Putting off doing the laundry is something that every one of us can relate to. Whilst it doesn’t involve doing as much work as the dishes or household dusting, there’s just something about it that gets on our nerves. That’s why we’re here to make life easier for you, starting with the hardest part of every laundry journey: separating and washing different colours. By reading this article you will learn how to sort, wash and dry clothes by colour, fabric and category like a champion.
WHAT COLOURS CAN YOU WASH TOGETHER?
Common causes of laundry mishaps include:
- Reactive dyes: These dyes can become unstable when exposed to bleach-containing detergents, leading to colour leakage onto other clothing items. Oxygen bleach in detergents can also cause colour fading.
- Bleeding from direct dyes: At times, dyes from a single garment may bleed into the wash, even when using cold or lukewarm water.
This is why it is important to understand which colours can be washed together. You should always separate your whites, darks and bold colours from each other first. After this, you should assess which category all the items with less specific colours fall into. Here’s a list of categories by colour and function that can be washed together and clothing types and colours that should be washed separately:
1. PURE WHITE.
The pure white clothing category includes t-shirts, vests, bedding, and any pure white items you own. You may include pure white items with small sections of colour. These are best washed at 60°C.
2. LIGHTS & PASTELS.
The light and pastel clothing category includes off-white, cream, ochre, light and pastel colours, and towels. These are best washed at 40°C.
3. DELICATES & EMBELLISHED.
The delicate, mesh, embroidered and embellished clothing category is best washed by hand. If you require the use of a washing machine, place your delicate clothing items such as lace or linen in delicates laundry bag and your embellished items in a separate laundry bag (e.g: sequinned items together and beaded items together), and put on the same cycle. These are best washed at 30°C.
4. BOLDS - BRIGHT.
5. BOLDS - DARKS.
The bold and dark clothing category includes bold blues, greens, oranges and light grey colours. These are best washed at 30°C.
6. PURE DARKS.
The pure darks clothing category includes dark blues, blacks, and dark greys. These are best washed at 30°C.
The sportswear and swimwear clothing category can be washed with delicate items or on their own. We recommend using a laundry bag that will protect its delicate fibre integrity during the washing cycle if you are using the washing machine. These are best washed at 30°C.
For performance driven fabrics and sport clothing items - avoid washing your sportswear with denim, darks or coloured clothing that require different water temperatures. Opt for a non-bio laundry detergent formulated with natural ingredients that deodorises and conditions fibres like our specialist sports wash.
ADVICE: Rinse mixed-coloured items in cold water first, then let them sit in a bowl or basin of water for 20 minutes to determine colour fastness. If a significant amount of dye is released then wash the items in the washing machine inside out. You can often find colour fastness details on any garment care label, located on the interior seam of garments.
HOW TO SEPARATE LAUNDRY:
We understand the frustration that is felt when you go to get your whites from the washing machine only to realise that a stray red sock ended up in there too and turned everything a garish pink. It’s enough to make you want to laugh and cry at the same time, follow our steps to say goodbye to laundry mishaps forever.
Read the garment care label. Before categorising and washing any of your laundry, read the garment care label usually found on the interior seam of each item. This will convey information about how it should be washed, and its fabric composition.
Categorise your blended fabrics first. The easiest way to figure out how to wash a blend of fabrics is by following the instructions of the garment with the highest percentage of the fabric composition. If a garment states that it is 70% silk and 30% polyester, follow the washing instructions for silk.
ADVICE: When it comes to delicate fabrics like silk, cashmere or wool, we recommend always using care instructions for those particular textiles.
Sort into piles for best results. To hone in further on categorising your laundry loads to ensure no mishaps occur, separate your piles into groups, such as:
- Pure whites
- Lights & pastels
- Delicate & embellished items
- Bold and bright colours
- Bold and dark colours
- Dark, black & dark grey colours
- Sportswear & swimwear (can also be washed with delicates)
If you have patterned items, sort them based on their dominant colour and if you cannot decipher, put them in a pile of your choice. After sorting these, wash each pile separately.
Launder each pile by fabric composition. If you’re unsure how to wash it best, refer to our articles that detail how to wash specific fabric types to learn the safest and most foolproof way to launder those items.
WHAT COLOURS CAN YOU WASH WITH WHITE CLOTHES?
You can wash your light-coloured clothes safely with your whites, although to avoid premature fading and to be completely safe, we recommend washing pure white clothing separately. The light-coloured clothing mentioned above would include light greys, pale yellows, beige and cream.