It’s disappointing when your darker garments look faded after a few washes. Here are some suggestions for keeping your favorite clothes looking brand new.

Wash only when necessary: We tend to wash many clothes too often, especially coarser fabrics like denim. Washing is harsh on dark dyes, leading to a quicker fade. Wash denim items less, and if possible, spot clean them rather than washing the whole garment.

Measure detergent: It’s easy to just pour detergent by eye when you’re doing the laundry, but take the time to properly measure, especially when it comes to darker clothing. Using too much will cause your clothes to fade faster. Be careful with drying: Dry your clothes on the lowest setting possible, and turn them inside out to shield them from extra friction with other garments. For the gentlest possible drying, hang dry your clothes on a rack or allow them to dry on a flat surface.

Wash in cold water: Drying on high heat can damage and fade your clothes quickly, and the same is true for washing in hot water. Wash your darker garments in cold water (in the shortest cycle possible), and use a detergent that’s designed for washing in cold water.