More and more of us are forgoing the age-old laundry rule that you must separate white and coloured clothes. But is this the hubris of a younger generation or the shaking of an unhelpful, old wives’ tale? Discover why you should still separate your clothing before heading to the laundromat and when you can get away with throwing it all in together.
When should you separate whites and colours in the wash?
New clothing is a big no-no when washing whites as they still tend to have dye that will run during the first few washes. Similarly, unless a coloured item specifically says it can handle the heat, it has no business going in with your whites. White clothing is best washed at warm, if not hot, temperatures, whereas heat is the enemy of coloured clothing, leading to dye running and discolouring your whites if washed together.
If you’ve got a single white shirt to go with a load of dark washing and think it wouldn’t hurt to chuck it in with the rest, think again! The potential for dye transfer is incredibly high and never worth the risk. That single white shirt can wait until you’ve gathered a few more similar items.
Why You Should be Separating Your Washing
Extended the Life of Your Clothing
Separating white and coloured clothing will prolong the life of your laundry. While throwing all your washing in at once won’t necessarily ruin your clothes beyond repair, it will lead to that new favourite shirt looking tired and worn out faster than it should. By separating your clothing, you will notice that they keep that new look and fresh feel for far longer.
Avoid Dye Transfer
While modern manufacturing processes have reduced the amount of colour transfer in clothing, it’s still a major concern when washing whites with certain coloured items, especially when heat is involved. Washing that brand-new purple shirt with your plain white top is how you end up with a tie-dyed shirt you can’t remember buying.
When is it safe to wash whites with colours?
Separating white and coloured clothing and putting on multiple loads for each can take up time you don’t have or effort you’re unwilling to give. We get it; no one likes laundry. The good news is that you can get away with washing whites and colours together in certain situations.
You can safely put darker clothing with a good colour fastness rating with your whites. The colour fastness rating describes an item’s resistance to bleeding dye in the wash, so a good rating coupled with a cold wash should mean your whites come out unharmed when washed with colours.
It’s better to be safe than sorry when doing laundry
While not entirely necessary, separating white and coloured clothing is still a good idea to avoid wearing down your whites or accidentally dying them a different colour.
Wash multiple loads of white and coloured clothing simultaneously by visiting our St Marys laundromat or any other Liquid Laundromat location.