How to Wash Black Clothes

If you have ever pulled grey clothing out of a washing machine that used to be white, then you know the importance of washing black clothes separately. Not only will washing white clothes with black damage the white clothes, keeping black clothes from fading also takes special care.

Sort your black clothes before washing. In addition to washing black and very dark clothes separately, also be sure to separate delicate black clothes from other clothes.

Turn your black clothes inside out. Doing so keeps the dye on your clothes by reducing friction on your items. If there is a stain on your clothes, clean it with a rag before putting it in the machine.

Set your washing machine to a cold water wash. Washing black clothes in hot water can cause fading, and cold water is best for a clean rinse, as it helps to cut suds.

Use a colour-safe detergent. There are many new special detergents on the market for black clothing. Zero by Woolite, Perwoll Black Laundry Liquid Soap and Cheer Dark are some of the many detergents made specifically for dark clothes.

Hang black clothes to dry, as the hot air from the dryer can weaken the material, which can hasten fading. If you hang them outside, be sure to keep them inside out, as the bright sun can also cause fabric colours to fade.


The first time you wash a black clothing item, soak it in vinegar to seal the colour. You can also wash a load of new black clothes in salt to help seal the colour. When black clothing has faded, you can also re-die it black with a box of Rit Dye.

Things You'll Need

  • Cold water
  • Colour fast detergent or special detergent for dark clothes
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Andrea Hermitt is an artist and writer who loves to research and write about new things. She's been a content writer since 2000, contributing to, the blog Notes From A Homeschooling Mom and other online publications. Hermitt has a Bachelor of Arts in fine art and English from the State University of New York at Albany.