How many times has it happened to you that you opened the washing machine after the cycle was finished, took out the clothes and noticed that some things were properly washed while others looked like they were not even put in the washing machine at all? Chances are that you have sorted the laundry wrong, which happens very often even though we are sure which laundry should be washed together.
Rule is that the laundry must be sorted according to color, degree of soiling and by maintenance symbols, while the appropriate detergent and washing temperature are selected based on the aforementioned categories.
Proper processing/preparation before putting in the washing machine
By the rule of thumb, laundry must be sorted:
- by color
- degree of soiling
- maintenance symbols
When sorting the color, we will very often just sort the laundry into dark and light. But not all colors can be washed together, so it is important to learn which colors can. Always wash whites separately to avoid color transfer. Light gray clothes, for example, are safe to wash with light colors, and dark gray clothes should be put in a dark pile. Sort your clothes and garments into groups: whites, light colors, dark colors, and delicates (wool, silk, etc.). If you only have a small amount of one group, don’t be tempted to put it with the other – save it for a full charge. It is very important to wash light and dark clothes separately, because darker colors can destroy lighter fabrics. Sort your grays, blacks, navy blues, reds, dark purples and similar colors into one laundry and your pinks, lavenders, light blues, light greens and yellows into another laundry.
Once you’ve sorted your laundry by colour, it’s time to sort it by fabric type: never wash delicates (items such as underwear, nylons and washable silk), cotton and denim together as they all require different water temperatures.
Sorting clothes into separate piles based on the level of dirtiness is another wise strategy to follow if you want the best results. Very dirty items usually need to be pre-treated and require more agitation from the machine to be properly cleaned. Treat your dirty clothes with a stain remover before putting them in the washing machine to prevent the stains from re-depositing.
Based on the mentioned categories, we select the appropriate detergent and washing temperature that corresponds to the maintenance symbols. For white laundry, we advise you to use a detergent with bleaches, while for colored laundry, reach for a color detergent that does not contain bleach but color enhancers. After we have sorted the laundry according to color, level of dirtiness, and maintenance symbols, it is necessary to prepare the laundry for washing. Before putting it in the washing machine, it is important that:
- You go through your pockets to remove money, toothpicks, tissues, and the like
- Close all zippers
- Turn the laundry inside out
- Treat stains
If you wash microfibers and cotton together, simply because they belong together according to the above categories, there may be problems with the formation of lint, which reduces the cleaning effect. So when washing microfibers with cotton, separate the microfibers by placing them in a fine mesh laundry bag.
How to reduce the time for sorting laundry?
If you want to avoid kneeling on the bathroom floor while sorting your laundry into different categories, we recommend getting laundry baskets with dividers, or eventually have at least three different laundry baskets to put your dirty laundry into according to the basic categories: darks, whites, and delicates. With the help of a partitioned laundry basket or more than one laundry basket, sorting becomes easier. You can even label the sections which clothes go in which sections to make it easy for everyone in the family. In case someone puts something in the wrong compartment, check the labels for the manufacturer’s washing recommendations. If in doubt, test the color fastness of the item by applying warm water to an inconspicuous area (for example, the inside of the hem), then press with a warm iron between two pieces of fabric. If any color bleeds, the color is not permanent.