Why Presoak, Sort, and Test for Fading?

The Importance of Presoaking Your Laundry

Most stains are embedded into the fibers of your clothing. The normal laundry cycle may not provide enough time for your detergents and stain removers to remove those stubborn stains.  If those stains don’t get removed in the wash cycle and then you place that laundry into the dryer, the heat of the dryer will make the stain practically impossible to remove later.

Presoaking your laundry is more important than the brand of detergent or the type of stain remover you spot clean with. The amount of time you allow your cleaning solutions to break down the materials causing the stain is your most potent weapon in stain removal. You should presoak any stains before you get to the laundromat.  Also, the worse the stain is, the more soak time you should give it.  Aim for a bare minimum of thirty minutes for all stains, but more is better.  Even soaking overnight is a good idea unless you are using chlorine bleach on whites.  This chemical can weaken the fibers of the material if left on too long. However, other forms of bleach will work even better if you presoak a longer time.

The Importance of Sorting Your Laundry

If you wash your whites or lights with your darks, you run the risk of a small amount of the darker dyes leaching out and dulling your whites and lights. Over time, this has an accumulative effect and you’ll end up having to replace your clothing more often.

If you wash all your clothing and other materials in cold water, it is a bit safer to wash all colors together because they’ll have a tendency to lose a lot less dye. However, they will likely still leach a slight amount of dye and this can still discolor your whites and lights over time.

Sorting is also a great time to turn your pants and shirts inside out, plus check your pockets and remove any items you find.

The Importance of Testing for Fading or Running in Your Clothing

Every piece of clothing your purchase has a certain degree of “Colorfastness”, which is the fabric’s resistance to fading or running.  Fabric with good or high Colorfastness is less likely to fade or leach out into the water when you do your laundry.  If preventing fading and maintaining brightness in your fabrics is important to you, then it’s important that soak your newly purchased fabrics in a small tub of water.  You should soak it for about an hour at the same temperature you plan to wash the fabric in. If the water changes color, then your fabric is not colorfast.  If you can, then return the product for a refund.

You can also make your clothes more colorfast by mixing one part white vinegar and five parts water and soaking your clothes in the solution for fifteen minutes.  Be sure to do this before you wash your new clothes for the first time.

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