4 Simple Steps for Sorting Laundry

4 Simple Steps for Sorting Laundry

Anyone who’s ever turned a load of whites pink with an errant red sock knows it’s wise to separate lights and darks. But there are a few other good reasons to sort your laundry, both to protect it from damage and for better, more efficient washing and drying. There’s a laundry sorting system to suit every household. Different techniques work for different people in various stages of life – so what works for a young couple might not be ideal for a family of five. Here are a few laundry sorting ideas to get you started.

What’s the point?

Sorting your clothes by color, fabric and weight means you can correctly use all those cycles on your washing machine. You can choose the best water temperature, which helps clothes last longer. It also makes it easier to choose the right drying cycle. The proper water temperature and drying time saves you money on your utility bills.

Here is a look at the 4 critical steps to sort laundry for efficient washing, without spending too much time on the task.

1. Read the label –

The information you need is right on the label, whether you are washing a t-shirt, jeans or sweater. It is so easy to overlook cleaning instructions from the manufacturer, just assuming you know what to do. But you can ensure that your outfits last and look their best if you take the time to read the label when you first get the clothing.

Here are some common terms you will encounter:

  • Use gentle soap and soak in the sink: In some cases, you can use the gentle cycle on your washer.
  • Wash separately: Run this through the washer, usually using the gentle cycle, by itself or with other items marked the same.
  • Professional Dry Clean: Take it to the dry cleaner. In some cases, you can use a D-I-Y dry cleaner kit or hand wash it.

    2.  Sort by Colour –

Clothes with saturated colors are more likely to leach out their dye, so it’s smart to group darks, mediums, and lights separately. If you have a possible bleeder, like a new red sweater or pair of indigo jeans, wash it separately the first few times. Consider adding a color-absorbing cloth, which can help to absorb some dye from the wash water.

3. Sort by fabric type –

Consider separating laundry by fabric type. Separate cotton, linen, synthetics and delicates. Exercise particular caution with delicates, which should be put on a low spin cycle or placed in a mesh bag for protection. You could even hand wash them using lukewarm water and a gentle hand washing detergent.

4.  Sort by weight –

Garment weight should also be considered while sorting the laundry. There are two major reasons for that. First, coarser fabrics can abrade and damage more delicate ones (items with zippers or buttons can harm sweaters or lingerie)

Second, heavier materials take longer to dry than lighter ones, which can mean that the latter may be over-dried (which is stressful on the fibers), while the former comes out damp. In a machine that has moisture sensors, the still-damp items will also keep the load going, wasting energy.

Bonus Tips 

There’s no such thing as too many laundry tips! Here are a few additional laundry sorting ideas to keep your clothes, linens and towels in great condition.

1. Sort your laundry as you put it in the hamper. Have a system in place, such as one basket for whites, one for colours, one for heavy duty work clothes, etcetera.

2. Wash towels separately from clothes, especially if they’re new. Fluffy towels are great – fluffy clothes are not so great.

3. On the subject of towels, scrape off any food residue from tea towels before putting them in with your other towels and wash cloths.

4. Woollen items of clothing must be washed on the ‘woollens’ setting if your machine has one, or delicates if not. Be careful not to overload your machine – often just a few woollen garments constitutes a full load.

Separating clothes for laundry doesn’t have to be hard work – it’s simply a matter of incorporating it into your household routine.

But of course, if this is too much of a hassle, you can always opt for professional online laundry services such as The Laundry Basket who – at the tap of a button – will pick-up garments from your door-step and deliver them back to you neat and fresh.

Schedule your pick-up now and save your time and clothes.

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