Is there a better way to separate clothes for washing? It takes forever and I always miss something. I’m tired of pink socks and grey underwear.
J. Parvino, Bridgeville, PA
Here’s what we recommend for how to separate clothes for machine washing. Just so you know, all this information comes from our detailed article on separating laundry here.
First, it’s a lot easier if you have separate containers for each type of clothing. This might look like a hamper divided into compartments. Next, divide your clothes into the following groups: jeans, darks, lights, whites, delicates, and exceptions.
To clarify, whites are anything white-colored that can handle agitation and hot water. Meanwhile, delicates might include bras, nylons, silk garments, or anything with sequins. And “exceptions” would be any items from any of these other five groups that have a stain. You will need to pre-treated those stains before washing for best results.
In addition, make sure to separate clothes with stains for a special pre-laundry treatment. This way laundry with difficult coffee stains, blueberry or grass stains can be put into special cleaning solutions before regular washing.
Now, while that’s the basic plan that makes sorting laundry easier, there are more things to consider. For example, you wouldn’t want to wash a fuzzy sweater with corduroys even if they are both darks. The sweater could shed on the pants, then you’ll have a mess. Plus, if you wash thick and heavy items with thin and light ones, your sheer garments could be damaged. Or if you have something very greasy and dirty, mixing it with other clothes could spread the dirt around.
In conclusion, if you’re getting a lot of dye transfer between clothes, you might need to check one more thing. Verify that you’re using the right temperature for each kind and color of clothing. Dark clothes won’t leach dye as much if you wash them in cold water. And white garments, if they aren’t delicate, will look brighter after a nice, hot wash.
I hope these tips help you resolve any laundry challenges in the future.