Can You Wash White Clothes With Colored Clothes?

When doing the laundry, it is a common practice to separate the whites from the colored clothes. It’s an effective method to avoid any color bleeding problems. But what if you’re a busy bee, and you don’t have the time to separate your laundry by color? Is there a way to wash your clothes unsorted? 

Separating laundry by color is done to avoid color bleeding. Washing white clothes with colored clothes is possible, but only under certain circumstances. Only wash your clothes unsorted if the colored ones are old and less likely to bleed dyes. Use cold water to minimize damage. 

Can You Wash White Clothes With Colored Clothes
Can You Wash White Clothes With Colored Clothes

With the busy world, we live in today, trivial tasks like sorting your laundry can be time-consuming. However, this step is needed to ensure a clean wash without any “color” incidents. If you’re really in a pinch, the best way to wash unsorted clothes is by using cold water in short cycles. 

What Happens If You Wash White Clothes With Colored Clothes? 

Separating white clothes from colored ones might seem unimportant at first. After all, clothes that come and go to the washer are always cleaned. Why make the process more complicated and time-consuming, right? Although it seems irrelevant, this rule had prevented millions of good clothes from getting ruined. 

Most detergent manufacturers and distributors include this step in their packaging. Ask anyone from any laundromat if they sort their stuff, and the answer will probably be a “yes. It’s already an established rule for people who wash their clothes. And there’s a good reason behind it: to avoiding color bleed. 

Dark or colored clothes are usually dyed in the factory to get the intended color. And since these new clothes are not washed yet, the dyeing process’s residue gets leaked into the water. The residue dye is what causes color bleeding, which ruins the color of the light-colored clothes. 

If you add white clothes with the batch of colored ones inside a washer, it will catch all the leaked dyes. Instead of pristine and clean white clothing, it will end up looking gray and dirty when it’s out of the washer. Sorting your clothes is easier than dealing with color bleed. 

Washing Clothes Unsorted

For safer and cleaner laundry, don’t mix your white clothes and colored ones when washing.  If you want to keep your white clothes white and your colored clothes vibrant, this is the rule to be followed. New washers will likely get the hang of it after a few washes. If you seek consistency when doing your laundry, sticking to this step is the way to go.

Is There A Way To Properly Wash Unsorted Clothes? 

Just like any other rule, there is are a few exceptions. Yes, you can wash your clothes without sorting, but only under certain circumstances. Avoid using excess detergent because it can cause your colored clothes to fade away quickly. Don’t try to wash unsorted clothes altogether if you have a hard water supply.  

Only Wash A Couple Of Clothes

Washing unsorted clothes only work if you only need to wash a few pieces at the same time. You can’t mix light and heavy clothes because both require different wash cycles. Heavy clothes need more time in the washer for a thorough clean. By then, your lighter clothes would be faded and overwashed. 

Use Cold Water And The Shortest Wash Cycle

Using cold water for laundry is a popular choice for colored clothes. Coldwater works well with colored and white clothes because it likely won’t cause severe color bleeding. Don’t add any amount of hot water in the mix, and only use the shortest cycle available. This method won’t make your white clothes pristine looking, but it should avoid unnecessary color bleed from happening. 

Only Do This With Old Colored Clothes

Old colored clothes are less likely to bleed color into the lighter fabric because the dye is already faded. The reason for this is because brand new clothes will likely bleed regardless of the water temperature. 

Remember only to mix colored pieces of cloth if these have been washed about three to four times. Don’t forget to reverse your clothes before washing to preserve the colors without tainting the white clothing articles. 

Take note: if you want your clothes to feel clean and look clean, sorting your white and colored clothes is still recommended. But if you have no choice, and time is of the essence, you can try this method and hope that somehow, it will not ruin your white clothes. 

Tips In Sorting Your Laundry

If you’re busy and might not be able to sort your clothing quickly, the best option is to use multiple containers. Instead of piling up your laundry in one basket, sort your clothes as you discard them. That way, your stuff is already sorted, and you only need to dump your items and schedule your laundry timings. 

Better yet, you can do smaller laundry every day, which will only take a bit of your time. Besides, if the laundry only has a few clothes, you can wash it unsorted in cold water. It can free up your time during your day off, too. Don’t forget to use separate laundry baskets for clean and dirty clothes to maximize efficiency. 

For people with a big family, the best option is not to sort at all. Make each family member put their clothes in separate baskets. There’s a basket for white and light-colored clothes, dark-colored clothes, new clothes, jeans, etc. This method is also a great chance to teach your children how to separate their clothes properly. 

Don’t forget to also sort your clothes via fabric type, soil level, and other properties. Wash the more delicate clothes separately, and avoid combining heavy and light fabric clothing. Use a separate wash load when washing dirty clothes (e.g., children’s play clothes). This is to prevent transferring the dirt and other stains to other clothes in the washer. 

How To Wash White Clothes? 

Sort your white fabric based on heaviness or lightness.  Thin white fabric is not meant to be washed with hot water. White clothes with colored designs can also cause color bleeding. Check your white fabric label to know if your clothes are washable at a hot temperature. Labels are usually found near the neck or in the side hems. 

Set your washer to the hottest temperature setting, especially if you’re washing sheets and towels. Put your laundry and detergent in the right places. Avoid overloading, as this process can redeposit dirt from one fabric to another. Let the washer spin for the recommended time before taking the clothes out. Dry your white fabric in high heat to avoid towel lint. 

Take note: cold wash your delicate white clothes and hand-wash the undergarments. Instead of using the dryer, the thin fabric should be air-dried. If you need to bleach a stain, you need to add it to the washer’s bleach dispenser. This is to avoid the bleach from ruining white clothes with colored designs. 

How To Wash Dark And Colored Clothes?

Like washing white clothes, you need to separate the colored ones according to their required wash method. Thin or delicate fabric can shrink and might end up unusable. After that, sort your clothes based on color. This is done because color bleeding can also appear on colored clothes. If you mix a newly-purchased blue shirt among red ones, the latter can have those blue dye residue. Redshirts will likely turn to purple after the wash. 

What Color Clothes Can Be Washed Together?

Dark-colored clothes and light-colored ones should be washed in two separate clothes. Bright colors such as red, orange, yellow, purple, light grey, and other pastel colors can go together in a single wash. Meanwhile, darker colors like blue, green, or black can go together in one load. 

What About The Fabric Or Texture? 

If you checked the labels of your clothes and already separated the thin ones, you’re likely good to go. But it’s always safer to double-check and sort your colored clothes by texture too. Denim shirts and towels are often considered “heavy” and require a different cycle. Take note: cotton items also require cold wash because these will shrink on a hot one. 

Look Out For The Stains

Before throwing the clothes into the water, check any hard-to-remove stains. If there is a significant amount of stain in the clothes, pre-treat them using detergent. Only add a small amount of detergent, as excessive soap can fade your colored clothes. Once done with pre-treating, turn any new clothes inside out to lessen the possibility of color bleeding. 

Add your clothes and detergent to the washer as intended. Use cold water for the wash. You have the option to add other products that prevent discoloration (like fabric conditioners or color catchers.) Remove the clothes from the washer after the cycle is done. Air-dry your colored clothes if possible, because using the dryer can make the colors fade faster. 

Annika Vallgren

The old housewives, in general, were in charge of everything in a household. From doing budget deliberations, meal planning to implementing actions and everything in between, they are simply the right person for the job, period. A major portion of their time was spent doing laundry, cleaning, and feeding her hungry children, who would come home tired from school. I believe we have a lot to learn from her. So, here you will find old housewife tips mixed with modern life hacks, knowledge about washing and cleaning, and much more the modern housewife needs!

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