Do you regularly wear chinos? Not to be confused with khakis, they've become a popular type of men's trousers. Chinos are made of chino cloth, which typically consists of either 100% cotton or a cotton-synthetic blend. This makes them soft, lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods. But like all other men's trousers, chinos may fade.
You may purchase a pair of indigo-colored chinos, only for them to fade to a light blue color. Fading such as this is disheartening. It will change the appearance of your chinos while also impacting the clothes and accessories with which you can wear them. The good news is that you can preserve the original color of your chinos by following a few basic tips.
#1) Choose Washed Chinos
Some chinos are better protected from fading than others. Washed chinos, for instance, offer a high level of protection against fading. They are still made of chino cloth, but they are submerged in a bath of water during production. A process known as washing, it helps to lock in the color so that the chinos are less likely to fade.
There are washed chinos, and there are dry or raw chinos. Dry chinos aren't washed during production. Washed chinos, in comparison, are washed during production. To preserve their original color, you should choose the latter. Washed chinos are better protected against both fading and shrinkage than dry chinos.
#2) Skip the Bleach
Avoid using bleach with your chinos. While commonly used to remove stains, bleach can cause permanent discoloration that manifests in the form of fading or stains.
From a technical perspective, bleach doesn't actually create new stains. Rather, it removes color from the garments to which it's exposed. If your chinos are exposed to bleach, they may lose some of their original color. The bleach will oxidize some of the dye within your chinos, which can create the appearance of a faded tone.
Rather than using bleach, consider a color-safe alternative, such as one of the following:
- Baking soda
- Diluted hydrogen peroxide
- Water and lemon juice
#3) Wash in Cold Water
Always wash your chinos in cold water. Whether you have a top-loading or front-loading washing machine, you should be able to change the temperature of the water. Nearly all washing machines have a cold water setting and a hot water setting. The hot water setting is typically more effective at removing stains, but it comes at the cost of fading and shrinkage.
Washing your chinos in hot water multiple times may cause them to fade. Each time you wash them in hot water, they'll lose some of their original color. Over the course of a dozen or so washes, your chinos may no longer feature their original color. You can preserve the original color of your chinos, however, by washing them in cold water.
#4) Read the Care Tag
Don't forget to read the care tag on your chinos as well. The care tag is a label that features instructions on how to clean and care for a garment. Most garments, including chinos, come with a care tag. It's typically located in a discreet area, such as the inside of the waistband or the inside of a pant leg.
Manufacturers create care tags so that customers will know how to properly maintain their garments. Since the instructions featured on the care tag come straight from the manufacturer, it's a good idea to follow them. You can read the care tag on your chinos for a better understanding of how to clean and care for them.
#5) Turn Inside Out When Washing
In addition to using cold water, you can preserve the original color of your chinos by turning them inside out when washing them. It only takes a second to turn a pair of chinos inside out, but doing so can make a world of difference in their color. By turning them inside out, you'll preserve the original color of your chinos. The exterior won't be directly exposed to the water, so your chinos will be less likely to fade.
You should still wash your chinos in cold water, but consider turning them inside out as well. These two simple things will help to protect your chinos from fading. Your chinos will still come out of the washing machine clean, but they'll retain their original color rather than suffering from a faded appearance.
#6) Hang Dry
Hang drying your chinos will help to preserve their original color. There are two primary ways that you can dry chinos, as well as other garments, after washing them: hang drying or machine drying. Machine drying involves the use of a clothes dryer. Hang drying, in comparison, involves hanging your chinos on a line to dry.
Hang drying is also known as line drying. You can hang your chinos on a line either inside your home or outside your home so that they can dry naturally in the air. It takes a little longer than machine drying, but it offers a superior level of protection against fading. At the same time, your chinos will smell nice and fresh if you hang dry them.
#7) Use Fabric Conditioner
Another tip to preserve the original color of your chinos is to use fabric conditioner. Not to be confused with detergent, fabric conditioner is designed to soften and protect garments from damage. You can add a small amount of fabric conditioner to the washing machine with your chinos. As the fabric softener mixes in with the water, it will soften your chinos. And your chinos should come out of the washing machine with their original color.
Some detergents already contain fabric conditioner, in which case you won't need to add it. Assuming you use a traditional detergent, though, it probably won't have fabric conditioner. To preserve the original color of your chinos, you'll need to add a small amount of fabric conditioner to the washing machine.