Laundry Tip: Keep Brights from Fading and Running

I have been doing this for years to keep my brights from fading quickly and from running. One of my high school teachers gave me this tip seventeen years ago and I still use it to this very day.

Are you ready for this super easy laundry tip?

natural laundry tips

  • Add a 1/2 cup to 1 cup of white vinegar to your next load of brights. It will keep the colors from running as well as fading. This is especially helpful with reds. I do this any time I purchase a new top.
  • Vinegar is also a natural fabric softer and clothing deodorizer. I use it in the rinse cycle for Matthew’s clothes since he has severe eczema.
  • I recently read that adding 1/4 of a cup to 1/2 a cup of salt to your laundry will keep your colors from running and fading as well, although I have never tried it.

What is your mommy solution for laundry?

Comments

    • says

      Nancy-
      For the purpose of fading and to avoid colors running, you only have to do it once. But, you can add vinegar to each load as a natural fabric softener/natural deodorizer, if you want.
      Make sense?

  1. Kathryn says

    We’ve used this trick for 21 years at the advice of my pediatrician. My other laundry trick is to wash things inside out. This prevents pilling, which makes cloth look faded because it has a fuzzy appearance. Pilling occurs when fabrics rub against each other.

    • says

      Turning clothes inside out is a great trick too. I used to do that all the time, now I generally just do it for an item that had never been washed before.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share!

  2. Tammie says

    How do you add the vinegar if you have a front load washer? We got a front loader in August. I miss being able to put baking soda and or white vinegar in the machine. I sometimes put the vinegar directly on the article of clothing.

    • says

      Good question, Tammie. I too have a front loader and I miss my old washer every day.

      If I am using it for the purpose of fabric softner, I put it where the fabric softner goes.
      If I am using it to keep clothes from fading or running, I put it in where the bleach goes.

      Good luck.

      • Tammie says

        That’s pretty much what I have done; didn’t know if there was a way to add more. You are the only person I have heard say that they miss their old washer. I miss not having the soak cycle and being able to use baking soda.

        • says

          My front load washer is the absolutely worse appliance purchase I have ever made. Ever.

          It is not even three years old and I have had nothing but trouble with it. It leaks, it gets clogged, it over suds, the list goes on and on.

          My sister recently planned to buy a front load washer and I told her WAIT NO!

          Aside from all the problems I’ve had, I really do not feel like it gets my clothes clean. When it dies, I am going back to a top load.

  3. Beth says

    A cheap replacement for a “shout color catcher” is a white microfiber pad. You can buy 2 for $1 at the dollar tree, and it can be used over and over until it looks dark, then replace it, I’ve used them for up to 30 loads each, and it’s usually for pre-washing fabrics, some run more then others. We can’t use vinegar in our wash, it makes our laundry really gross, don’t know if it’s because of the extremely hard water, or what it is, but we always end up stinking for weeks.

    • Tammie says

      White vinegar can freshen up/soften towels that have gotten stiffer. If a wet piece of clothing has started to smell sour/like mildew; the white vinegar will eliminate the odor.

  4. Tammie says

    While on the subject, I would love to know what kind of stain remover (for clothes) that some of you use. We seem to always have food stains or grease from food. (We don’t eat alot of greasy foods, it just always seems to appear.) I would like to know specifically how you use the product, ie, do you spray right then and wash the stain out, etc. Thank you.

    • Jenn says

      I make my own laundry detergent. It has borax in it and that really does great with fighting stains. Also, it keeps your whites crazy white. I recently gave some to a friend who ran out of detergent on Saturday. On Sunday she commented on how white one of her old towels were after she ran the load with my detergent.

    • says

      Martianne- pre wash with baking soda. I have never heard of that. Just baking soda? Do you add it to the detergent? I am interested in learning more.

  5. Jenn says

    I’m going to have to buy stock in white vinegar! We use soo much of it here! I’m glad you posted this to the WFMW because I was just thinking about fabric softeners now that the weather has broke where I live. I’ll be hanging my laundry on the line but I don’t particularly care for ‘crunchy’ clothes that happen from line drying without adding fabric softener. I’m going to add the vinegar to my Downey ball and see how that works since I usually miss the rinse cycle.

  6. Zia Courtney says

    Thanks for the tip. I never thought of that the vinegar has a important uses and I will give it a try. One of my problems in laundry is that my color shirts are fading gradually when I washed it. This truly helps and thank you!
    Zia Courtney recently posted..Timber DoorsMy Profile

  7. Lucille says

    I use to only use the most expensive detergent but in these tough economic times I have started using inexpensive detergent. I have been pleasantly surprised at how well it works. Some people have the new front load washers and they are supposed to use special detergent that is costly. I feel sorry for them. My old washer and cheap detergent do the trick for me.
    Lucille recently posted..Top Hip Hop Clothing BrandsMy Profile

  8. Susan says

    When I first got my front loader, I wasn’t too impressed. Had some issues with clogging, etc. We had bought the extended warranty, so I was bound and determined to use it. I actually got a really great technician that told me how to use the washer correctly. He did say it was better to use the special HE laundry detergent, but that you don’t need nearly as much detergent as you think. Half of the suggested “small” load is typically sufficient for a normal size load. They are designed to use much less detergent, so in the long run It’s actually been more economical and my laundry comes out great. There is also a drain trap that is under the front panel that I can remove and clean out periodically that catches hair, etc. I haven’t had any problems since… Now that I’ve read all the comments about the vinegar, I am definitely going to try that out also! Thanks for the info!

    • says

      Susan- I use the HE detergents as well. Still I have so many issues with my front loader and it is only 3 years old.

      This past week we had our first breakdown with the front load dryer. The belt and a pulley broke and I was without a dryer for 3 days. Talk about a panic attack!

      Luckily my husband can fix just about anything. But I will say, once this front load washer and dryer set die, I will go back to the top loaders! These are just too finicky.

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