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What Colors Can Be Washed Together: Avoid Ruining Your Clothes

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Knowing what colors can be washed together is essential to note ruin your clothes colors. While doing laundry is now easier with automatic washing machines, it’s not just set and forget.

Have you accidentally turned all the white clothes into pink or blue or darker shades? Because the washer can ruin your white clothes if you wash them with the darker one. I know it’s a frustrating situation because I have been there.

So, I figured out some tips that will help you maintain your clothes’ original colors.

As a rule of thumb, you should never wash darker shade clothes with lighter ones, these tips will undoubtedly save a lot of your clothes, but there are other categories to consider. For instance, avoid washing new clothes in the washer because the dye can come off. Two dark-colored clothes can also ruin each other’s colors when washed together, so it is recommended to take as many packs of clothes as possible to save your clothes.

Separating Laundry: The Complete Guide (Step-by-step)
Here’s a video I made going through the entire process of separating your laundry.

Sometimes in a hurry, we wash the white and lighter shade clothes with the darker ones, which is one of the biggest mistakes we make. Remember to never wash darker-shade clothes with lighter shades.

Because the dyes from the darker and new clothes bleed out and ruin the lighter-shade clothes. If you want to know how to stop the bleeding dye of the cloth, you first need to know why it happens.

So first, let’s discuss why it happens, and we will also share some golden tips with you that will help you do your laundry.

Why Do I Need to Separate Clothes Before Washing Them?

You need to separate the clothes before washing, because the dye can come off from a particular cloth and affect the color of others. In winter, I decided to do my laundry, so I made a pack of clothes full of my sweaters and socks and put that pack in the machine.

And I end up ruining all of my clothes, you know why? 

Because while washing, I put my red socks with the white sweaters, and eventually, all my white sweaters turned pink. It was frustrating. After that, I did some research to get into the root of the problem. Here is what is getting, why do the colors of the clothes come off while washing?

Bleeding happens due extra amount of dye that stays on the clothes after manufacturing. Bleeding of the dye is more common in new and darker-shade clothes.

Because new clothes have an ample amount of extra dye after the first wash. So, it is always said to wash new clothes separately from the lighter shade clothes.

Darker-shade clothes also have an excessive amount of dye, a small amount of this dye came off in the washer, but because of the darker colors, their effect is more prominent in the lighter-shade clothes. The dye of lighter-shade clothes also came off. It does not affect the color of any other fabric.

The bleeding of the fabric can be avoided by following the simple tricks given by the manufacturers on the label. For instance, if it is mentioned on the label ‘color my came of’ or ‘wash before use, then wash this fabric separately.

I wrote an article on if you wash one item at a time that may interest you.

Some Tips Regarding the Washing of Clothes That Will Save You

I know that we can’t control the dye’s bleeding, but the good news is that you can reduce it to a significant level; we will help you with this. We will tell you some tips to reduce the bleeding of darker shade clothes and save your clothes.

  • Don’t overfill your washer. It is one of the greatest mistakes we make. Always check the capacity of the washer and then put the clothes accordingly.
  • Try to do the laundry with the cold water. Cold water keeps the fibers closed, so there are fewer chances of the dye coming off. Hot water opens the fibers of the clothes, so there are more chances of color bleeding.
  • Adding a small amount of vinegar and slats reduces dye bleeding, but be careful. Vinegar can be harmful to delicate clothes.
  • Make sure to always turn the clothes inside out before washing. It considerably reduces the chance of bleeding the dye.
  • Avoid using hard water for washing. Try to use chlorine-free water. Hard water causes micro-breakage in clothes fiber, accelerating the dye’s bleeding.
  • Please avoid using bleaching products. It can damage the fiber and dye as well. Excessive bleaching can destroy the natural colors of the cloth, and it also accelerates the crooking and dyes bleeding.
  • Wash delicate and heavy clothes separately.
  • It is always better to use a mild detergent for washing, and heavy-duty detergent can affect the durability of the cloth.

In most cases, the bleeding of the dye stops after one or two washes, but make sure to follow the above-mentioned tips every time you do laundry if you want to keep your clothes safe.

My Shirt’s Dye Bleeds a Lot. What to Do Now?

Having a fabric that bleeds a lot is problematic. And it is something that you can’t control. The dye bleeding and crooking happens due to inappropriate manufacturing or the dying of the clothes. And it also happens due to the use of low-quality dye. 

You might not know, but now all the dye works on all types of clothes. If you have dyed your clothes with the wrong dye, you will face dye bleeding for an extended time.

So, make sure to check the durability of the dye before buying. But, for those who are facing a dye bleeding problem, don’t worry. We have got some tips for you.

Moreover, here are some tips for you;

  • Try to wash that fabric separately. Handwashing Is more suitable.
  • Always wash that fabric with cold water.
  • Many color fixatives are available in the market. Buy any of these dye fixatives. It will undoubtedly help you.

Note: make sure to read the details of the fixative thoroughly before buying.

Will My Shirt Ever Stop Dye Bleeding?

In most cases, clothes stop bleeding after one or two washing. Because after one or two washes, all the extra dye came off. But sometimes, the clothes never stop bleeding.

In these cases, you need to follow the above-mentioned tips. It will reduce the dye bleeding to a bearable level. But if you know that a particular cloth has an unstable dye, never wash that piece of cloth with other clothes you care about.

Throughout this article, we have talked about light and dark colors. To make the thing more manageable for you, we will be segregating colors in the next part of the article.

For instance, we will tell you what the light colors are and what are the darker. In the last part of this article, we will discuss some colors that you should avoid and combinations that can be washed together.

First, let’s discuss the category that gets colored the most by other clothes. Yes, you have guessed it right; we are talking about the white color.

Should I Wash White Clothes With Colored Clothes?

White colors can even get the color of the light shade clothes. So, we recommend washing the white clothes separately from all the other clothes.

Can I Wash Lighter Shade Clothes With Darker Ones?

First of all, you need to understand what lighter shade means. It means bright pastel colors. These colors include light pink, brown, yellow, green, cream, khaki, lavender, and beige. These colors have minor complaints of dye bleeding.

Even if some dye bleeding occurs, it is unnoticeable, and it doesn’t affect lighter and darker shades much.

Light colors can be washed together. But if you notice that any light-colored cloth has an unstable dye, stop washing that cloth with another laundry.

Hand washing is the best solution for it. the selection of the suitable detergent and other conditions will stop the dye from bleeding from the roots

Now, it’s time to discuss darker-colored clothes. Darker color clothes are the main culprit behind the dye bleeding, so you need to be extra careful.

Can I Wash Darker Colored Clothes With Other Colors?

Darker shade clothes have an excessive amount of extra dye attached to them; this dye comes off when we wash darker-shade clothes with white or light-colored clothes. That’s why it is recommended to wash the darker shade clothes separately. 

The colors that fall under the umbrella of the darker shades are; Dark Red, dark blue, black, purple, green, navy blue, indigo, rust, olive, and dark brown. These are most likely to cause the dye bleeding in a washer. So be extra careful with them.

Does Wool Color Bleed?

Wool is a natural fiber, so it bleeds synthetic dye more than other clothes. So always wash the wool clothes separately, or avoid washing the wool clothes with the lighter shade clothes. And for the drying, follow the same rule, never dry the wool clothes with the lighter shade clothes. 

Here’s my guide on how to stop your wool sweaters from smelling.

Can Denim Dye Come Off While Washing?

Usually, denim is made of sturdy hard material. That’s why denim is most likely to transfer its color to other fabrics when it gets in contact with other clothes in the washer.

So, it is recommended to wash denim separately, so it might not affect the quality of other clothes.

Can You Dry Different Colors Together?

Besides washing, dye leaking can also occur while drying the clothes. Yes! Drying the darker shade of clothes with the lighter one may cause the dye to leak. Wet to damp darker shade clothes can transfer the color of variable degrees. So, it would be best if you were extra vigilant while drying the darker color clothes.

It is generally alright to dry white color clothes with lighter shade clothes. But don’t ever dry the white color clothes with the darker color clothes. So, try to wash white color clothes separately for the best result.

Bottom Line

Washing clothes of all colors in a washer can ruin all of your clothes, but you can avoid this by following a few simple tips. As a rule of thumb, never wash the darker shade clothes with the light shades or white clothes.

Try to buy clothes with reliable and permanent dyes. Don’t ever forget to read the washing description of the clothes before putting them into the washer. It will undoubtedly help you avoid ruining your clothes.

Drying the darker colors together can also cause the dye bleeding, so be careful while drying the darker color clothes with the lighter ones. 


Is it okay to wash red and orange together?

Yes! You can wash red and orange colors together, although Red and orange fall in the darker colors category. Fortunately, you can wash these colors together. You can also wash pink, black, and purple colors with Red.

Is it okay to wash black and grey colors together?

Usually, it is okay to wash black and grey together. Black color would not affect if you wash it with the grey, grey might get some color of the black, but it only happens if the dye leaks out excessively from the black color.

Is it okay to wash white and grey colors together?

Grey and white both fall in the category of light colors. Usually, these two colors have significantly less dye leaking, so it is perfectly fine to wash these colors together. White color clothes can also be washed with light pink clothes, but make sure not to wash white color clothes with dark pink clothes.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on why your clothes are changing color that covers every type of discoloration. Feel free to check it out next.


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