3 Types of Fabrics That Should Not Be Washed Together: Expert Tips to Keep Your Clothes Safe

Washing clothes can be a daunting task, and it can take a lot of time from selecting and separating fabrics to washing and drying them. However, washing clothes correctly is essential to keep them looking new and lasting longer.

Many people combine all fabrics and wash them together in one cycle, which can damage and contaminate other fabrics in the washing cycle. Therefore, it is essential to understand which fabrics should not go into the washing machine and how to avoid this mistake in the first place.

To help you keep your clothes safe in the washer and dryer, we have gathered expert advice on the types of fabrics that should not be washed together.

Soft Fabric

Sorting dirty laundry into groups is the key to keeping them safe from start to finish. According to Gwen Whiting, co-founder of The Laundress, stick to three main categories: everyday wear, colors, and whites. Everyday wear includes durable cotton and synthetic fabrics, colors require cold or warm water, and whites require hot water. It is also crucial to sort bed sheets, towels, and blankets by color and then wash and dry them separately to avoid creasing and a damp finish.

If you have soft clothes, it is best to avoid washing them in the washing machine. Instead, wash them by hand to keep them in good condition.

Denim Clothing that is Very Dirty and Has a Lot of Lint

Denim clothing or jeans should be washed separately, especially from delicate fabrics. Jennifer Ahoni, senior fabric care scientist at Procter & Gamble, advises washing denim separately if you don’t have much time or a large enough load to wash separately. Jeans zippers can rub against other fabrics, especially knitwear, and damage them. If an item has lint on it, wash it separately from microfiber, corduroy, or other fabrics that attract it. Similarly, heavily soiled and stained laundry should be washed separately to prevent dirt and soil from moving and contaminating clean fabrics.

Wool, Silk, and Cashmere

Certain fabrics should not be dried together, just like washing clothes. Lindsey Boyd, co-founder of The Laundress, advises that towels, cotton, and linen can handle normal heat settings, while some fabrics require low heat, such as down sheets. It is advisable not to dry different fabrics together to avoid creasing. Anything made of denim, wool, cashmere, silk, or delicate synthetic materials should be air-dried to keep them in good condition.

Sports equipment should not be washed with other types of clothes. “Sports clothing is air-dried like activewear and casual wear,” Boyd added. It is best to keep them away from the washing machine to prevent damage and maintain their quality.

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