Why can’t light and darkness be washed together? (with photos)

A bottle and a cup of washing powder.

Many fabric care instructions specify that highlights and shadows cannot be washed together. This instruction for sorting clothes may seem onerous, but it’s important if you want to take care of your fabrics. There are several reasons to separate lights and shadows. The most important thing is to ensure that the darker colors don’t fade into the lighter ones, causing the lights to smear and discolor in an unpleasant way.

A dark washing machine.

Bleeding is a big problem in tissue care. Highlights and shadows should always be separated when new, as fabric dyes will inevitably bleed at least a little the first time they are washed. Jeans are particularly notorious for bleeding, but dark reds and other blues can also bleed. When dark shades such as blues are washed together, a small amount of bleed is not a big problem as it does not show on the fabric. If, however, the blues are washed away with whites, the bleeding will stain the whites. Blues can also stain reds and other lighter colored fabrics, so some people separate clothing into more color gradations than just colored and white.

Light colored clothes should be washed separately from darker colors.

Fabric care instructions also vary depending on the color. Lights, for example, can be bleached to remove stains and discoloration, while dark ones cannot. A light load can also be washed at a higher temperature, which can be a concern for people who are trying to sterilize contaminated clothing in a variety of ways. A dark load usually requires a lower temperature, as this reduces the risk of bleeding, and some dark items may require special detergents.

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A lot of bulbs can be washed at a higher temperature.

When separating clothing into two categories, you should also be aware that certain fabrics require special care. Some fabrics, for example, should not go in the dryer, while special garments may require a gentle cycle or colder water. It’s a good idea to separate delicate care items to ensure they don’t accidentally get damaged in a load of heavier clothing, and you should always check clothing tags to ensure they don’t need to be hand washed.

Making a separate load of whites allows you to bleach whites if you wish.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to separate your clothes into light and dark, you should always wash your clothes cold to reduce ink bleeding. You should also use a generic neutral detergent and a normal to gentle cycle in the washing machine. Delicate garments can be washed in pillowcases or laundry bags to reduce damage, and always tumble dry on medium to low heat so garments do not shrink or fade.

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