Sometimes we can get a bit grumbly about sorting laundry when it’s just so easy to dump it all in the washer. Yet all it takes is that one red sock turning your white blouse pink to remember the benefits of separating certain items. How to separate clothes for washing and remain grumble-free? We’ve not only got this answer but the solutions for even more laundry sorting dilemmas.
How to Separate Clothes for Washing: 2 Ways Made Easy
Essentially, there are two main methods for how to separate clothes for washing: sorting by color or sorting by fabric. We’ll run through the details for both so your laundry comes out clean and fresh rather than stained or damaged.
How to Sort Laundry by Color
There are some typical culprits that run a higher risk of bleeding their dye into your white items. Items such as dark jeans and deep red sweaters or sweatshirts are usually to blame. Any darkly colored item runs the risk of bleeding their color into lighter ones.
We suggest washing these items only with other dark clothing, at least for the first few washes, to preserve your lighter apparel. We also suggest turning dark garments inside out before washing to further prohibit any dye from touching other clothing.
Special Considerations for Color Sorting
How to separate clothes for washing by color still leaves a lot of room for interpretation; even once dark items are separate from white. Here are some laundry sorting FAQs for color clarification:
- Can I wash pink with dark colors? We recommend washing light pink items with whites and other light colors. Dark or deeply dyed pinks should be washed with other dark items.
- Can I wash light blue with white? Yes. Generally speaking, light colors can be washed with white items without running the risk of bleeding dye.
- Can I wash light pink with white? Yes. Light colors can usually be safely washed with white items.
- Do you wash khakis with light or darks? To be safe, we recommend washing light-colored khakis with other light items. The cotton material of most khaki pants can too easily absorb dye from darker items.
- Can you wash light jeans with white clothes? Unless your jeans are white, it’s safer to wash them with other colored items. The dye in jeans still runs the risk of bleeding, no matter how light, at least for the first few washes.
- Can you wash jeans with shirts? You can wash jeans with shirts as long as they are dark colors that will not show any possible bleeding.
How to Sort Laundry by Fabric
Knowing how to separate clothes for washing by fabric also helps preserve the life of your clothing. Heavier items like terry cloth towels or blankets should be washed together to avoid grazing with other items that could be easily harmed by their weight. Heavy items should also be dried together, as their long drying times could lead to over-drying of lighter items while still leaving heavy ones damp.
Delicate items should also be separated from other fabrics during washing to avoid pilling and tearing from the zippers and buttons of other laundry. Ideally, delicates are washed together in a mesh bag on a gentle cycle or hand washed and air-dried.
Though it’s easy to think that sorting clothes only adds another step to the chore of laundry, once you know how to separate clothes for washing it can be quick and easy. Not to mention saving you the time, money, and frustration that can come from that stray red sock.