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Laundry Clothes Separation & Wash 101

Updated on July 23, 2016

Laundry 1st Step

The 1st step in how to do laundry is:

  • Place all dirty laundry in a hamper

This is a simple step but overlooked by most who thrown their clothes on the floor in the bedroom or closet.

If you don't have a trusty laundry basket, you can buy one for under $10 at Walmart. For under $10 you can find a nice plastic laundry basket.

I've finally gotten into the habit of throwing the clothes into the basket instead of the bench at the end of the bed. I play a game of dunk the clothes. If I'm far away, it's a 3 pointer, if I'm close, it's a 2 pointer, and if I miss the basket, it's a foul. Once you repeat, you'll get used to placing the clothes into the hamper. Our son is so good at it now that I am ready to take a laundry strike.

My Laundry Basket

Laundry 2nd Step

The 2nd step of doing laundry (when you're ready to wash), is:

  • Separate your colors

This is a step that will help colorful clothes stay vibrant.

Dump your clothes onto the floor to separate the colors. I also separate towels sometimes depending on my laundry load. For example, most of our towels are light in hue, so if I only have a load of dark color clothes, I do not want to mix the towel in the dryer with my dark clothes because even with fabric sheets, the towel lint attaches to the dark clothing.

Place all bright colorful clothes into a pile; Bright colors like yellow, pink, lime green, bright purple, red. Next place all dark colors in a pile; Dark colors like black, brown, grey, and burgundy.

Lastly, place white colors in a pile together because you'll want to bleach these.

When you become a pro at separating you can move onto the next stage of skipping this step altogether. It's easy to see the different color clothing in the basket, so I take the entire basket to the laundry room and separate while I dig. I use the dump on the floor method when there's 5 loads of clothes or more.

Separate Clothing Colors

Laundry 3rd Step

The 3rd step of doing laundry is:

  • Start with white clothes first

When I learned how to do laundry, I was 10. We lived in an apartment in The Bronx. Like most apartments in The Bronx the laundry was shared with everyone in the building. For those buildings that didn't have a shared laundry area, you had to go to the nearest laundromat.

Using either the laundromat or the shared laundry area, it was still a "shared" machine. My mother instructed us to always start with our white clothes and to not forget the bleach. At the time I didn't know why, but later I learned that it would disinfect the machine from the prior use. I thought everyone's clothes were clean, after all it was a washing machine. So the washing of white clothes has become something I can't shake.

I start with the white clothes first, even though I'm the only one using the washing machine.

Laundry 4th Step

The 4th step of doing laundry is:

  • Wash with bright color clothes next

In my household and throughout my life, this load of clothing was always lite. There are not many people that like to wear bright vibrant colors. I haven't done a poll on this, I'm just going by the years of laundry. This load of clothing, if lite like in my household, definitely saves some water because it's a small load.

The step of washing the bright vibrant color clothing does not need to take precedence over the darker color clothing, it's just a step in the process I make for the 4th laundry step.


Laundry 5th Step

The 5th step of doing laundry is:

  • Wash dark clothes next.

The is sometimes the final step in washing clothes, unless you have a few towels you would like to wash separately.

I've found in my laundry years that this load of clothing is usually the dominate of the loads. We seem to have more dark color clothing than any other. This usually means at minimum there are 2 loads that will get washed.

The bonus step are towels. If you have a minimum load for towels, this should be saved for last. Usually the towel residue or lint, even with fabric sheets, tend to get on your clothing. So at times when there are not too many towels to wash, I make sure to separate them.

Laundry Detergent

What Laundry Detergent Do You Use?

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