You probably know how to get your whites white. But how can you get your colors brighter?

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Just about every laundry detergent in the world claims to whiten whites and brighten brights, so why do our most colorful clothes seem to come out of the wash looking less vibrant than before they went in?

Keeping your colors bright may not be the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning, and we hope you're not losing too much sleep over it at night, but unless you're going for that comfortably faded look, there's no denying that clothes look their best when the colors are crisp and new. Preserving the original color can also help you save money by extending the life of your clothing, since the best techniques for brightening colors tend to be gentler on fabrics than the old tried-and-true method of jamming as much as you can into the washer and hitting "start." (It's OK, we've all done it!)

Some of the best tricks for keeping colors bright rely on inexpensive, environmentally friendly ingredients you probably already have in your home. If you enjoy doing laundry as much as we do (which is to say, not much at all), you'll be glad to know that these color-saving tips are almost as simple as the throw-it-all-in-there approach, but with much better results.

Ready to wow your friends and family with your newfound knowledge of how to brighten colors while washing your clothes? Read on!