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How to Separate Laundry Colors for Fresh & Fab Clothes

How to Separate Laundry Colors for Fresh & Fab Clothes

Don’t get us wrong — pink is so in right now, but letting a red sweater turn all your white socks and tees pink is not the fashion statement you want to make. Even though it’s tempting to shove all of your soiled clothes into the washer and hit start, there are easier and better ways to clean your laundry without tie-dying everything in the washing machine. Use these laundry sorting tips to get fresh, clean, and fabulous clothes out of every load!

1. Pull out any items labeled “hand wash” or “dry clean only.”

We’re all too familiar with the temptation to throw “hand wash only” delicates in cold water on the “delicate” setting and call it a day. But the negative effects of ignoring these care labels may not be worth it!

One of the most important things to understand when learning how to separate laundry is that not everything can be washed at home. Putting these special or delicate items in the washing machine is a surefire way to damage or ruin them. Set these aside, and either hand wash them or make a trip to your local dry cleaner.

2. Separate your clothes into whites, lights, and darks.

When sorting your machine-washable clothes on laundry day, knowing how to separate laundry colors is essential. A general rule of thumb is to make three piles of clothes: one for whites, one for light-colored garments, and one for dark-colored clothing. By washing these colors separately, you can prevent dark clothing from bleeding onto light clothes and keep white garments from becoming dull and dingy.

3. Separate clothes again based on fabric type and weight.

When separating clothes for laundry, another crucial step is separating them again based on their fabric. You don’t want to wash your heavy denim jacket with thin cotton fabrics. When you combine all types and weights of materials, the “sturdier,” rougher fabrics often cause a whole lot of wear and tear on your lighter, more delicate pieces.

4. Pre-treat any stains on your clothing.

After sorting laundry, it’s time to manage any clothing stains. Pre-treating your clothes has numerous benefits, including breaking down and dissolving the stain, preventing it from setting into the fabric, and making it easier to remove during the wash cycle.

In addition, pre-treating stains can also help to prevent the spread of the stain to other areas of the garment during the wash cycle, which can help to maintain the appearance and quality of the garment over time.

5. Use the proper water temperature for each load.

While you should always consult the care labels on your clothing, each color category generally follows similar rules:

  • Hot water for white clothes
  • Cold water for darks and brights that can bleed
  • Warm water for everything else

Keep in mind that when it comes to removing stains, hot water is your best bet. However, this isn’t always the best option for bleed-prone or dark clothing. So, if you’ve got a bright top or a dark pair of pants that have a stain, you’ll want to either pre-treat with a stain remover, put it on a longer cycle, or both to ensure that you get that stain out!

Pro-tip: Make sure your favorite pair of jeans stay that perfect shade of blue by turning them inside out and washing them in cold water.

6. Wash your jeans and denim separately for the first few washes.

If you’ve ever rocked a brand new pair of jeans only to discover your palms have turned a matching shade of blue, you know how much color new denim can lose! Avoid staining your other clothing by washing new jeans separately, at least for the first few washes.

7. Clean delicates solo on the gentle cycle.

For your most “fragile” (yet still machine-washable) clothing items, such as dress shirts and lacy pajama sets, your washer’s delicate setting is your best friend. Choose a mild laundry detergent, and wash everything in cold water. If possible, choose the shortest spin cycle. Putting smaller items into a mesh washer bag is also a good idea, as this will reduce the risk of snags or other issues. Once washed, skip the dryer altogether and either hang or lay flat to dry.

8. Launder towels and sheets without any clothing — in HOT water.

There are three big reasons why you should always wash your towels and bedding without any of your clothing.

  • First, your towels and sheets get the dirtiest! Unlike your clothing, they’re used repeatedly before being washed, gathering dirt and sweat and skin cells. (Gross, but true!)
  • Second, your towels and bedding need a more vigorous wash to get clean than your clothing needs.
  • Third, when your clothes get wrapped up in your sheets, they don’t get a proper clean.

To ensure your bed linens are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, wash them in hot water using the heavy-duty or extra cleaning setting on your washing machine — unless the care label says otherwise.

9. Set yourself up for success with must-have laundry essentials.

While it’s always a smart idea to remember these laundry sorting tips and guidelines, it’s hard to treat your clothes right with the wrong appliances.

Rather than tough it out with old or faulty laundry machines, find your perfect washer and dryer set at Rent-A-Center. With flexible payment options and free delivery and set-up, you can get the most out of wash day—all without credit! Not sure where to start? Consider Whirlpool, one of the most popular and well-known laundry machine and appliance brands in the business!

With its sleek metallic slate finish, this 4.5 Cu. Ft. front load washer and 7.4 Cu. Ft. dryer from Whirlpool offers simplistic and incredible features. These machines are ENERGY STAR® Certified so you can save extra cash on laundry day. They also have many other fantastic features, including Wrinkle Shield, a Sanitize Cycle, and Advanced Moisture Sensors. Plus, with customizable cycles perfect for every scenario, color, and fabric type, this laundry set takes the guesswork out of housework.

10. Look (& smell) fresh with help from Rent-A-Center.

Now that you’re a master at separating clothes for laundry – get the Whirlpool washer and dryer you need to make your brights shine! With Rent-A-Center’s affordable payment options and no-credit leases, it’s easy to get the washer and dryer you need, on your terms. Start your order online today or visit your local Rent-A-Center for more info.

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The good things in life don’t have to be out of reach. Rent-A-Center is here to make the things you want and need accessible, and Front & Center is your resource for living well on a budget.

Each week, we’ll bring you tips and tricks for infusing simplicity, style—even a little fun—into every aspect of your life and home. From decorating advice to money-saving strategies to opportunities to share with others like you, we’ll give you ideas that inspire. Live well, friends. And send your submissions, suggestions and questions for the blog to blog@rentacenter.com. For all customer service inquiries, please contact our Solution Center team at 1-800-422-8186.