How to sort laundry for efficient washing

To keep colors true and get whites truly bright, you need to sort your laundry correctly. It’s an extra step, but one that saves your clothes. It’s worth the effort.

What’s the Point?

Sorting your clothes by color, fabric and heavy dirt means you can correctly use all those cycles on your washing machine. You can choose the best water temperature, which helps clothes last longer. It also makes it easier to choose the right drying cycle. The proper water temperature and drying time saves you money on your utility bills.

Here is a look at the 4 critical steps to sort laundry for efficient washing, without spending too much time on the task.

#1. Read the Label

The information you need is right on the label, whether you are washing a t-shirt, jeans or sweater. It is so easy to overlook cleaning instructions from the manufacturer, just assuming you know what to do. But you can ensure that your outfits last and look their best if you take the time to read the label when you first get the clothing.

Here are some common terms you will encounter:

  • Use gentle soap and soak in the sink. In some cases, you can use the gentle cycle on your washer.
  • Wash separately. Run this through the washer, usually using the gentle cycle, by itself or with other items marked the same.
  • Professional dry clean. Take it to the dry cleaner. In some cases, you can use a D-I-Y dry cleaner kit or hand wash it.

#2. Sort the Clothes

You’ve remove those marked hand wash, wash separately and professionally dry clean. Now it’s time to go through the rest of the clothes. You sort these by color into two piles:

  • White, grey, pastel colors and prints with a white background all go in one pile.
  • Deep colors like navy, brown, black, dark gray, red and green go into another pile.

#3. Sort Again

There’s a lot of sorting when you want to be efficient with your washing! This second round of sorting is based on the type of fabric. Keep your two piles. Just go through them one-by-one and separate each into further piles by fabric. Here are three typical types of sorting:

  • Towels and sheets go in one pile, clothes in another.
  • Lightweight items like dress shirts and blouses go in to one pile, t-shirts and jeans go into another.
  • Towels, blankets and anything that produces lint goes into one pile, other types into another.

#4. Wash Seriously Dirty Items by Themselves

If you have a pair of jeans with oil stains, a t-shirt with cooking oil stains or a children’s outfit with mud and ground-in dirt, put them into their own pile. Wash these together, separately from your other clothes. It’s easy for dirt and oil to simply move from one piece of clothing to another in the washer.

Follow these four steps and your clothes will look crisp, bright and clean. It is worth the effort to sort your laundry for efficient cleaning.