Can You Wash Darks And Lights Together?

Laundry isn’t as simple as packing up clothes and tossing them in the washer, and call it goodbye. 

It’s more than that. You have to make sure you’re on track with the rules and practices to avoid ruining your garments in the end.

So why am I saying all of this? It’s because of the topic question actually. Lights and darks are miles apart, and are made differently. So combining the two in the washer can lead to dreadful results.

The best advice is to always separate lights from darks when washing since darks have the potential to bleed in the washer.

In the next few paragraphs, we’ll discuss more about the care and maintenance of lights and darks! 

The important rule of laundry

When it comes to laundry, there are rules to follow. The most important are these:

  1. Separate clothes by color
  2. Separate colors by weight and delicateness

Separate clothes by color

When it comes to separating clothes by color, it means you should:

  1. Separate the lights.
  2. Separate the darks.
  3. Seperate the whites.

When separating clothes based on colors, ensure there isn’t an individual cloth in each category that bleeds. If there is, wash it separately, otherwise it could bleed profusely into other clothes and ruin their aesthetics. Even though the damage may not be as visible for dark clothes as when lights are at the receiving end, it’s still something to deal with at the end of the day.

So do the primary assignment of seperating clothes that bleed from the bunch so that you don’t end up ruining anything in the washer. 

Sort by weight

The second important rule of washing is to sort clothes based on weight. So for the clothes you sort based on colors, you want to further sort them out by weight.

When you are sorting clothes based on weight, look for clothes that are tough and have a bit of structure to them and wash them together. For those that are more on the delicate side, pair them up together. By doing so, you’ll avoid causing damage to clothes in the washer. That’s the whole point of sorting clothes based on weight in the first place. 

Let me give you a typical example so you understand things bettet, say you sorted clothes based on colors and you ended up separating white towels and white shirts on one side and then dark jeans and gray trousers on the other. 

You aren’t just going to pair the towels and shirts together and call it a day, because they both have different structures. You’ll wear down the fibers on the shirts by doing so, and the best thing to do now is to further separate the clothes based on structure and toughness. 

Best laundry products and practices for dark clothes

Looking for the best laundry products for cleaning dark clothes? 

Check then out below. 


The first on my list has to be vinegar. This is because vinegar has the property to preserve colors on clothes as well as soften and make them fluffy. 

When adding vinegar to laundry, do so during the rinse cycle and not when you wash. It’s more effective that way. Add ½ cups of it either manually or via the fabric softener compartment of the washer, your choice. 

Baking soda

Baking soda will soften clothes and absorb odor from them. When using baking soda, add ¼ cups of it to the wash cycle. If your clothes have a bit of mold or mildew growth on them, baking soda would help to tackle that also.

Woolite dark

Using detergents that are especially formulated to preserve the integrity and intensity of clothes is also another great idea. 

Detergents like Woolite dark are specially formulated to preserve the intensity of dark clothes for longer wash sessions. Which means you can wash for long before you even begin to notice fading.

Cold water

Cold water is also another way to preserve the colors of colored clothes. Hot water is naturally destructive, although it helps remove soiling from clothes much easier than cold water. 

When you wash clothes with hot water, it removes the oil in them, it shrinks fabrics, distorts them, and even causes dyes to run off from them. 

So unless you need to sanitize your clothes or want to remove heavy soiling on them, always opt for cold water which is the most gentler option for them.

Best products for white clothes


Sometimes, light clothes can pick up really heavy stains on them. And even your regular detergents will have a hard time trying to remove these stains. 

In this case, the best thing to do is use bleach, specifically chlorine bleach. Chlorine bleach on white clothes are like brothers and sisters. They help brighten and whiten clothes as well as remove stains on them.

Whitening detergents

Many detergents are also formulated with whiteners and optical brighteners that benefit light and white clothes. Instead of using regular detergent that does not offer anything to the table, why not opt for these kinds of detergents to brighten your clothes and make them look aesthetically pleasing.

You can use hot water

White clothes, unlike blacks, don’t fade terribly with consistent usage of hot water, although their fibers may get damaged. Because of this, you can get away with using hot water on them quite often. 

Plus, hot water is especially needed to banish really stubborn stains and make whites appear whiter. It also works great with bleach! 

Final Thoughts

When performing laundry, you should always separate lights from darks, and these two from whites. Darks can bleed profusely into lights and ruin them. When darks bleed into darks, the result is somehow manageable. But this isn’t the case when darks bleed into lights or whites. The stain will be terribly visible! This is the reason why you should always separate clothes based on colors.