How to keep your black and white clothes looking their best

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How can you keep your favorite black and white clothes looking as good as they did they day you bought them? (WPVI)

The most popular colors for clothing are either black or white, but they can be tough to keep looking good.

So Action News consulted with Consumer Reports' textile experts for this very common problem - how to keep your favorite black and white clothes looking as good as they did they day you bought them.

Black and white clothing is classic and stylish, but black dyes can fade if you're not careful. And whites can turn dingy and gray.

To keep your black clothes looking their darkest, only wash them when you have to, says Consumer Reports' Pat Slaven.

"And when you do wash them, wash them with dark clothes of similar fabric. Turn them inside out and use the short cycle," said Pat.

Using cold water helps keep the fibers from losing their color.

And never, ever, put black clothes in the dryer. Banging about with other clothes roughs up the surface of the fibers, creating a "halo" of fuzz that catches light and actually makes them look lighter.

Instead, keep them inside out and hang the clothes to dry. Lastly, never dry black clothing in the sun.

When it comes to white clothes, one big culprit is graying - soil from dirty clothes transferring in the washing machine.

To avoid that, use the right amount of detergent. Mark the fill line on the cap to take out the guesswork.

Wash your white clothes separately. And what about bleach?

"Only use chlorine bleach on 100% cotton. It can damage stretch fabric and other delicate items," said Pat.

For fabric blends or anything with spandex, instead of bleach, add an oxygen cleaner like OxiClean or a generic.

And don't underestimate the bleaching power of the sun. To demonstrate, Consumer Reports blobbed mustard on this white skirt, treated the stain with dish soap and water, then left it in the sun to dry and whiten.

If you have a problem with your white clothes turning yellow, Consumer Reports says try soaking the clothes overnight in a mixture of warm water and an oxygen cleaner, then launder as usual.
Related Topics:
shoppinglaundromatclothingclothing stainsconsumer reportsshoppingconsumerwhat's the dealsaving with 6abcfashion
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