COVID-19 Notice >>

How to minimize color loss

June 13, 2016

Garments lose color for various reasons. Contact with bleach or
household cleaning products can disturb dyes, resulting in white
discolorations. Same with hair preparations and other moisture solutions
or perfumes and other substances containing alcohol.


“Fugitive
dyes” are not colorfast to cleaning solutions and are the biggest
manufacturer-related problem reported by the International Textile
Analysis Laboratory (ITAL), an independent organization based in Laurel,
Maryland. In these cases, the dyes dissolve when an item is cleaned in
drycleaning solvent or water despite the instructions on the care label.
The color loss may occur throughout the garment or be localized in
certain areas. For instance, the pink flowers on a pink-and-white print
may be solvent-soluble but may come out completely white after cleaning.

Some
dyes are more susceptible to loss of color than others. Pink, red,
blue, and black are usually the most troublesome colors and can be
expected to show some type of variance regardless of the precautions
taken.

How can you minimize color loss?

Follow
the care label. Instructions that specify that the garment be washed
with similar colors, separately, or in cold water may indicate unstable
dyes.

If you suspect a dye, such as red or pink, will bleed
during washing, wash with similar colors in cold water on short cycle to
minimize any color loss and dye transfer to other articles in the load.

Clean all the pieces of a matching outfit at the same time to avoid any color discrepancies.

Store garments away from natural and artificial light. A cool, dark closet is a good location for storage.

Treat all spills immediately. Blot – do not rub. Some spills like soft drinks may dry invisibly but can show up later.

Use care when applying perfumes, hair spray, and other alcohol-containing substances, bleach, and skin preparations.

Have garments cleaned as soon as possible after wear to prevent color loss from perspiration.

Point out any spills and examine the garment before cleaning for any type of color loss.

If
you purchase a drycleanable garment that you suspect may have color
problems (multiple colors or red/white combinations), ask us to test it
for colorfastness. If tests show the colors may bleed, you may opt to
return it to your retailer for a refund.

Remember that some garments may have color problems in spite of the care label and testing.