What Colors Can I Wash Together in the Laundry?

We all love having fresh clothes to wear though many people don’t look forward to laundry days, with all the fuss associated with it.

Millennials and gen-z are the most affected young adults.

It is not ideal washing each garment on its own. Therefore knowing what colors to wash together comes in handy. 

What Colors Can I Wash Together in the Laundry?

What colors can go together in the wash?

The key to sorting colored laundry is to wash like with like. There are three color categories white, light, and dark. 

  • White-colored clothes are always washed and dried in a separate load from other colors to prevent dye pigments from bleeding into the white and completely changing their color tone. 
  • Light colors refer to bright shades like pink, yellow, cream, orange, light blue, lavender, light green, fuchsia, orange, and light brown.
  • Colors that fall under the dark category are: black, gray (all shades), purple, indigo, navy blue, dark brown, crimson, dark green, rust, dark red, and olive. 

When Is It Safe to Mix Colors With White?

There are always exceptions to rules, and it’s no different when it comes to washing. There is a teeny-tiny loophole when mixing white clothes with colored garments.

You are supposed to test the item to be in bleach to determine its color fastness.

You basically apply warm water to an unnoticeable part like the inside of a hem and then press with a warm iron between pieces of bright cloth. 

 If no color leaks, the item is colorfast. You can proceed to wash it with white clothes. 

Other Factors to Consider When Sorting Laundry


It is vital to beware that some clothing produces lint in wash water like hand towels, fluffy bath towels, blankets, and tea towels.

Dark clothing is the most affected when covered in lint.

Dissimilar fabrics like wool and latex react to each other when washing.


Delicate fabrics require extra care in handling. Lingerie, pantyhose, and silk undergarments fall under this category.

Handwashing is highly encouraged. Otherwise, use mild detergent and a low spin setting.


Denim is in a category of its own in laundry since the material is durable, coarser, and thicker than other materials (wool, cotton, and latex).

It is advisable to wash denim jackets and jeans in cold water, with minimal detergent, separate from other clothes. 

Denim is the least troublesome material that you can wear more than once. 

Wash Type

Clothes come with tags from the manufacturer specifying how to wash them.

Hand wash only clothes should be cleaned by hand while dry clean only clothing should not be put in the washing machine, to avoid ruining them.

Weight and Size

Clothes that don’t share the same size will wash and dry at varying rates. Weighty clothing usually damages lightweight items in the washer. 

Tips on How to Preserve Color When Washing

It is natural for colored clothes to fade out with time. Below are some tips to help their shelf life by preserving the color as long as possible. 

Wash New Clothes With Similar Hues

New clothes will always release dyes in varying degrees when washed. It is therefore advisable to wash new items whose color matches apart from other garments. 

Use Cold Water

Dark colors are the most adversely affected when it comes to the water temperature because the dye comes off easily in hot water.

Cold water also helps to preserve material integrity. 

Use Cleaning Products That Soak Colors

There are cleaning products that absorb dye in the water.

These products come in handy when you don’t have time to sort the colors and throw them together for a wash. 

Turn Clothes Inside-Out

Turning clothes inside out during washing keeps, to some degree, color bleeding inside the fabric. The dye settles into the fabric when the water drains. 

Take the Laundry Out as Soon as the Cycle Completes

Leaving clothes together for too long can cause some color to transfer to the immediate clothing item when fabrics are still damp.

You ought to take the load out to dry by hanging or using a dryer as soon as possible. 

How to Wash Multi-Colored Clothes

Garments come in all shapes and sizes, and others with numerous colors and decoration shades. A garment is multi-colored if it has stripes or patches of different color tones.

Multi-colored clothes are bound to cause some minor freak-outs when sorting the laundry. 

Most manufacturers make multi-colored clothes colorfast, but it’s not always the case. The surest way to get over the issue is to focus on most parts of the garment in one color.

If a t-shirt has more white than other colors, put it in the white laundry pile.

White and pastels go with the light load & white and dark colors to be with the dark clothes.


Do I Even Need to Sort My Laundry?

Washing an array of colors together is bound to have a disastrous outcome.

For example, a red sock that isn’t colorfast may sneak in with white tops. The red sock will cause the white tops to turn pink.

What Can I Do to Help Sort Colors Faster?

You can use specialized laundry baskets for various colors is the surest way to go, and there are partitioned laundry baskets.

Using these laundry baskets will lessen the time needed for manually sorting through a load.

How Many Washing Accidents Happen?

Some dyes become unstable when they encounter certain detergents containing bleach.

As a result, they leak their pigment out into other clothes. Additionally, oxygen bleach-based detergents tend to make colors fade out.

My T-Shirts Dye Leaks. Now What?

Having a cloth that leaks dye is a bit problematic. Always hand wash that fabric separately in cold water.

You may also opt to buy color fixatives in the market.

Final Thoughts

Doing laundry does not have to be nerve-racking as people make it. If you follow the simple stipulations, you are good to go. 

In short, remember to wash white, light, and dark-colored clothes in separate loads. In addition, use the recommended temperature, hot or cold.

Similar Posts