I have a dirty little laundry secret: I don’t separate whites and colors in the wash! Go ahead and cringe, it’s ok.
I wasn’t raised to do laundry in this uncivilized way; my mom dutifully separated her wash and taught me to do likewise. For many years I did the same. I would wash my whites together and colors together and would never dream of putting a red shirt and white skirt in the same load.
Fast forward several years to my then family of five with 3 children under 5 and loads and loads of laundry. Three of the five people living in my house were boys and had almost no light colored clothes. I would wash five loads of darks and have to scrounge for enough lights to wash a load full so I could have my daughters light pink shirt washed that I had been missing. It was getting annoying. I had piles of laundry everywhere and no time to deal with it!
So I started washing the few light items I had with the darks. I admit, it was a little nerve racking. And I definitely didn’t do this experiment on my clothes — nope, I used the kids clothes!
Well, to my surprise, the clothes came out fine! The colors didn’t bleed on the whites. As a matter of fact, nothing changed at all! For the next couple months I did my kids clothes that way with no issues. Slowly, I began adding my clothes, still no problems.
What a relief! What a time saver! How freeing! A chain, a laundry chain to be exact, has been lifted off and I was free!
Disclaimer: I always use cold water. I don’t want to have to worry about all the different washing instructions. Besides, there was always at least one stain that needed work in each load. Also I have a handful of my clothes– the nicer, more fragile ones, that I wash separate. And I wash towels and linens separate (in hot water).
Fast forward a few more years and now I have 6 kids and a lot more laundry! I don’t do it all anymore; I’ve assigned my girls a day of the week to wash, dry, fold and put away all their laundry and a different day for my boys to do the same. I still do all of my and my husbands laundry as well as the towels and linens on the remaining 3 days of the week. Sometimes I shudder at the fact that I haven’t taught my children the right way to do laundry. They do what I’ve modeled; that is to throw it all in together in a cold wash. Sometimes I think I ought to go back and correct this … But why? This works. It saves time. Why would they change?
So we will just continue to throw all our laundry, light and dark, white and red, in the same load. It’s ok, I understand, go ahead and cringe!
Do you separate your whites and colors? What laundry secret do you have?