How to Restore Faded Black Clothes

  • Black is a happy color for many people. Unfortunately, it tends to fade over time due to frequent washing and drying processes.
  • Below you’ll find out 3 amazing ways to restore the faded color of your favorite black clothes easily!

Black clothes are immortal classics donned by people across all age groups. Whenever you are in doubt, wear black. From a coffee date to a Friday night party, this shade suits almost every occasion!

However, despite our best efforts, almost every black clothing will eventually begin to fade after continuous washing and drying. Even though you can toss away some of your clothes, it becomes difficult to depart from your favorite black garments.

Fortunately, instead of looking out for some new clothing to replace the faded ones, the following tips can help restore the color of your favorite clothes while at home!

Method No. 1: Restoring Black Clothing With Coffee

Coffee is the most recommended alternative for attaining natural-looking results. It should definitely be used in the first place. Truth to be told, it works the best on cotton fabrics.

How to do this:

  • Sort the black clothes out. Start by placing your garments into the washing machine. For multiple garments, sort to make sure they all have similar color and begin your usual washing cycle with cold water.
  • Make some coffee. Brew two cups of strong black coffee, bearing in mind that the darker your brew, the darker your results will be! We highly recommend using a full-sized coffee maker, but you can use other means so long as they give you a dark and fresh brew.
  • Moving on to the rinse cycle. As soon as you begin your rinse cycle in the washing machine, add the two cups of brewed coffee. Leave the machine to run as it would under normal circumstances before pulling out your clothes.
  • Drying process. Because machine drying clothing can result in the fading of black clothes, you should hang them to dry, as this preserves color better. Once dry, you can rock your attire.

TIP: If you prefer black tea to coffee, you can use it to achieve similar dyeing results.

Suppose you have ever tried commercial fabric dyes on your garments before; you will realize that using coffee smells better during and even after the process. Besides, it’s non-toxic, and you never have to worry that the coffee might stain your washing machine.

Method No. 2: Restore Black Clothing With Dye

First off, fabric dye suits natural fabrics like cotton, silk, and linen best. As for synthetics, nylon and rayon are also good. However, make sure you avoid using dyes on spandex and 100% polyester.

Secondly, various fabrics soak up dye variably, resulting in different results. Therefore, do not be surprised if for some fabrics dye will not give the result as you may have expected.

How to do this:

  • Prepare your workspace. Cover the entire working area with newspaper or plastic beforehand, making sure you have paper towels or sponges in case of any spillage. Avoid fiberglass or porcelain working areas as they might stain. Only use stainless steel or plastic buckets and wear gloves.
  • Prepare the solution with dye. If you’re using powder dye, pre-dissolve it thoroughly in a separate container using boiling water. For liquid dye, shake thoroughly before use. Add your dye to the dye bath, either sink or bucket, and make sure the water level is enough to submerge your clothing completely. After that, add a tablespoon of laundry detergent into your dye bath as it enhances dye absorption.
  • Add salt to intensify the effect. If you’re dyeing rayon, linen, ramie, or cotton, add a cup of table salt into your dye bath to intensify the color. On the other hand, when dyeing wool, silk, or nylon garments, add a white vinegar cup.
  • Soak your black clothing into the dye bath. Fully submerge your clothing into the dye bath. Leave your garment for up to an hour to achieve more dye absorption. Nonetheless, you’ll have to stir the clothing while still submerged in hot water continuously. Try maintaining consistent temperatures by adding hot water or placing your dye bath above a heat source, i.e., stove. 

TIP: It would be best if you soak your garment in plain hot water for a while before placing them into the dye bath to achieve even better results as it smoothens the fabric, making it absorb dye far much better.

  • Rinse your black garments afterward. Pull out your clothing from the dye bath, and rinse in warm water to effectively remove the dye on your garment’s surface. Follow by rinsing in cold water continually until your water becomes clear.
  • Wash your garments under the normal cycle. Turn the clothes inside out and put them in a washing machine, washing them separately using a mild detergent. Remember to maintain a gentle cycle, after which you can machine dry or preferably hang them. Once dry, you can rock them.

TIP: Always use cold water and a mild, non-bleach detergent to wash these dyed items while keeping a gentle cycle.

Method No. 3: Restore your Black Clothes with Salt or Vinegar

At times, detergent accumulation on laundry might make it look dull and somewhat faded. Powdered washing detergent will more likely leave a residue compared to liquid detergent. If you can, avoid it, but if you’ve already used it on your black clothes, washing them using vinegar or salt can help break the detergent buildup and restore your clothes to their appealing look!

How to do this:

  • Wash your clothes. After putting your garments in the washing machine, add about a half cup of vinegar or salt. Aside from helping restore the garment’s original black color, it prevents new clothes from fading upfront. It would be best if you washed clothes under a gentle cycle using cold water.
  • Hang dry your black garments. Once they are done washing, asses the garments’ color to see if you are satisfied. If satisfied, dry your clothes as usual, either by putting them in an air dryer or preferably hang them out to dry. Not happy with the result? Do garments still appear faded? Now that means that the color of the clothes might have washed out with time. Therefore, you need to dye them instead (Method No. 1).
  • Picking the salt. The normal table salt or very fine pickling types works well with any material. Avoid using coarse-grained sea salt as it might fail to dissolve completely in the washing machine. Besides, salt is an excellent stain remover for sweat, mildew, or blood.

TIP: For those who use white vinegar, soaking your clothes in a solution of warm water and one-cup vinegar for around 20-30 minutes before washing can help achieve even better results. If you realize a slight smell present after your wash, hang your clothes outside or add a fabric softener in your dryer. By the time your clothes get dry, this smell will have faded away.

That said, these are the most preferred methods of restoring the color of your faded black clothes. Pick the one that you find most convenient and try for lasting results.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Of course, it can! As we have explained in the article – it's not that difficult. However, you should keep in mind, that dyes are best for natural fabrics like cotton, silk, and linen best. As for synthetics, nylon and rayon are also good. However, make sure you avoid using dyes on spandex and 100% polyester.

Sure thing! And there are many simple ways to do that at home. One of the most effective ones is: restoring black clothes with coffee, dyes, or salt, and vinegar.

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