Should You Wash Clothes Inside Out?

What is the best way to wash clothes? Inside out? Or right side out? And does any technique have advantages over the other? 

Except for clothes you sweat heavily in, for example tracksuits, there really isn’t the need to turn clothes inside out before washing. Clothes are typically porous to begin with, so whatever is happening on the outside is definitely reaching or translating on the inside. 

If you’re cleaning the outside of a fabric, it means you’re also cleaning the inside, which is how your clothes are able to come out clean and odor free in the first place. 

So when it comes to washing clothes, you really don’t have to worry about which side your clothes are facing, except for the few occasions we’ll mention below. 

When should you turn clothes inside out for washing

When the cloth has embellishments

Clothes that have embellishments on them are delicate. The best way to clean them in the washer is to add them into a mesh bag, to prevent them from getting destroyed. 

As an extra layer of protection, you should also turn them inside out so the surface having these embellishments like sequins or beads or buttons aren’t agitated as much to the point where they come off, scratch, or get destroyed.

When the cloth is special or delicate

When clothes are washed in the washer, the fibers are squashed and as a result, they are torn and destroyed and become hardened when air dried. That’s why when you touch the surface of dried cotton clothes or jeans, it feels rough! Especially when it’s like the 1000th time you’re washing it. And not only does it feel rough, it also looks rough and beat up.

The way to minimize the squashing is by putting the clothes in a mesh bag, or turning them inside out. This will protect the outer surface there by preserving its integrity. The fabric will look newer and last longer. 

It protect colors

Washing colored clothes right side out means you’re losing some of the dyes in the washer, because of the agitation in there. Turning it inside out will greatly reduce the amount of color loss on the right side there by keeping its intensity for longer. 

That’s why if you have a colored cloth, it’s best to wash it inside out or put it in a mesh back to limit the amount of dye that is scrubbed off from the fibers (on the right side) in the washing machine.

When should you not wash clothes inside out?

Whenever you’re dealing with clothes that have stains on them, it’s best to wash with the right side out. That’s because most part of the stains are concentrated on that side, and therefore you want it to get the most washing. 

Can you wash all clothes together?

No, you shouldnt be washing all clothes together in the washing machine. Clothes are made up of different materials which sort them out in “delicates” and “sturdy” and of different colors which sort them out in “lights”, “darks” and “whites”. 

When washing clothes, sort them out based on these categories, and wash them as such, but first, perform the color fastness test.

Use a moistened cotton swab for that purpose. Dab continuously on an inconspicuous area of the cloth and observe if there is any color transfer. If there is, the cloth is not colorfast and you should avoid putting it in the washer with other clothes, otherwise, feel free to do so. 

For reds, avoid pairing them together with any other colors. Wash them separately because they almost always bleed! 

Final thoughts

There really isn’t a need to turn clothes inside out before washing. In fact washing them right side out will facilitate soil removal and improve cleaning, even though cloth ends up looking worn out faster this way. 

If you have clothes that have excessive sweat stains in them, like sport clothes, then wash them inside out to expose the affected areas to the rough surface of the washer. This would enhance stain and smell removal more. 

Also, when you have embellishments on the clothes, it might be useful to turn them inside out to protect them from the agitation in the washer.