating is essential for effectively removing stubborn stains and ensuring that your clothes come out of the wash looking clean and fresh.

Step 4: Load the washer

Overloading the washer can result in clothes not being cleaned properly. Ensure there's enough space for clothes to move freely.

Step 5: Add the right amount of detergent

Ensuring that you use the correct amount of detergent is essential for achieving clean clothes without any unwanted residue. Too much detergent can lead to a soapy buildup on your garments, which not only attracts dirt but can also make your clothes appear dull and dingy.

Step 6: Set water temperature

Opting for a cold or lukewarm water setting is generally a safe choice for coloured garments as it effectively cleans your clothes while minimising the stress on the fabric's dyes, ensuring your colours remain vibrant for longer.

Step 7: Set cycle type

A gentle or regular cycle is usually suitable for coloured garments. These cycles offer effective cleaning while being gentle on the fabric. Avoid using overly harsh cycles, such as heavy-duty or prolonged washes, as they can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your clothes.

Here is a guide on how to choose the right washing machine program.

Step 8: Dry with low heat

After washing, how you dry your coloured clothes is equally important. High heat can have adverse effects, causing clothes to shrink and colours to fade. Opt for drying them on a low heat setting in your dryer or, even better, consider air-drying.


Tips to prevent your clothes from fading

In addition to following the steps above, you can refer to the following methods to keep your clothes looking vibrant:

  • Wash clothes with cold or warm water (below 30°C).
  • Use color-safe bleach or natural alternatives like vinegar, lemon, or baking soda.
  • Choose a detergent specifically designed for colored clothes.
  • Soak newly bought colored clothes in vinegar and cold water before washing. This solution helps to lock in the color of the fabric and prevent color bleeding and fading in subsequent washes.


Keep the colour in your life with Electrolux washing machines


Wash coloured clothes


Caring for your coloured clothes is easier if you choose the right washing machine. Electrolux offers a range of washing machines that are not only efficient but also designed to protect the vibrancy of your coloured garments.


Here are some features you can find in Electrolux washing machines:

Customised wash cycles

Electrolux washing machines often come with a variety of wash cycles, including those specifically tailored for coloured clothes. These cycles use gentle agitation and lower water temperatures to prevent colour fading while ensuring thorough cleaning.

Smart dosing

Electrolux's smart dosing technology ensures you use the right amount of detergent for every load. This helps prevent detergent buildup and keeps your coloured clothes free from residue, maintaining their brightness.

Efficient energy usage

Electrolux washing machines are known for their water efficiency. They use just the right amount of water to clean your clothes effectively, reducing the environmental impact and saving you money on your water bill.


It's especially more effective when combining Electrolux washing machine and these practical tips to save electricity when using washing machine.


Frequently asked questions on washing coloured clothes in the washing machine

  • Can I use any detergent for colored clothes?
    While most detergents are suitable for coloured clothes, it's important to choose one that is specifically designed for the type of washing machine you use (e.g., high-efficiency or standard).

    Additionally, always follow the detergent manufacturer's recommendations for the correct amount to avoid residue buildup on your coloured garments.
  • Should I dry coloured clothes in the sun?
    While sunlight can help freshen and disinfect clothes, excessive exposure to direct sunlight can cause colours to fade over time. If you choose to sun-dry your coloured clothes, do so briefly and avoid leaving them out for extended periods.

    Alternatively, consider shade drying or using an indoor drying rack to preserve the vibrancy of your colours.
  • Can I use bleach on coloured clothes?

    Using bleach on coloured clothes is not recommended, as it can lead to colour fading and damage the fabric. Instead, use colour-safe or oxygen bleach sparingly, following the product's instructions.

    Alternatively, opt for stain removers designed for coloured fabrics to address specific stains without affecting the overall colour.

    How about white clothes? Here are some tips and guides to make your white shirt white again.

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