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How to Set Fabric Dye in Clothes

How to Naturally Colorfast Your Clothes For Longer Life

You just bought the most colorful shirt and aren't sure if it's going to hold its vibrant hue in the wash. Instead of worrying if the color is going to fade — and change the shade of all the other clothes in the load — colorfast your clothes, locking in that bright shade. And the process is so simple and doesn't use any harsh chemicals that might damage fabrics, so it's perfect for using on cotton clothes, fluffy towels, linens, and even natural-fiber rugs. Here's what to do.

  1. Thoroughly clean a large mixing bowl or cleaning bucket, and then fill it with one gallon of fresh, clean water. Add one-fourth cup table salt and one cup vinegar. The vinegar and salt work together to naturally lock the color into the fabric. Give the water a swish to make sure the salt and vinegar are distributed evenly.

  1. Add the garment to the water, and press it into the water until it's fully saturated. That's it! Let the fabric soak in the water for 24 hours to ensure the color is completely set. You might notice a bit of color in the water, but that's OK.

  1. Remove the item, dump the water and rinse the container, and fill it with fresh water. Add the fabric back to the container and gently squish and swirl it, refreshing it with clean water. If you still see color releasing from the fabric, repeat a soaking in the vinegar saltwater.
  2. Let the fabric fully dry, and your item will hold its color the next time it's tossed in the wash.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sarah Lipoff
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