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Author Topic: Don't wash dark and light clothes together
Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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My mother has always told me to never wash dark and white clothes together because the colors would mix up. But is that true or is it only under certain circumstances like mixing bleach into the clothes?

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Joseph Z

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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If you mix chlorine bleach into your dark clothes, with or without light clothes, your dark clothes will be ruined. So will many of your light clothes. Chlorine bleach should be used only with white* clothes, and used carefully then.

As for mixing light and dark clothes, it really depends on the garments, IMO, and the water temperature. The colors of many modern fabrics don't run as much as they did years ago. Some people routinely wash lights and darks together without a problem. But the dyes in some garments may still run and damage lighter clothes in the same load.

The color transfer is one-sided, of course. Dark clothes can run and ruin light clothes, but light clothes won't damage dark clothes.

Edited because I typed "light" when I meant "white."

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Well it is true, but it usually only matters when you are washing newer dark clothes. Often they will bleed their color the first few times they are washed. If there's whites about they will get dyed a pastel version of which ever dark is bleeding. As an example, if you wash something new and bright red with whites you will probably end up with pinks.

And bleach should only be used on whites.

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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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chocolate-martini
Baby 100 Grand


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It might not be noticeable the first time you wash them together but after a few washes you can see your white shirts have a grey shine to them. That's why I buy H&M shirts: by the time they're grey - I'm too lazy to do seperate loads most of the time - I can trow them out. When you're single it's hard to get a full load of whites imo, so work shirts = drycleaning, leisure shirts = H&M special grey
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happyholidaysfrog
Jingle Bell Hock


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Bleach will ruin dark clothes, mixed in with whites or not. If one bleaches one's whites then putting dark colored clothes in with them will certainly ruin them. There are a couple of other reasons for not mixing light and dark clothes(IME). First is that the dark clothes might not be colorfast. Meaning the white shirt you put in with your red sweater could very well come out a lovely shade of pink. The second danger is that the dark fibers that come off of the colored clothes could lint up and stick to the light clothes. This could be fixed easily, but it's frusterating when one keeps noticing (and picking off) dark fibers on one's light colored clothing during the day, even though one used one of the sticky rollers to get the lint off before one put the clothes on.

There are certainly some combonation of clothes that are fine to toss in all together, but anything white/very light color that you really care about ought to be washed with things of similar lightness.

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~All we see or seem is but a dream within a dream~
E.A.Poe

Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.
~James Dean~

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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If you can, avoid it. I have some white pillow cases that have an unclean grey look after accidentally washing them with a dark blue sheet.

Luckily, I stick to black clothes with some occasional white stuff, so there is no difficulty knowing what to mix and what not to.

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/Troberg

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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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Yeah, it can happen even with modern clothes. My ex was of the "put it all in together" mindset, and I have many a nice pair of pale coloured knickers that now have a distinctly greyish tinge as both of us wear mostly black.

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Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

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SweetViolet
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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You are supposed to separate colours before washing to keep the dark colours from leaching colour into the light coloured clothes. The age of the clothes is immaterial: I have some dark towels that are 4 years old, are washed almost every week, and still bleed colour...just last week a white face cloth was accidentally mixed into the dark load and now it is grey.

Bleach should be used on white cottons or linens, but NOT on other fabrics. Bleach will turn polyesters and polyester blends yellow, and it will damage other fibres.

Sweet "been doing my own wash since 1964" Violet

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SweetViolet...sweeter than all the Roses...

read my blog at http://sweetvioletsa.blogspot.com

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BlueStar
Happy Holly Days


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My girlfriend goes mad at me, because I just pick up whatever needs washing - whites, colours, wools, shirts, towels, jeans and shove it in the same wash/dry cycle without a second thought. I'm not sure what cataclysmic event is supposed to happen, but I've never noticed anything unfortunate happening to my clothes.
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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by BlueStar:
My girlfriend goes mad at me, because I just pick up whatever needs washing - whites, colours, wools, shirts, towels, jeans and shove it in the same wash/dry cycle without a second thought. I'm not sure what cataclysmic event is supposed to happen, but I've never noticed anything unfortunate happening to my clothes.

Did you read the thread? [Confused]

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
Some people routinely wash lights and darks together without a problem.

I, alas, am one of these folk. Truthfully, I've not had that many problems. Perhaps if I had more expensive clothes, I would worry, but I'm a "thrift store and target clearance" dressing girl, or if I owned very many white things.


With ex-SO (who had lots of whites), however, I had a load of laundry turn into a gentle hue of rose, and one into the green-yellow colour of a highlighter pen. That was pretty funny. At first.

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So many spankings! It feels so good! But at the same time, I don't care about meeting your family! - I'mNotDedalus:

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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One reason it doesn't make much difference any more--or takes time to make a difference (whether the difference is fading or leaching)--is that "hot" water isn't very hot anymore.

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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The only time I've ever had a problem mixing lights and darks together came several years back. I mixed a black sweater with white towels.

The problem wasn't even in the washing, but in the drying. The black sweater came out with tiny white fuzz all over it. After trying to clean it out, I had to get rid of the sweater.

So I never dry my towels with sweaters anymore. But I have mixed in white shirts with dark clothing and not had problems.

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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hoitoider
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I remember when you absolutely had to wash new blue jeans separately - the water would be light blue after a first (& even 2nd) washing. That seems to have improved, but I still wash them separately the first time.

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No man has a right in America to treat any other man "tolerantly" for tolerance is the assumption of superiority. -Wendell L. Willkie

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BlueStar
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by BlueStar:
My girlfriend goes mad at me, because I just pick up whatever needs washing - whites, colours, wools, shirts, towels, jeans and shove it in the same wash/dry cycle without a second thought. I'm not sure what cataclysmic event is supposed to happen, but I've never noticed anything unfortunate happening to my clothes.

Did you read the thread? [Confused]
Yes, did you read my post? [Confused]
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Franny
Jingle Bell Hock


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You probably don't have clothes that need special attention. Your girlfriend probably does. A wool sweater or an acrylic shirt can come out two sizes too small if dried on a 'heat' cycle. Also ladies 'delicates' can suffer from any drying in the dryer.

Also attention must be paid to the contents of pockets. My DH left a pen in his pants once and I washed and dried ALL his work clothes before I noticed the ink stains on EVERYTHING. They did not come out, even after taking them to a dry cleaner who had special chemicals. We had to buy him a new wardrobe (ouch$) and I ended up using the stained clothes to make him a quilt.

Still hearing about it SIX YEARS LATER!

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I've been waiting here for like 20 minutes.

"It's you, but distilled into one place." - JK. http://www.theheldhand.blogspot.com/

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guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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If your whites do start looking gray, try getting some bluing and add to the wash water before putting the white load in. It really brightens up whites.
I have a 3-part hamper for dirty clothes. One sack is blue (for jeans), one white (for whites) and the other is green (for everything else). In theory, if everyone put their dirty clothes in the appropriate sack, I wouldn't have to sort.... Like I said "in theory". Hasn't happened yet...

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Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
Danvers Carew

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by BlueStar:
quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by BlueStar:
My girlfriend goes mad at me, because I just pick up whatever needs washing - whites, colours, wools, shirts, towels, jeans and shove it in the same wash/dry cycle without a second thought. I'm not sure what cataclysmic event is supposed to happen, but I've never noticed anything unfortunate happening to my clothes.

Did you read the thread? [Confused]
Yes, did you read my post? [Confused]
Yes, and the sentence that began "I'm not sure. . " suggested to me that you hadn't read the very clear explanations offered by several posters of the possible risks of washing your clothes that way. I get that your method works for you.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Franny:
My DH left a pen in his pants once and I washed and dried ALL his work clothes before I noticed the ink stains on EVERYTHING. ...

Still hearing about it SIX YEARS LATER!

Why are you still hearing about it when he screwed up and left the pen in his pocket?

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by SeaboeMuffinchucker:
One reason it doesn't make much difference any more--or takes time to make a difference (whether the difference is fading or leaching)--is that "hot" water isn't very hot anymore.

Seaboe

And I only wash in cold. Saves energy, and I'm a mean and cheap little thing.

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So many spankings! It feels so good! But at the same time, I don't care about meeting your family! - I'mNotDedalus:

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I wash all our shirts seperated out by color (blues, reds, yellow and white) in cold water nowadays, pants in warm, and all underclothes, socks, towels, and bed linens in hot water. I started washing shirts in cold water with like colors because dye transfer was making them look faded pretty quickly. Plus washing dark shirts with jeans was really wearing the shirts out. I decided to start washing more according to the care labels, since that really does extend the life of the garment.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Franny
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Seaboe - Why are you still hearing about it when he screwed up and left the pen in his pocket?
Probably because the only thing we ever fight about is the laundry and I like to bring up the time that he shrank my favorite dress down to a child's 3T. [Big Grin]

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I've been waiting here for like 20 minutes.

"It's you, but distilled into one place." - JK. http://www.theheldhand.blogspot.com/

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
I decided to start washing more according to the care labels, since that really does extend the life of the garment.

Funny how that works, isn't it? [Wink]

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Ryda Wong:
I only wash in cold. Saves energy, and I'm a mean and cheap little thing.

Sometimes you aren't just washing things to get them clean, in which case cold doesn't cut it.

To give an example, if I'm making a costume out of wool, I would rather throw it in the washer with hot water and agitation to full it than do it on the stove.

But that is rather specialized, I admit.

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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Vivling
Happy Holly Days


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waffles

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Climb up, over the the top
Shake it, take control
You've got to find out for yourself whether or not you're truly trying
--Jason Mraz

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Vivling
Happy Holly Days


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I wash everything together all the time. I don't wear a lot of white though, so besides socks and maybe one t-shirt, I don't notice any bad effects. Plus I am not the classiest dresser these days so a lot of my wardrobe is t-shirts, jeans and sweatshirts. It also helps that they're all old and are probably beyond "bleeding" dye.

But if I had clothes that I actually cared about, then I'd be more careful with how I wash it. The only exception that I can think of is my work uniform, which consists of black dress pants and a white collared shirt (and a clip-on tie ... ugh). I wash the shirt and pants by hand in warm water and air-dry them.

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Climb up, over the the top
Shake it, take control
You've got to find out for yourself whether or not you're truly trying
--Jason Mraz

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BlueStar
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by BlueStar:
quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by BlueStar:
My girlfriend goes mad at me, because I just pick up whatever needs washing - whites, colours, wools, shirts, towels, jeans and shove it in the same wash/dry cycle without a second thought. I'm not sure what cataclysmic event is supposed to happen, but I've never noticed anything unfortunate happening to my clothes.

Did you read the thread? [Confused]
Yes, did you read my post? [Confused]
Yes, and the sentence that began "I'm not sure. . " suggested to me that you hadn't read the very clear explanations offered by several posters of the possible risks of washing your clothes that way. I get that your method works for you.
Sorry, it was posted as more of a sighting - By "I'm not sure" I was saying that I didn't know what it was that she specifically thought would happen to my variety of colours and fabrics due to them being mixed.
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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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When my husband does laundry, he washes everything in cold water and to hell with separating clothes by colors.
I'm a bit more anal, and if I'm hanging the laundry out, I also separate out jeans, socks, and linens for mechanical drying.

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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Capn' Sammich
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I remember my sister separating the laundry weirdly.

Whites, darks, lights, and reds.

I just stick with whites and colors.

THAT'S RACIST [fish]

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Breaking Laces

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00-Saleen
Deck the Malls


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Those Shout Dye-Catcher Sheets are the BEST!!! I have a red T-shirt that still bleeds, so in it goes with the darks and a sheet. The sheet comes out pink and the shirts don't change to purple from navy. The sheets really do work, with all clothes, sheets & towels, etc. [Smile]
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have yourself a Merry Little Galaxy
The First USA Noel


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Between Hubby and I, we don't have enough white clothes to make a full load of washing, so everything gets tossed in together provided that we know the coloureds are colourfast. (We don't have much black, either). I wash in cold water most of the time and don't use bleach, so that probably helps. My MIL tell me once that washing whites with colours would dull them over time - they'd never be truly sparkly white again - but I've never really compared any of my whites against anything new.

The only colours I've ever had a problem with are reds. I have two sets of red towels that still need to be washed separately, years after we got them. The first time I washed them I happened to notice the rinse water coming out of the machine - it looked like raspberry cordial! [Eek!] I also once ruined an old white jumper by throwing it into the same handwash cycle as my red hippie skirt...

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I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains - that's why I live in Melbourne, where it always bloody rains.

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snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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quote:
My mother has always told me to never wash dark and white clothes together because the colors would mix up. But is that true or is it only under certain circumstances like mixing bleach into the clothes?
You can wash them separately as long as the laundry facilities are equal.

- snopes

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BelleMorte
Jingle Bell Hock


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I once made the mistake of putting a white demin shirt in with colored clothes. My white shirt turned blue. Took a second washing with bleach to make it white again.

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"Cheating Hall Of Shame"-in honor of the dishonest.
Every driver, owner and crew chief has a place in our Hall, which won't be moving to Daytona Beach anytime soon. Lone exception? Kyle Petty, who hasn't won a race since 1754.

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FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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There are five people in this house. I have enough jeans to make up three loads of just jeans. I also have enough white and light grey things to make up a separate load there too. Sweaters, fleece, sweatshirts, there's two or three loads there too. The other things of various colors get washed together except when someone has something that's brand new and red. Then I go out of my way to wash it with red and orange colored things a couple times.

My son's martial arts uniforms get special treatment. They cost around a hundred bucks apiece (from the academy, with the logo on it) and I can't allow for shrinking or color accidents. His white uniforms get washed with just the white/grey things. They have a black collar on them, so I never use chlorine bleach on them (I use oxy-clean). If by chance there's blood on the uniform, I use a paste from Oxy-clean or I use a cotton swab and peroxide on the blood directly. His red uniform gets washed with only red things. He wears that one to special events, so I don't have to wash it often.

My husband used to be the "wash it all and be damned" type till he tinted a bunch of underwear and t-shirts pink (he was in the Army at the time). He also ruined a load of towels by dumping bleach into the washer without using the dispenser (our newer washer has no dispenser, he's not allowed near the bleach). I told him he was lucky it was just towels. [Razz]

Now he separates the lights from the darks and has learned the evils of bleach.

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"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
Die-Hard Engineers, Big Red One my Dad's website
"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

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Xia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I haven't had a problem with washing light and dark colored clothes together, but washing white clothes with colors can have some interesting results... I do have one burgundy hand towel that still bleeds after many many washings, but I've never seen it affect any of my clothes, it just makes bath water turn a weird pink tinge [Razz]
In my house we can't even wash dark clothes after we just finished a load of whites-- there is still bleach in the resevior or something, and it sometimes stains or fades dark clothing that is done in the next load.

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Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

Posts: 2110 | From: Chicago, IL | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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