How To Restore Faded Laundry

How To Restore Faded Laundry


Buying a colorful piece of clothing to only see its color fade away within weeks is really frustrating. It’s even more frustrating if a cloth that’s leaking dye damages your dryer. In that case, you can search for “dryer repair near me” and hire professionals to fix it for you. With that out of the way, let’s check out how you can restore faded laundry.

The Process

1. Use salt to restore brightness – Place your faded clothes along with your regular detergent inside the washer. If the clothes have faded within a few washes without any signs of dye leak, there may be detergent buildup on the clothes that are making the fabric look dull. That’s where salt can help. Add salt to your regular wash to break up and dissolve that detergent buildup to make your clothes look new again. You should also switch to liquid detergent since residues and buildup are mainly formed due to powder detergent. 

Add half a cup or around 150 grams of salt along with the clothes and detergent in your washing machine. Using salt doesn’t just get rid of buildup, but also prevents new clothes from fading. So, go ahead and add a bit of salt to every load of laundry. Avoid using coarse-ground or kosher sea salt since it may not dissolve completely in the washer. Apart from protecting the brightness of the clothes, salt can also remove stubborn stains from mildew, sweat, and blood. 

After you’re done washing the clothes, take them out to check the brightness. If it looks good, you can put them in the dryer or hang them for air drying. Otherwise, you may need a more aggressive approach with vinegar. 

2. Use vinegar to restore vibrance – Vinegar is also very effective at getting rid of detergent buildup. You can add around half a cup of vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser or directly into the drum if you have a top-loading washer. Apart from removing detergent buildup, vinegar also removed mineral deposits and residues left by hard water on your clothes. 

Adding vinegar while washing new clothes also prevents those buildups from occurring and keeps your fabrics as new as possible. For deep cleaning your clothes, you may as well soak your clothes in a bucket with one gallon of warm water and one cup of vinegar. After that, throw it in the washer at a normal cycle and you’ll be surprised to see how bright it becomes. 

On the other hand, if you’re washing delicate fabrics like silk and lace, choose a gentle wash cycle. You don’t need to worry about residual vinegar in your clothes since they would be washed away during the rinse cycle. After that proceed to dry your clothes according to the care label. It’s best to air dry the clothes if they have a lingering smell of vinegar. 

3. Dyeing clothes – If the clothes don’t get brighter and more vibrant after the salt and vinegar method, you’ll need to dye them back to restore the color. However, some fabrics pick up dye better than others. That’s why you should check the care tag to figure out the composition of the fabric. If the item is made from at least 60 percent natural fibers like silk, ramie, cotton, and wool, it will dye well. The same holds for certain synthetic fabrics like nylon and rayon. 

Moreover, clothing made entirely from natural fibers would pick up more dye and look darker compared to clothes made from a blend of synthetic and natural fibers. Don’t dye fabrics that are made from polyester, spandex, or metallic fibers and are meant to be dry cleaned only. Those fabrics don’t pick up dye that well. It’s also important to wash your fabrics carefully and remove all stains before the dyeing process. 

Equip yourself with safety gloves and protect the area with plastic sheets and newspaper before you start dyeing. Next, fill up a container with hot water that’s around 120 to 140 degrees. Mix up dye and salt in a small cup of water and add them to the container. Now add the clothes and soak them in the dye bath for around an hour while stirring constantly. Finally, take the clothes out, rinse them in cold water and wash them in a cold cycle without detergent or fabric softeners. Next, hang them to dry and enjoy the bright colors. 

4. Baking soda and coffee – If you have white clothes that seem a bit dull and darker, baking soda can brighten them up. Add around half a cup of baking soda into the drum along with white fabrics and detergent and set them on a normal wash cycle. Baking soda can also de-stink and deodorize your clothes. 

On the other hand, if you have black clothes or fabric, soaking them in coffee is an easy way to restore their color. Brew around two cups of very strong black coffee or tea. Wash your black clothes in the washer on a normal cycle and wait for the rinse cycle to start. When the rinsing starts, open the lid and pour in the coffee or tea. After that hang your clothes to dry instead of throwing them in the dryer. 

5. Hydrogen peroxide and black pepper – Hydrogen peroxide and black pepper are more radical household staples that do the same job. Hydrogen peroxide is especially effective on white fabrics. Adding one cup of hydrogen peroxide to the drum along with the detergent and clothes would rejuvenate your dull and dingy whites. On the other hand, ground black pepper can be added to the washer to get rid of mineral and detergent buildup and brighten your clothes. The pepper flakes are also washed out in the rinse cycle.         


When clothes get faded, you have fewer things to wear. The above-mentioned tips should help you restore them to their vibrant hue and get more mileage out of them. On the other hand, if your dryer breaks down, you can search for “dryer repair near me” and hire pros to fix it for you.