When washing clothing for the first time, that you do not want to fade, especially jeans or dark cottons, wash them without soap, but instead 1/2 cup of vinegar (any type) and 1/2 cup of salt, in cold water. Salt and vinegar will help set the dye. Rinse well. Do not use this on metallic fabrics, only cotton based.
Source: Home-Ec teacher from the 1970s (there, that showed my age!)
By mom-from-missouri from NW MO
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How do you set the dye in a new black Chef's jacket? I don't want this to fade out.
By Doris from Roanoke, VA
Thank you everyone! I have heard about the salt before, but have never tried this method. Vinegar,
well I've never heard about this, but I think I will try this for now. (08/29/2010)
After you set the black with the vinegar method in the other post, check your grocery store or discount store where you buy laundry detergent; several brands have come out with formulas specifically designed for dark clothes. Woolite even has one; Cheer and Tide come to mind, but you should check to see what you have locally for your use. Good luck! (08/31/2010)
I have some black clothes that I need to dye to get them black again. Once I do, how can I set the color so that it doesn't fade again?
By Cricket from Parkton, NC
I think you're supposed to add a cup of table salt to the dye mixture. I haven't tried this, so I can't say for sure if it works. But salt is pretty cheap. It's worth a try. (11/02/2009)
Seems like all black/dark garments fade after some time. Be careful when laundering them. Use cool water and wash dark clothes together. Don't use powdered detergent as it leaves a film, liquid is best. Turn the items inside out. Don't wash the clothes frequently. Try to get several wearings between washings. Rinse twice to remove soap residue which appears white. Tumble dry inside out on low heat for 10 minutes, then let air dry. It takes a lot of work to keep dark things looking nice. (11/02/2009)
Before their first wash, soak your black garments overnight in lightly salted water, or a solution of vinegar and water. Both salt and vinegar are known to set colors. Vinegar may also be used in the final rinse cycle and black clothes will appear brighter. Any scent should disappear after the clothes have dried. Make sure to wash all your black clothes with like dark colored clothing. Never mix your blacks with light colored clothing when laundering. Lint from light items tends to adhere to darks, causing them to appear fuzz laden. Since black clothes attract lint like magnets, always keep a lint brush handy for quick touch ups. The info should be with the dye, good luck. (11/02/2009)
Vinegar and water solution works great to set color! Also, always wash and dry black or dark clothing turned inside out because that helps keep the outer fabric from being beat up so badly. The washing agitation and dryer tumbling is part of the reason color fades ;-) (11/05/2009)
Add salt to your final rinse water. (11/05/2009)