You just bought the most colourful shirt and aren't sure if it's going to hold its vibrant hue in the wash. Instead of worrying if the colour is going to fade — and change the shade of all the other clothes in the load — colourfast 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-fibre rugs. Here's what to do.
- Thoroughly clean a large mixing bowl or cleaning bucket, and then fill it with 4.5 litres of fresh, clean water. Add 75 grams table salt and 240 ml vinegar. The vinegar and salt work together to naturally lock the colour into the fabric. Give the water a swish to make sure the salt and vinegar are distributed evenly.
- 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 colour is completely set. You might notice a bit of colour in the water, but that's OK.
- 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 colour releasing from the fabric, repeat a soaking in the vinegar saltwater.
- Let the fabric fully dry, and your item will hold its colour the next time it's tossed in the wash.