The other day I was wearing a relatively new pair of dark wash jeans at work when all of a sudden I looked at my hands and they were blue. I panicked for a minute, wondering if my circulation had cut off or if my pen had exploded, but then it clicked: my hands were dyed because of my jeans. I usually stand with my hands in my pockets, giving the dye ample time to rub off.
A similar situation happened years ago when I was at my grandmother’s house and was sitting on her light-colored sofa. When I stood up, there was a blue stain all over the fabric. Needless to say, she was not happy.
The dye in darker wash jeans has a tendency to bleed, whether it’s on your skin, your furniture, or even onto other articles of clothing. But there are ways to limit the amount of bleeding from the dye, and even stop it altogether!
This may sound simple, but how many of you actually read the washing instructions on your clothing? Dark wash jeans all have specific washing instructions, and most will give you directions like “wash before wearing,” “wash inside out,” or “wash separately.” However, washing your jeans separately isn’t always an option.
Did you know they make dark wash detergents? I didn’t! They’re made to lock in dark colors without fading them over time.
“They really do work,” says Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab in the Good Housekeeping Institute. “They have ingredients to help fabrics hold onto dyes and to deactivate the chlorine in the water that can fade colors. We recommend Tide Plus ColorGuard and Woolite Dark.”
Vinegar has also been known to help, if you use it correctly.