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Best Detergents for Dark Clothes of 2023 

Updated
Keep dark clothes vibrant with the right detergent.

Black is always fashionable and chic, never going out of style. It’s no wonder most of us own essential black pieces in our wardrobes. However, nothing is more annoying than seeing your favorite black jeans or dark top fading away.

If you want to keep them vivid, you should be looking for the right product to do the job. That’s why you should know what to look for in the best detergents for dark clothes.

That includes a high-quality formula, the ability to work on dark colors, and compatibility with various fabrics. All the detergents on our list are suited for such garments. Keep reading to meet these five fantastic detergents.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Puracy Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent, Hypoallergenic, Enzyme-Based, Free & Clear, 24 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
Best Budget-Friendly Detergent
Puracy Natural Liquid Detergent
  • Safe for children and pets
  • Reduces plastic waste
  • Works on all fabrics
Product Image of the Woolite Darks Defense Liquid Laundry Detergent, 66 Loads, 100 Fl Oz, HE & Regular Washers, Packaging May Vary
Best Value
Woolite Darks Liquid Detergent
  • Works many different fabrics
  • Prevents fading
  • Works with hot & cold water
Product Image of the Perwoll Renew Black 3D, Liquid Black and Dark Color Laundry Detergent 1,5 Liters, 20 Loads
Most Efficient Detergent
Perwoll Renew Black 3D Detergent
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Restores faded clothes
  • Gentle formula
Best for Eco-Conscious Users
The Laundress Darks Detergent
  • Non-toxic formula
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Brightens darks in each wash
Product Image of the Cheer HE Liquid Detergent - 100 oz - Fresh Clean Scent
Best for Mixed Loads
Cheer HE Liquid Detergent
  • Works with colors & darks
  • Gentle formula
  • Fresh clean scent


Product Reviews

We’ve combed the market on your behalf to review the five best detergents for dark clothes. After hours of research into expert advice and various product and customer reviews, we compiled this list. We ensured that all our options are safe for dark clothes, don’t contain bleach, but do boast a high-quality formula.

Let’s get into our choices!

1. Puracy Natural Liquid Detergent

Best Budget-Friendly Detergent

Puracy Natural Liquid Detergent is ten times more concentrated than any other laundry detergent. It offers 96 loads per 24-ounce, making it the most budget-friendly product. It’s also environment-friendly, as the small bottle reduces plastic waste.

The plant-derived, enzyme-based detergent has no toxic chemicals and has never been tested on animals. Its effective formula works not only on dark clothes but also on delicate garments, microfiber towels, septic and greywater systems, and cloth diapers.

Many moms give the highest accolade to the Puracy Natural Liquid Detergent and consider it the best baby detergent. It’s hypoallergenic, which is crucial for baby clothes.

Pros

  • Works on all sorts of fabrics.
  • Plant-based formula.
  • Safe for children and pets.
  • Handy pump feature eliminates the need to measure.
  • 96 loads of laundry per bottle.
  • Tackles bad odors well.

Cons

  • The bottle leaks sometimes.
  • The scent is quite strong.
  • Not great at removing stains.

Product Specs

Fragrance Unscented, but the natural scent is still strong
Sizes 24 fl oz
Form Liquid
Washers type HE & Regular
Number of loads 96

2. Woolite Darks Liquid Laundry Detergent

Best Value

The Woolite Darks liquid detergent will appeal to anyone looking to prevent fading. With its newly enhanced “Darks Defense” formula, this product preserves dark colors for up to 20 washes.

This product has active ingredients that synthetics and blends from color transfer and fading. The Woolite Darks liquid detergent will prevent the fabric from bleeding, breaking, and fading.

It can work with hot and cold water, unlike other products requiring cold water.

Some users reported that the new Moonlight Breeze scent is too strong for their taste. Fragrances are a matter of personal preference, but some products can have a sharp, strong, pungent smell. Unfortunately, detergent seems to fall into that category.

Pros

  • Works on synthetic and blended fabrics.
  • Prevents fading for up to 20 washes.
  • Works with hot and cold water.
  • Protects clothes from pilling and stretching for six washes.
  • Removes stains.
  • No optical brighteners, bleach, dyes, or phosphates.

Cons

  • Strong fragrance.
  • Not suitable for natural or delicate fabrics.

Product Specs

Fragrance Midnight Breeze
Sizes 50 fl oz, 100 fl oz
Form Liquid
Washers type HE & Regular
Number of loads 33, 66

3. Perwoll Renew Black 3D Detergent

Most Efficient Detergent

Perwoll is one of the leading brands regarding detergents for black clothes. This Black 3D Detergent presents an enhanced formula tailored for garments on the darker side of the color spectrum.

Although it’s capable of deep-cleaning, the product shouldn’t damage your fabrics, thanks to its gentle enhanced formula. It doesn’t contain any color additives, which certain allergy-prone people may want to avoid as they can provoke reactions (1).

This detergent might appeal to those with faded clothes they can’t seem to throw away. The concentrated Renew formula is designed to refresh dark colors and make them more vivid.

Users who value scents may like the Renew Black 3D Detergent. It has a fresh, clean fragrance that buyers report lingers pleasantly.

Note, though, that despite having an English name, the Perwoll Renew Black 3D Detergent has German directions.

Pros

  • Pleasant and long-lasting fragrance.
  • Can help restore faded clothes.
  • Gentle on all fabrics.
  • Cleans stains effectively.
  • No color additives.

Cons

  • German label and instructions.
  • Very expensive per load, around 6x the average price.

Product Specs

Fragrance Non-specified
Sizes 50 fl oz
Form Liquid
Washers type HE & Regular
Number of loads 20

4. The Laundress - Darks Detergent

Best for Eco-Conscious Users

If you prefer to buy environmentally-friendly, cruelty-free detergents, then the Laundress Darks Detergent is an optimal choice.

It’s also appropriate for people with sensitive skin or allergies, as the formula is allergen-free. You won’t find any trace of SLS, petroleum, phthalates, dye, or phosphate. The brand also states that it doesn’t run tests on animals.

Another pro is that the formula suits many fabric types (cotton, blends, synthetics, linen). If your entire wardrobe is blacks of all fabrics, this detergent may be a worthwhile investment for you. It also revitalizes colors for those of you with older pieces in your closet that are fading out.

When it comes to the Classic fragrance, the floral scent may not be for everyone. Some buyers rave over the smell, whereas others report that it smells somewhat sour and isn’t to their tastes. In the end, it’s down to personal preference.

Pros

  • Non-toxic and eco-friendly formula.
  • Suits sensitive users.
  • No animal testing.
  • Brightens darks with each wash.
  • Up to 64 washes per bottle.
  • Works well in warm and cold water.

Cons

  • Fragrance won’t appeal to everyone.
  • If you use extra detergent, the bottle can run out quickly.
  • The formula may leave residue on clothes.

Product Specs

Fragrance Classic
Sizes 33.3 fl oz
Form Liquid
Washers type HE & Regular
Number of loads 64

5. Cheer HE Liquid Detergent

Best for Mixed Loads

The Cheer HE Liquid Detergent is a good pick for those who forget to separate colors before laundry. It works well on both colorful and black clothes, meaning there’s no danger of damage if you do mix the two. Still, we don’t recommend you make this a habit.

Another advantage of this feature is that you won’t need to buy different detergents for all clothing colors.

This liquid detergent has a fresh, clean scent for those who love that just-washed smell to your clothes. It’s also gentle on the skin, so you shouldn’t need to worry about rashes, irritation, or itching.

There is a downside in terms of odor elimination. Some buyers reported that this fragrant detergent didn’t do an excellent job of eliminating smells entirely.

Pros

  • Works with colors and darks.
  • Keeps colored clothes bright.
  • Gentle formula is kind on the skin.
  • Fresh, clean scent.
  • Prevents fading and pilling on your clothes.

Cons

  • Might not eliminate smells.
  • The bottle is prone to leaking.

Product Specs

Fragrance Fresh clean
Sizes 100 oz, 150 oz,
Form Liquid
Washers type HE & Regular
Number of loads 64, 96

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Fragrance Sizes Form Washers type Number of loads
Puracy Natural Liquid Detergent Budget-Friendly Detergent Unscented 24 oz Liquid HE & Regular 96
Woolite Darks Liquid Detergent Value Midnight Breeze 50 oz, 100 oz Liquid HE & Regular 33, 66
Perwoll Renew Black 3D Detergent Efficient Detergent Not specified 50 oz Liquid HE & Regular 20
The Laundress Darks Detergent For Eco-Conscious Users Classic 33.3 oz Liquid HE & Regular 64
Cheer HE Liquid Detergent For Mixed Loads Fresh clean 100 oz, 150 oz Liquid HE & Regular 64, 96

Choosing a Detergent for Dark Clothes

You will find a wide range of liquids, powders, and pods for dark clothing. Each one of these products promises to protect the colors of your clothing. But beyond color protection, there are other criteria you should keep an eye on.

Color and Fabric Protection

The first thing you need to look for is color protection. You want a detergent that enhances and preserves the dark color of your clothes. You also must ensure that the detergent is suitable for the fabric you’re washing.

Some detergents may be versatile enough for different materials, such as silk, cotton, linen, rayon, nylon, cashmere, and wool. Others may not be suitable for some fabrics and can make them rough or even damage them.

Laundry 101

Remember to separate colors before you do laundry. Keep your clothes vivid as long as possible.

Number of Loads

If you have a big family or plenty of dark clothes, you’ll want a detergent that will last for a long time. How many loads of laundry can you do? Be sure to check the label.

Sometimes, a small bottle can contain a concentrated formula. In this case, it may actually be more cost-effective than a large one.

Washing Machine Type

Is the detergent you’re looking at rated for your washing machine? Some washing machines are high-efficiency (HE), meaning they use less water (2). Ensure that the detergent works for the type of washing machine you have.

Doesn’t Contain Bleach

Of course, detergents containing bleach would be a disaster for your black clothes. Without a doubt, bleach is your worst enemy here. Make sure to buy bleach-free products or color-safe bleach to preserve the longevity of the garments.


FAQs

What Causes Dark Clothes to Fade?

Dark clothes fade because of friction. The more the garments rub together, the fibers begin to break down and become exposed. When this happens, the color fades.

Should I Wash Dark Clothes In Hot or Cold Water?

You should wash dark clothes in cold water to preserve the fibers and stop them from breaking apart. Darker colors react badly to the hot water inside your washing machine.

How Can I Make My Black Clothes Black Again?

The best way to make your black clothes black again is to brew two strong cups of black coffee. When the rinse cycle starts in the washing machine, add the coffee.

How Do You Make a Natural Black Dye?

You can make a natural black dye from plant extracts. Tannins in bark and plant tissue are a natural brownish material used in dyes. Failing that, use a black pigment, like this Rit Liquid Dye.

Does Coffee Make Black Clothes Darker?

Coffee does make black clothes darker. Add two strong cups of black coffee to your rinse cycle or add them to a bucket of water and soak the garment until it changes color.

Stay Dark

Finding the best detergent for dark clothes can preserve your beloved clothing and make them last a lot longer. Don’t forget to remember what your clothes are made of: choose one that’s fabric-appropriate.

You should also pick a product whose smell you like and that won’t irritate your skin and sinuses. Always read the label before purchasing if you’re sensitive to certain ingredients.

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Headshot of Amy Anthony

About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization aficionado. Amy enjoys having an absolutely spotless home and has worked hard to develop strategies to keep it that way, despite having 2 kids and 3 dogs!