As you can imagine this is not an
exact science - if you were to sort washing pedantically there would probably only be one
item for each type of wash. Modern fabrics, washing powder/liquids and machines have made life a lot easier.
If a manufacturer has combined a
dark and light colour on a garment they usually are pretty confident that the dark colour
will not contaminate the white (though with cheaper or counterfeit items this may not be
General rules are as follows:-
Check the labels.
The care symbols tell you whether an item can be machine washed and at what
Make separate piles with the same symbols.
Each pile can be washed using the most
Sort by colour.
Whites, pastels and white background prints
that are colourfast should make one load.
Colourfast deep coloured another load.
"Wash separately" on non-colourfast
deep coloured another load. "Wash separately" on non-colourfast items
means simply that.
Sort items for hand washing, especially
If there are not enough items to make up a full
machine load of each type, you can mix loads with different care labels, but ....
choose the programme to suit the most delicate item in the pile i.e. the lowest
temperature and most gentle washing action.
remember that white and fast colour fabrics need to be cleaned at the recommended higher
temperature roughly every third wash to keep their brightness.
risk mixing deep colours with light colours, no matter how colourfast they are they do
turn light colours dingy, especially synthetic materials such as polyester/cotton.
include clothes marked "Wash separately" - the colour is likely to run and stain
pockets are empty - tissues can result in the whole wash being covered with paper
particles which are terribly difficult to remove.
all accessories such as belts, jewellery etc.
leaving damp articles in a basket as mildew spots are likely to form and these can be
impossible to remove.
Wash garments frequently - they are easier to
clean if the dirt has not been allowed to build up.
overload the machine as this not only effects the finished results as far as cleanliness
is concerned but also the need to iron. Fewer items in each load reduces the amount
of ironing required.
Mix large and small items in each load as the
movement of the smaller items makes for a cleaner wash.
Load items one at a time, opening them out
before placing in the machine.
Before washing knitted fabric, jeans,
corduroy, textured fabric and sweatshirts, turn them inside out. This is said to
help prevent the "bobbling" on some fabrics and also keeps the pile of others in
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