Most people know that sorting laundry begins by separating white clothes from dark ones. However, some experts think that you should go even further and organize clothes by shades. Start by putting together a pile of clothes: Whites – no patterns or embroidery.
As long as you're not using bleach, don't add clothing after the water (a pain, because clothes can float). Instead, use this order to distribute detergent best: clothes, then water, then soap. This isn't necessarily a blunder. Most items that say “dry-clean” can be hand-washed and air-dried.
Can you wash your sheets and blankets together? Yes — but avoid washing soiled dish towels and underwear with your bedding. Towels and underwear are items that get especially dirty and need to be washed separately in hot water to remove bacteria.
Always wash your whites separately to avoid colour transfer. Light grey clothes, for example, are safe to wash with light colours, and you should put your dark grey garments in the dark pile.
The dark pile is for blacks, navies, reds and greys. If you are really concerned that your darks may cross-contaminate each other, you can keep splitting it down as well. For example, you can split all of your brighter darks into one pile and leave the blacks, navies and greys in a separate pile.
Designate a section of the closet for each clothing group (ie. sweaters, skirts, pants) then begin putting the clothing into each section by color. If you want to create the rainbow effect, the colors should go in the following order: white, tan, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, gray and black.
The flowchart starts with someone collecting and sorting dirty clothes. Then they put the clothes into the washing machine. Then the person adds washing powder and fabric softener. After the person selects the cycle and temperature, the washing begins.
If you have a regular top-loading machine, it's best to fill your washer with water first, then add your detergent, then add your clothes. This helps evenly distribute the detergent in the water before it hits your clothes. Remember that the nicer you are to your washer and dryer the longer they'll last.
Washing towels with clothes can transfer germs and bacteria between items in the wash. For sanitary reasons, you should always wash bath towels separately from clothing items. Putting towels in their own load also makes it easier to adjust the setting based on color.
The dye in darker clothes can easily seep into lighter clothes during the laundry process, that's why it's best to wash dark-colored garments (black, grey, dark-brown, dark-green, olive, purple, indigo, navy blue, dark-red, crimson, and so on) in a separate batch.
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.
White clothes should generally be washed using hot or warm water. Using higher temperatures for whites can effectively help remove stains and bacteria.
Try to group colors together – wash pastels in one group, then separate reds, oranges and yellows from green, blue or purple items with darker hues. If your brights are brand new, wash them separately for the first few washes to help keep them from bleeding dye onto other clothes.
You can actually pre-sort items to make life easier by using a handy sorting hamper, with compartments that allow you to separate items before wash day rolls around. Then, for best results and maximum color longevity, separate each pile into three smaller piles: white or light clothes, dark clothes, and colors.
Most people should wash their sheets once per week. If you don't sleep on your mattress every day, you may be able to stretch this to once every two weeks or so.
Like fabric softener, dryer sheets contain oils that can coat towel fibers and destroy their absorbency. So, don't use them when drying your towels. Instead, create three-inch balls from aluminum foil and toss them in the dryer with your towels.
Wash sheets in cold water, as the default. Use the “normal” cycle (also called “regular” or “permanent press”). Do not overstuff the washing machine; sheets need room in the drum of the washer in order for water and detergent to fully penetrate the fibers.