How to Separate Laundry
A Guide to Sorting laundry and Pretreating Stains
It’s happened to everyone: we think we’re finished washing our clothes, only to find our favorite white blouse has turned pink, and our go-to wool sweater has shrunken in the wash. While we might think our washing machine is to blame, we know it really isn’t the machine’s fault. So what happened? We didn’t sort the laundry correctly!
Sorting laundry is a key pre-washing step that ensures that our clothes are cared for the way they should be. Another is pretreating laundry – applying a small amount of detergent to a stubborn stain before throwing it in the wash.
While it may seem like more work, knowing how to separate clothes and pretreat laundry is more than worth it. These steps will help ensure that your clothes stay looking their best.
How to sort laundry
Washing your laundry without sorting it into different loads first can result in discolored or even damaged clothes. The basic rule behind sorting is “like goes with like”. A single load should have clothing that requires the same water temperature, wash cycle, and type of detergent.
When washing your clothing, consider the following laundry sorting guide:
- Type of fabric: Do not wash delicates (like wool or silk) and heavier fabrics (like towels or jeans) together.
- Washing temperature: Different fabrics need to be washed at different temperatures. Follow the care and laundry symbols on the labels, which will tell you at what temperature you should wash the fabric. Generally, whites can be washed at higher temperatures than darker colors. However, make sure to double check with what is stated on the garment label!
- Colored laundry: If possible, wash dark and intense colors (especially red and black garments) with similar colors. These colors can fade and dyes can ruin other clothes that are washed with them. Pay attention to the directions on the garment labels.
Laundry sorting tip: Keep multiple laundry baskets in your home, allowing you to sort your dirty clothes directly as they go in the hamper.
How to pretreat clothes
Heavily soiled clothing and laundry should be washed immediately because recent stains are easier to remove than stains that have set in.
To pretreat stains, use any Persil® ProClean® liquid detergent. Simply apply a little detergent directly to the stain and let it soak in for 10-15 minutes. Then wash according to the label instructions. Simple as that!
Tip: To get out those really tough stains, try a tough, stain fighting laundry detergent like Persil® Proclean® Stain Fighter.