Learning how to do laundry is a right of passage, but it can be more difficult than it appears. If you aren't careful, you may find that some of your most beloved clothing items have been ruined from bleeding colors. New clothes bleed their colors easily, but you can take careful steps to prevent it. Stop new clothes from bleeding and keep all your clothes looking like new with tried-and-true laundry methods and new washing tricks.
Wash new clothes for the first time alone to give the dye a chance to wash out before the garment is mixed with other clothing.
Separate your laundry based on colors. The key to sorting laundry is to separate light from dark clothes and then wash them separately. Dark clothes can bleed onto light clothes.
Wash whites separately. Having an all-whites load keeps whites their brightest and prevents new clothes from bleeding on them. Wash whites in the hottest water the fabric will allow -- check the washing instructions on the tag.
Wash colored clothing in cold water. Clothes are less likely to fade, wrinkle or shrink in cold water than hot water, which loosens fibers and releases dyes. If you have clothes that are extremely soiled or have a strong odor, the Real Simple website advises doing a cool-water prerinse within 20 minutes of wearing the clothing. Cold-water detergent may also be used for extra-soiled clothing.
Turn jeans inside out before washing. Jeans -- especially dark jeans -- are most likely to bleed their dye onto other clothing. If you turn them inside out, they still wash clean but are less likely to bleed onto other clothing.
In the event that colors bleed during washing, do not toss the clothes into the dryer. If the dye has not set, it should come out again in the next wash whether or not you choose to immediately rewash. If whites are stained, rewash the whites with a cup of white vinegar or nonchlorine bleach.
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