Laundry Sorting 101

January 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm 3 comments

Sorting the laundry is not necessarily a hard job but it can be time consuming. The time it takes for you to sort the laundry basically depends on two things: the size of your family and your lifestyle. Obviously, if you have a family of five you will spend more time sorting the laundry than someone with a family of two. Also, if you or another member of the family has a job that requires business attire, you might have to spend more time than someone who has to deal mostly with casual wear and sportswear.

While sorting the laundry takes time, it is well worth it as you can avoid laundry disasters such as your son’s favorite white T-shirt turning pink, or your husband’s favorite sweater coming back two sizes smaller. Today, clothing is not cheap, so you will want to protect the investment that you put into your wardrobe. The following are some helpful laundry sorting tips.

Check Clothing Tags

When washing an item for the first time, you should read the tag carefully to determine if that item needs special care. Many items will have normal washing instructions. However, you might find that many or your clothing items need to be hand washed and should not be placed in the dryer. When the tag says, “dry clean only” you will be safer following those instructions. Occasionally some people will disregard the instructions about dry cleaning and wash the item anyway. If you disregard laundering instructions you are taking a chance on ruining the garment.

Separate Delicate Items

Delicate things like lingerie should be washed separately. Lacy items or other delicates can be placed inside a pillowcase or a special laundry bag when you wash them. This will prevent them from getting tangled in with the rest of the laundry and possibly damaged.

Separate Colors

It is most important to separate whites from other colors if you want them to stay white. One red item can turn an entire white wash load pink. Whites usually need to be washed in hot water.

Reds and most other colors can be mixed together to make a full load. However, you should be careful with darker denims. The dye may still bleed into the wash. It may be a good idea to wash these items separately.

Bedding and Linens

Towels and blankets are naturally lint producers. If you are concerned about getting lint on certain clothing items, you should wash towels and blankets separately. Sheets can sometimes be washed with other items, but most people like to wash them separately. When it comes to larger items such as quilts, it is usually necessary to wash them separately because of the space they take up in the machine. If you have a king or queen size quilt, you should make sure that your washing machine can accommodate bulky or heavy items such as these.

Baby clothes

Most moms like to wash their baby’s cloths separately. Perfumes, dyes, body lotions and wool fibers can irritate a baby’s skin. So it is a good idea to keep baby clothes away from the regular laundry. You can also purchase special detergents that are formulated especially for baby clothes.

More Laundry Tips

Check pockets

If you don’t check pockets while sorting laundry, it could cause not only problems with the laundry but other valuables may become ruined. Here is a list of items that often get washed unintentionally: cell phones, watches, lipsticks, keys, money, pens and photographs. Now, you may notice that these things may look cleaner after being washed, but they will most likely be damaged. So it is a good idea to always check pockets before washing.

Stubborn Stains

While sorting through the laundry you should also set aside anything that may have a stain that won’t come out with just regular washing. You may need to soak the item or pre-treat it with a special laundry aid. If a stain is washed and dried it may stay on the garment permanently.


It is just as important to be careful about drying clothes as it is washing clothes. If you check the tags on the clothing, it will tell you if the garment needs special care for drying. You should be familiar with the different settings on your dryer. Most drying machines have several settings to accommodate different types of fabric.

Laundry is not a fun job, but it is a necessary one. There are some people who don’t bother taking time to sort laundry beyond the colors and whites. While they may get away with that most of the time, they may be sorry after a garment is ruined because of improper washing. Taking time to sort laundry correctly will save you time and money in the long run.

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Entry filed under: Smart Laundry Tips. Tags: , , , .

Against Dumb Replace your fabric softener with vinegar

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Diego  |  July 25, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Hey there! It looks as though we both have a passion for the same thing.
    Your blog, “Laundry Sorting 101 | Smartklean’s Blog” and mine are very
    similar. Have you ever thought about writing a guest article
    for a similar website? It will definitely help gain exposure to your blog (my website recieves a
    lot of visitors). If you happen to be interested, email me at: Appreciate it

  • 2. Double Act - Suit up!  |  May 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    […] when this dress, or suit, or top or whatever it is happens to be dirty, or is in the laundry being washed when suddenly something comes up that you didn’t plan for? It would be very annoying and […]

  • 3. Mr Steamy  |  January 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    These are some helpful tips on sorting laundry. Hopefully, people will find this article useful. Great post.


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