I recently bought a stack of new black and chocolate brown towels and even though they are only about 3 months old, they look more like grey and dirty brown! Does anyone know how to stop towels fading? Anything I can do to stop this getting worse?

Posted by anon, 15/09/13

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  • Use a detergent for blacks it really helps but also don’t leave them on the line any longer than necessary


  • I think I did read somewhere to add some white vinegar to the first wash is meant to delay fading. No idea if this will stop it once it’s started tho


  • The sun tends to fade clothes etc and use a cold wash so the water doesn’t wash the colour out!


  • Cool! Very interesting reading the comments on this!


  • You can put something in the water….but I can’t for the life of me remember what :( Do you dry them in the shade? Also, cold water washes will help


  • Dark towels fade if washed with harsh detergents that have a bleach content and if they line dry in the sun. In future, wash towels with less harsh detergent and a cup of vinegar added and wash in cold water and dry in the shade. Because your towels are still new, you may contact the store and ask for replacements from the company, claiming that the dye was not set correctly. Sea Salt will set dyes as well.


  • Soaking new towels in salty water overnight and drying in shade helps the colour go longer.


  • yep the sun is most likely for this. i also would wash them on cold


  • dry them in the shade, the sun will fade them


  • Wash new towels in cold water with a cup of salt. That’s supposed to set the color.


  • You can buy colour fade strips to throw in the wash, otherwise perhaps use a cold wash only


  • Always add vinegar to your wash for new towels.


  • sounds like they were not particularly well made if they have faded that quickly


  • Vinegar doesn’t have the most pleasant smell, but adding a cup to your washing machine will not only give you a natural fabric softener, but also help prevent colors from fading. The good news? The vinegar smell goes away in the wash.


  • You can try protecting them from the sun if that’s what is fading them but I’m guessing the towels weren’t made particularly well if they are fading so much in just three months.


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