Mixing Things Up: When Is it Okay to Mix Colors?

Shortcuts are wonderful. They save time and work and let us get ahead of the game easily. We are always looking for shortcuts. However, not all shortcuts are good, even when doing laundry.

While it may seem OK to mix the different types of fabrics and different colored clothes to wash your laundry, doing so is actually not a good idea. 

Dark and light colored clothes should be washed separately in cold water. Washing clothes in cold water will mostly prevent color bleeding between clothes. So why not just combine the whites with the lights then? While it may not prevent color bleeding as well, hot or warm water washes away dirt better than cold water, so your whites stay, well, white.

So then what about drying? They’re just drying and not drowning in water, so that should be okay, right? Well, it’s not recommended to dry darks, whites and lights together either. Because the clothes are still wet, color bleeding can still occur, and there are some clothes, such as sweaters that could be damaged by coming into contact with items with zippers, during the tumble process.

Additionally, clothes should be separated by fabric types. Mixing denser fabrics with lighter or more delicate ones, like jeans in with a light T-shirt, can wear out the lighter or more delicate clothing quicker and easier from the constant friction and rubbing together with the harder and denser fabrics. This is why jeans should be washed separately.

Ultimately, the best course of action is to follow the manufacturer’s label and do what works best for you and your laundry.