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Colourfastness test


In general it's best to wash your dark colours separately. But it's worth knowing if clothes (especially new ones) are colourfast before putting them in with a regular wash. That way you'll avoid dyes running into other clothes, leaving them an undesirable – and often indescribable – shade!

So check the care label, and do this easy test for colourfastness.

For soaking or washing

  1. Dampen a small area of hem or inside seam with water
  2. Iron a piece of white fabric or kitchen paper on to it
  3. If the paper soaks up any colour, your garment isn't colourfast, so should be washed separately


For solvents (i.e. eucalyptus oil, methylated spirits, white spirit/turpentine substitute, nail polish remover, etc.):

  1. Dampen an inconspicuous part of the garment with the solvent
  2. Blot area with a tissue
  3. If any colour blots off, the garment is not colourfast with the solvent used


Caution: Do not use an iron to test solvents.