How to Separate Laundry the Right Way

Learn how to separate laundry from an expert—my mom.

Household chores are a total bummer—trust me, I know. I grew up having to wash the dishes, take out the garbage and vacuum the whole house on a sunny, Saturday afternoon.

The worst part is, when my siblings and I grew up, none of the chores got any easier. It’s still a pain to do things like sort laundry, but like most chores, it’s worth doing to save you money in the long run. Here’s how to separate laundry the right way (like mama taught us).

How to Sort Laundry By Color

If you’re anything like me, your mom taught you that separating dark fabrics from light fabrics was key. You don’t want colors bleeding onto your nice white t-shirts. Wash white dish cloths, towels and sheets in the hottest water possible, and add bleach when needed. Dark fabrics should be washed separately from the white fabrics to help avoid color bleeding. Wash dark fabrics inside-out and in cold water.

Delicates should either be washed in a separate load or by hand. And use this trick to keep your socks together so one never goes missing again!

Here are some laundry myths that may be ruining your clothes.

How Many People Really Sort Laundry?

According to a scientific poll on Twitter by @McKenzieDewese, not many people sort laundry. At least for those of us under 40. The question posed was, “If you’re under 40, please answer: Do you separate your dark and light laundry?” 48% of answers said, “No.”

It seems to be a generational divide. I specifically remember my mom teaching me that darks and lights should always be laundered separately. She even went a step further and told me warm colors should only be washed with warm colors and cool colors only go with other cool colors!

While you may not know how to separate laundry right now, it’s worth learning. It can save your clothes in the long run. Don’t forget to pay attention to laundry symbols on tags, too, and follow all the special instructions. It can be tough, but I know you can do it. (And don’t forget the baking soda!)

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Melany Love
Having always wanted a career in writing, Melany couldn't have found a better place than Taste of Home to begin. When she's not scribbling in her notebook or working at her computer, she can be found experimenting with new recipes or relaxing with a book and her cats.