It may be easy to throw a load of mixed laundry into the machine, but if you don’t want everything to turn an odd shade of pink or grey, it's best to follow our simple tips. If you only have a small amount from one group, then don’t be tempted to put it in with another. Save it for a full load.
- Sort clothes by Colour:
Clothes with deep colours are more likely to bleed dye when washed. To avoid damaging other clothing, sort laundry according to colour, grouping dark, medium and light colours separately. Wash deep coloured clothing like indigo jeans or red sweatshirts by themselves for the first few washings.
- Sort Clothes by Fabric Type:
Wash heavier items, like towels, seperately from lighter weight clothes to prevent abrasion and damage to finer fabrics. For the same reason, separate clothing with zippers and buttons from knits and lingerie. If an item sheds lint, wash it seperately from microfiber, corduroy or other fabrics that attract link.
Another reason to separate laundry by fabric type is because heavier items take longer to dry than lighter ones. By drying them together, the lighter items are over-dried, which stresses the fibers, and heavier items are often left damp.
- To care for delicate items, wash on a gentle cycle in a mesh garment bag.
- Sort by the Amount of Dirt on Items:
Very dirty or stained laundry should be washed separately on a longer, heavy-duty cycle. This provides the agitation needed to get rid of heavy dirt.
- Turn your clothes inside out.
This will protect them during the wash. It also stops jeans turning white at the seams.
- Pre-treat Your Clothes Before Washing.
There is no need to worry about getting tough stains out of coloured loads. Pre-treat heavy stains to boost the power of your detergent. Find out how to pre-treat for the best results here.
Use a partitioned laundry basket – it’ll save you time sorting it all out later.
In case someone in your household places something in the wrong section, check the garments' labels for the manufacturer’s washing recommendations.
If in doubt, test an item for colourfastness by applying warm water to an inconspicuous part (for instance, the inside of a hem), then press with a warm iron between two pieces of cloth. If any colour leaks, it’s not colourfast.