How to stop colours from running in the washing machine – 6 tips from laundry experts

Mrs Hinch demonstrates how to clean washing machine draw

Everyone knows that you should separate darks and lights in the washing machine, but some pieces of clothing are ambiguous. Every now and then we take the plunge and place a grey-looking top in a drum full of coloured and black clothes and it’s an absolute nightmare. Not only is this preventable, but there’s also a way to slightly improve the look of clothes that have been stained with dye from another garment. Express.co.uk talks you through how to prevent clothes running in your washing machine, and what to do if it does happen.

Laundry is a basic day-to-day task, but mixing white and darks risks ruining your clothes.

If you take the gamble, you might fight that one of the coloured or dark items has run in the wash and dyed the whites dark.

Whitening up these clothes again is unlikely, but according to the experts at Dri-Pak there is one thing you can do.

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How to prevent colours from running in the washing machine

The best way to protect your whites is to avoid colour running from darks in the first place.

Dri-Pak’s experts have revealed six habits to get into to stop this from happening.

First of all, you should never overfill the drum and always leave a palm’s depth.

If you think you’ve stuffed too much dirty laundry into the drum, stick your hand in and see if it will fit.

If it’s too busy in there, remove some items from the drum and do them separately.

The second piece of advice is all to do with the temperature you wash your items at.

A hot wash is great for killing germs and disinfecting your machine, but if you’re worried about colours running you should wash the clothes on low.

The experts said: “Wash on a low-temperature setting and preferably a lower agitation option such as the delicates setting.”

What products you use in your washing machine could save the day.

The experts recommend using a gentle product like Dri-Pak’s Liquid Soap.

You should also use white vinegar in place of your fabric conditioner or softener.

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Clothes that are heavily coloured should be hand washed rather than stuck in the machine with a load of duller items.

If you’d rather use the machine, make sure you wash them with items of the same colour and use liquid soap.

Red garments are the riskiest to wash in the machine, and it’s particularly tough to fix the dye if it spills, so take extra care when washing red items.

The experts added: “We always recommend washing whites on their own.

“Although whites can usually take a hotter wash than coloureds, you may not wish to do that.”

If you want to wash whites in the machine, Dri-Pak recommends using their Oxi-Boost to keep whites pristine.

Can you set the dye in fabric to stop them from bleeding?

You might have heard people say that you can ‘set’ the dye in fabric to prevent bleeding, but don’t rely on this.

Dri-Pak’s spokesperson said: “If the garment has been home dyed, then white vinegar may help to set dark colours. However, it is unlikely to be always successful.

“Given the wide range of dyes that are used in commercial dyeing, it’s not possible to specify a fixative that will work with these.”

How to fix dyed whites

If one of the coloured items in a wash has dyed your whites, your items probably can’t be restored.

Dri-Pak’s experts said: “If that happens, there’s very little you can do to rescue them.”

However, they said even though the chance is slim, you may be able to revive them with Soda Crystals.

Take the coloured items out of the machine and run a cycle using the advice above with just the white items.

In this wash, use Dri-Pak’s Oxi-Boost to remove the dye and brighten the whites.

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