How to Separate Laundry to Prolong the Life of Your Clothes

Laundry kept in separate bins
If you're like most, you have a love-hate relationship with your washer and dryer—where you love the idea of having freshly laundered clothes but hate the mishaps and disasters that can ruin your most cherished or expensive items. The best way to avoid damage and help your clothes to last longer is by taking the time to sort your laundry before you begin and setting the correct temperature in accordance with the fabric type and colour. Read on to learn how to sort laundry the right way to keep clothes looking as good as new, with these helpful tips from the professionals at Mr. Appliance®.

What Can Go Wrong?

If you're short on time or energy you may be tempted to take the easy route and toss all your clothes into the same wash cycle, but here are several reasons why you should think twice before skipping the sorting process:

  • Cleaner clothes. Washing heavily soiled, stained, or grease-laden items such as workwear, with delicate or moderately soiled clothing can result in clothes that are only half clean or stained from contact.
  • Prevent colour bleeding. Eliminate colour transfer between bright clothing and white-coloured items by sorting them appropriately.
  • Less wear and tear. Damage can occur from friction from buttons, zippers, and heavy fabrics.
  • Lint. Tossing in your bath towels with cotton shirts, jeans, or other items can result in an unsightly abundance of lint.

How to Separate Laundry

There are a number of categories to consider when sorting your clothes, including:

Care Instructions

Check the care label on new or unfamiliar items to determine whether the clothing can be machine washed and dried or if it requires hand washing or dry cleaning. Make note of any special instructions regarding water temperature, use of bleach, and dryer temperature.


Colour classifications may include:

  • Whites
  • Darks
  • Lights/Pastel colours
  • Jeans


After your laundry is sorted by colour go through each pile and sort again by fabric and the weight of the garments. For example, wash light-coloured bedding separate from blouses, underwear, and slacks, and be sure to keep lint producing items such as towels separated from those that attract it.

Soil Type

Items that are heavily soiled from dirt or oil will require pre-treating and should be laundered apart from other clothing to prevent the transfer or odours or debris.

If you adhere to the more traditional standards of cold water for dark loads, warm water for light-coloured clothing, and hot water for whites, and would like to reduce your energy usage and carbon footprint, follow these green laundry tips from the helpful team at Mr. Appliance.

Laundry Tips and Tricks

A clean, well-organized laundry room can help make this chore a breeze. Other tips include:

  • Catch stains as they happen and begin pre-treating before they have a chance to set.
  • Reduce fading by turning dark-coloured items inside out before laundering.
  • Avoid overloading your machine, which can lead to substandard cleaning and damage to fabrics.
  • Remove clothing from the dryer as soon as the cycle is complete to reduce wrinkling and time spent ironing.
  • Mesh washing bags can help to protect delicate items and keep socks or other small or paired items together.

Keep your home neat and tidy with these tips on organizing several rooms of the house from one of our Neighbourly® companies, Mr. Handyman®.

Ensure the reliable, efficient performance of your washing machine and all other household appliances, by trusting all your maintenance and repair services to the experts at Mr. Appliance. Call us today to schedule an appointment or contact us online and let us know how we can help!