How to wash dark clothes

Dyes are used to giving our clothes their bright or dark colour. So when it comes to doing the laundry, this dye can sometimes bleed into the wash and stain that white shirt that accidentally snuck in with the dark load, causing it to turn a shade of grey. When you’re washing colours or washing dark clothes, you should take care to avoid cross transfer of colour and follow the proper laundry steps to keep your colours and patterns looking as sharp as before. So how do you wash dark clothes? Read on and learn all you need to know about washing dark clothes from our step-by-step guide below.

Wash Dark Clothes

5 steps on how to wash dark clothes

  • 1

    Separate darks from whites

    The first thing you need to do when it comes to how to wash dark clothes is to separate all the clothes that are suitable for a dark wash, because you shouldn’t wash black and white clothes together. Make sure no stray whites or colours get mixed up, so you don’t end up with unwanted cross-colour staining. If you’re uncertain about what colours you can wash together, check out our guide on how to sort your laundry.

  • 2

    Do a sink test

    If you’re worried about the colour run, then do a sink test. Simply put your garment in a sink filled with lukewarm water, move it around a bit and leave for 30 minutes. If you notice any bleeding, hand wash the garment instead.

  • 3

    Turn items inside out

    Turn your dark clothes inside out before placing them in the washing machine.

  • 4

    Use the right washing liquid

    When washing darks, it’s important to use a detergent for black clothes. We recommend Ariel Original Washing Liquid, or washing powder for outstanding results.

  • 5


    Wash on a cycle recommended on the fabric care label on your garment.

How to remove lint from black clothes

When washing darks, lint on your clothes can be a more common problem. So, how do you get rid of them? You can try scotch tape or a lint roller to get rid of it, but if you prefer using your dryer, here’s how you can do it.

  1. Select “air only” setting on your dryer

  2. Put your clothes in the dryer and add a dryer sheet

  3. Start the machine

Effective laundry care for all colours

It’s not only dark colours that require laundry care. Whites and bright colours also need individual attention. And, since not all fabrics are created equal, you should also pay special attention to garments made from denim or even cotton. Whether you’re looking to remove stains you can see or your focus is on odour removal, let Ariel take care of it.

What temperature to use when washing darks? Hot or cold?

If you’re wondering what temperature to wash dark clothes at, you’re at the right place. Washing your clothes in hot water can cause the fabric to loosen, which allows the dark dye to be released from the fabric. To prevent your darks from fading, wash them in cold water, together with Ariel Gel Colour, our most powerful cold water detergent: This will not only keep your blacks black, but it will also help to preserve their fabric and fit better, giving your garments a longer life-span, while saving you money on the utility bill. The next time you wash a dark and delicate fabric with a stain on it, instead of washing it at a high temperature and damaging the garment, soak it in cold water. Another thing to consider is washing your dark clothes on a quick cycle, which helps to minimise colour fading. In this case, you don’t have to worry about the temperature since quick cycles generally use cold water anyway, so no harm is done to your clothes.

If you want to know what temperature to use when washing white clothes, check out our guide on how to wash white clothes.

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