- 1Sort your clothing by type.
- Common categories that are used while sorting include color, fabric type, and degree of soiling. Keep whites together, dark colors together, and colors that bleed in a separate pile. Segment delicate clothing and wash especially dirty clothing in a special load. Some like to wash jeans and knits by themselves.
- You can develop more categories to sort your clothes into if you want to. Some people divide clothing into whites, pastels, prints, solid colors, bright colors, neutral colors, medium colors, dark colors, and colors that are marketed as being colorfast.
- 2Refer to the care tags on your clothing.
- Tags on clothing can help you determine how your clothing needs to be washed and which clothes they can be washed with. This can take the guesswork and trial-and-error out of figuring out which clothes can be safely laundered with others.
- 3Keep laundry that needs to be pretreated in a separate place.
- Pre-treat stains and wash clothing with stains as soon as possible. Letting a stain set or washing and drying a stained article of clothing without pre-treating it first can result in a permanent stain.
- 4Consider the weight of clothing.
- Usually, you should sort clothing of the same weight together. For example, if you have a brown camisole and a brown coat, you should generally avoid washing them together, since a coat can damage thinner and lighter material.
- 5Combine loads whenever possible. Washing compatible clothing types together can reduce the number of laundry loads you have to do and save energy.
- 6Invest in a laundry sorter.
- Laundry sorters are great tools to help you sort out your laundry and, at the same time, keep the laundry in 1 place. Laundry sorters can come with several different compartments, which you can assign to clothes that are of a certain type. They can also cut your laundry time down by allowing you to sort your laundry while you are storing it for washing.
- Washing bath towels, kitchen towels, and bedding linens separately can increase the effectiveness of the washing. For example, washing towels in their own load can prevent the transfer of lint onto clothes.
- If you have to combine clothing types to make a complete load of laundry, generally, it's advised that you use the gentlest washing machine cycle to wash the combined load.
- Remove all items from pockets before sorting clothing. If you skip this step, you might accidentally wash your clothes with the items in the pockets, which can result in the destruction of the item, washing machine damage, or the ruining of clothes.
- Don't put too much stock into the idea of colorfastness. Colors will naturally lose their original hue after multiple washings, and they could bleed onto other clothing if they are washed with light-colored clothes.
- To avoid damage to clothing, fasten and zip all zippers, buttons, and hooks before laundering clothes.
- Certain types of fabrics, like polyester, can easily pick up stains. Avoid washing them with clothing that is heavily soiled.