After a few washes, your favorite black T-shirt likely no longer looks as fresh in your closet as it once did in the store. The only way to completely prevent dark items from fading is to avoid tossing them into the spin cycle altogether. However, dirt, spills, and sweat happen—and dry cleaning is expensive.

Some people preserve the hue of dark clothing items by adding coffee or tea to a rinse cycle. Others swear by selecting garments treated with acid or reactive dyes, which reportedly aren’t as prone to fading. However, some of the most effective tips to keep your darks, well, dark are also the most simple.

Lifehacker recently published the above video by Consumer Reports. Next time you do a load of laundry, follow its handy recommendations. Not sure if your favorite black jeans need a good cleaning quite yet? Check out this list of how often you need to wash several common household and clothing items. By washing your darks less, they will stay extra-fresh. An added bonus? You'll conserve water, energy, and time.

Banner image courtesy of iStock.

[h/t Lifehacker]