We all love to save time, especially when we’re engaged in chores like cleaning and laundry. It’s this innate spirit of economy that prompts any busy mom to toss her whites and colors together into the dryer.
But that’s a practice that could have cons far more dreadful than any perk.
Drying whites and colors together can be a very dreadful affair. Colors, still being wet, can bleed into whites and destroy their glorious state. And the heat from the dryer can further set the color into the white fabric.
So when you’re not sure regarding the colorfastness of your colored clothes, avoid washing whites together with them in the dryer.
And if the garments are new or colored with a dye in shades of red, avoid the practice like the plague. Instead, dry each item separately and according to their manufacturers instructions.
Below, we elaborate more on drying whites and colors together, discuss whether or not you should be washing whites and colors in the first place, and how to properly wash whites and colors when you really have to.
Before anything, let’s discuss: can you wash whites with other colors?
No doubt, before drying comes wetting. And before we can ever talk about drying white clothes together with colors, we first need to tackle the question whether or not we can wash both of them together in the first place.
Can we actually do it?
If I were to give the most ideal advice, I’d be no, never do it. Don’t ever wash whites with other colors. Because when colors bleed, the colours that would suffer the most would be the whites!
And depending on how long you’ve left the colors to sit, getting the stain out can be difficult to impossible.
But here’s another way to look at things. A real world orientation for that matter. Quality clothes nowadays hardly ever bleed, especially after they’ve done so during their first wash and when they’re made using synthetic fibres like nylon and polyester which hold onto colors better than natural fibers like cotton and leather. So putting them to wash together with whites might not pose any problem.
Really, check their color-fastness using a white color swab. Moisten it with water and dab it continuously over an inconspicuous area of the garment. Then check to see whether the color transfers over to the swab.
(Make sure you check every colored area of multi colored clothes)
For quality clothes colored with quality dyes, you’d find no colors being transferred over to the swab especially after the first wash. And that’s a huge sign that you can wash the garment with your whites.
You can be sure you have a cloth colored with quality dye when there’s no tag on the seam that says anything like this “ color may come off” “wash in cold water only” or “turn inside out and launder”.
If you do have this tag on your garment, the colors will likely come off and you’re better off washing them alone and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
One special mention when it comes to colors are those in various shades of red. Avoid washing them, at all cost, with your whites, no matter how much they’ve aged. They are very prone to bleeding even if the dyes used are of high quality and the washing is for the second or third time.
Tips on washing colors with whites
- Make sure the colored clothes aren’t new clothes, they could bleed into the whites no matter the quality.
- Make sure it’s not a blue jeans.
- Do a colorfastness test.
- Wash in cold water because it keeps the fibers in the clothes from releasing the dyes.
What about drying whites with other colors?
As stated above, the ideal advice would be to avoid drying whites with colors because the possibility of color bleeding is there. But for quality materials, which typically don’t bleed by virtue of their properly dyed fibers, you shouldn’t have any problems doing so.
The note of warning for red colored clothes still stands. Keep them away from not just white clothes but other colors as well.
Can you wash all colored clothes together?
It might be tempting to wash every colored clothes together, but always segregate cloths into similar colours when washing, especially when there are colors that bleed among the mix, for example a new blue jeans.
Wash reds with red and blues with blues. When colors don’t bleed however, feel free to mix them together and wash them.
Don’t wash towels with clothes
While this may come off as random, it’s a practice many of us have already signed up for and are in constant practice.
Let me tell you what this does to your garment.
Towels, being naturally heavy and even heavier when wet, bruise up your clothes and weaken the fibers. Over time, they break down and your cloth tears!
Towels, also being less sanitary than other clothes, can transfer this virtue onto them when you wash them together, and this is one of the reasons why your clothes might return smelly the moment you wear them for some hours after they’ve been washed.
Towels, being heavy duty items, would also require tougher washing conditions like hot water, and more agitation.
Because they’re the dirtiest in the mix, it means the setting would have to be fine tuned for them rather than for other clothes to ensure maximum efficiency with washing.
Your delicate fabrics might not fare well with these conditions and this can lead them to break down much faster.
It’s best to seperate whites from colors when washing and drying, as that will eliminate the chances of color bleeding.
That said, most modern fabrics manufactured these days are built colorfast, meaning they don’t bleed their colors into the washing water, especially when they’ve been washed already and when they’re of other colors other than shades of red.
Whatever, just ensure to do a color-fastness test to determine whether your colors bleed and if not, feel free to wash them with whites, and also dry them in the dryer together with them.