We all know how frustrating it is to pull your white clothes out of the machine only to discover a red sock had sneaked and turned everything pink. Sorting laundry before you press “start” is something we all need to do to avoid such incidents.
So, how do you separate laundry? Are there specific instructions on how to separate colored clothes from white or black ones?
This post will cover everything you need to know about how to sort clothes for laundry properly according to color and fabric type.
Sorting laundry is essential to avoid coloring incidents and protect your clothes from fading and tearing.
Some of the items you need for laundry sorting are:
- A basket
- Bags for delicates (optional)
- Other laundry products you use
Once you ensure you have all the items you need, here is how to separate clothes for washing.
If you want to protect your clothes, make sure to read the garments’ labels. Manufacturers include clear instructions for washing and caring for specific articles of clothing, so follow them to avoid damaging sensitive items in your load.
Most homeowners know that sorting laundry begins by separating colored clothes from dark and white ones. However, some experts advise you to go even further and sort your clothes by shade.
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- Darks: Separate blues, purples, and other dark colors from black and brown fabric. It will help keep the black and brown dye from coloring other pieces of clothing in a pile. If you want to keep your dark clothes intact, follow this guide.
- Brights: Colors like yellow, orange, light blue, green, and red are bright colors, and it is better to wash them separately.
- Lights: White clothing with prints, pale blue shades, or other pale tones are light clothes.
- Whites: White shirts, pants, socks, or delicates with no patterns.
Now that you know how to separate laundry colors, it is time to learn how to sort them by fabric. Some will say that this is an extra step, but it is never too much if you want to keep your clothing in excellent shape.
During the washing cycle, clothes make contact with each other. Heavier fabrics can sometimes cause wear and tear on sensitive clothes and damage the fabric. So, before you toss your pile of darks or lights into the washer, always check the labels and set aside clothes that require dry clean or hand wash only.
Next, sort clothes into daily wear fabrics (t-shirts, pants, shirts), heavy-duty fabrics (denim or jackets), and delicates. Don’t forget to remove the items from your pockets, turn knits inside out, and secure all fasteners (buttons and zippers).
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Here are some other valuable tips on how to separate clothes for laundry by fabric and use:
- Towels: It is best to wash light or white towels separately from dark-colored ones to prevent fading or color transfer.
- Sheets and Bedding: For sheets and bedding fabrics, it is essential to check the label because some require washing at high temperatures while others don’t. Check the material and see what your sheets are made of so you’ll know at what temperature to wash them.
- Delicates: Some delicates require dry cleaning or hand washing only, including silk ones. If you want to use the washing machine, avoid combining fabrics such as lace, cashmere, poly, and knitwear because they might lose their quality and shape. The best way to protect your delicates is to place them in mesh bags.
- Jeans: Dark or light jeans are best when washed independently and on a gentle cycle to avoid shrinkage. If you need to combine them with other items, make sure they are similar colored ones.
- Sportswear: Sportswear is prone to odor-causing bacteria, and the best way to reduce the odor is to wash them at low temperatures and with mild detergent.
Before putting the clothes in the washing machine, check for dirt, stains, and heavy soiling. If you notice that some clothes have stains, set them aside to treat the stain first. Today, there are cleaning solutions for almost any stain and fabric type.
Doing this will help prevent stains and dirt particles from settling other pieces of clothing. Once the wash cycle is over, see if the stain is gone. If it is still there, repeat the process until your clothes are 100% clean.
When you purchase new clothes, you want to wear them as soon as possible. However, that doesn’t mean that you should put them in the washer with other (older) clothes. Instead, wash them independently for the first two or three cycles.
Now that you know how to sort clothes separating clothes for laundry should be an easy and quick part of the washing routine. However, some clothes are not easy to sort or wash at home in your machine.
If you have trouble sorting laundry, don’t have enough practice, or fear that you might damage your new dress or pants, consider professional dry cleaning services.
Martinizing Dry Cleaning has been the team of choice for numerous households in the East Bay area. Contact us today to schedule your free pickup, and we’ll deliver your clothes back in perfect condition.