How to use salt & vinegar to prevent fading

Written by tabitha harwell
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How to use salt & vinegar to prevent fading
Blue jeans will fade if not treated with salt and vinegar before washing. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Help maintain the new, fresh appearance of clothes by setting the dye of the fabric, prior to machine washing. Machine washing will wear down the fibres of clothing over time, giving a dull appearance to the clothing. Avoid the grey-black clothing and red-orange fabric by using plain salt and white, distilled vinegar to act as a preventive to fading. After the initial soak, items can maintain their appearance with minimal, heavy washing and the occasional wash with vinegar and detergent.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 1/2 cup white, distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 gallon water
  • Washing Machine

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  1. 1

    Soak the item you want to prevent fading in a mixture of 1/2 cup white, distilled vinegar, 1/2 cup salt and 1 gallon of water. The salt and vinegar soak will only work on items that have not been washed at all, because the mixture helps to adhere the dye to the fibres.

  2. 2

    Rinse the item with cool water and allow to dry flat or in the dry on a low-heat setting.

  3. 3

    Maintain colour by adding a 1/2-cup of white, distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle.

Tips and warnings

  • Always check the clothing's manufacturers tag for special instructions.

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