Check for Colorfastness
The care label may address colorfastness. If not, test new items before washing to see if fabric color will bleed in the wash.
- Find an inconspicuous seam or spot on the garment to test.
- Moisten the test spot with water.
- Rub the dampened area with a white cloth or cotton ball.
- If color transfers, the item is not colorfast. Wash it separately or with like colors.
- If color does not transfer, the item is safe to wash.
Sort by Fabric & Color
Sort clothes into categories by color, soil level, and fabric content. Each sorted pile becomes a wash load. As you're sorting, note which items need to be mended or pretreated for stains. Use these suggested categories:
- Whites and light colors
- Bright colors (e.g. reds, pinks, oranges)
- Dark colors
- Extra-dirty garments
- Lint-producing items (e.g. terry cloth towels)
- Heavyweight clothes (e.g. denim jeans, sweatshirts)
- Lightweight clothes
- Permanent-press clothes
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