With the official first day of Spring less than a month away, you’re probably already looking forward to putting the heavy winter comforters away and replacing them with more colorful, lighter weight bedspreads. If your winter or spring bedspreads need dry cleaning before going into or coming out of storage, it’s important to note that their colors may fade from normal, acceptable cleaning techniques. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent fading in dry clean and washable bedspreads and help them maintain colors.
Causes of bedspread fading
Bedspreads, quilts, comforters and their coordinating sheets sometimes fade even when washed properly and the results can be streaked colors or a frosted cast to the fabric. The colors may lighten overall or change completely so that they no longer match the sheets if they’re part of a bedding set. The reason for this type of fading is that the manufacturer didn’t use pigments or dyes that are colorfast in dry cleaning solvent or laundry detergent. Many people don’t even know that normal washing can cause color fade until after cleaning the bedspread, so it’s a good idea to have the item tested for colorfastness before cleaning. Unfortunately, many comforters and bedspreads, especially those with prints, experience fading not matter how you clean them. The best course of action is to follow the label and discuss any color fade concerns you have with your dry cleaner before having the bedding cleaned.
Natural ways to prevent fading
Although some bedspreads, comforters and quilts fade with washing, there are steps you can take to prevent or minimize that fading. This is especially important if the item you need to clean is a handmade quilt that you can’t bear to see streaked or faded. Using a few natural methods can help preserve the colors of your favorite bedding and maintain consistent color in bedding sets.
Add salt to wash
For bedspreads that are safe to launder in the washing machine, try adding a tablespoon of salt to the wash because the chloride gives the colors a helpful boost. The chloride in salt helps seal in colors, and this prevents fading in bedding, clothing and other washable household items. It’s also possible that salt will help restore the brightness of fabrics that have become dull from washing.
Wash in cold water
Washing with cold water helps prevent fading in your favorite bedding, and it can reduce your energy bills. Using a color brightening detergent along with the cold-water washing can give colors a noticeable boost.
Add vinegar to wash
Using white vinegar in the wash can prevent color fade in fabrics. Add ½ cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of the wash and it helps colors maintain intensity while freshening laundry. Before you wash dark fabrics for the first time, soaking them in a mixture of water, ½ cup vinegar and two teaspoons of salt for 30 minutes can set the dyes used for the colors.
Add baking soda to wash
Adding baking soda to the laundry can help fabrics stay bright and prevent fading. Adding a ½ cup of baking soda to the wash cycle may be just what you need to keep your favorite bedding looking vibrant.
Skipping the dryer and letting your bedspreads, comforts and quilts air dry can help them maintain their colors, but it’s important to keep them out of the sun as it can cause fading faster than washing.
Although some fading can occur in all bedding, using extra precautions during dry cleaning and following some natural washing tips can keep colors vibrant. Entrust all of your professional cleaning needs to Embassy Cleaners for a beautiful, healthy home.