How to sort your laundry before the wash for the best results

We know how frustrating it is when you pull your whites out of the machine only to find a stray red sock had sneaked in with them and turned everything pink. Follow our simple tips and say goodbye to laundry accidents forever.

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How to sort your laundry before the wash for the best results

How accidents happen

Here’s how the most common accidents happen:

  • Reactive dyes – these dyes aren’t always stable when they come into contact with detergents that contain bleach, so may leak out onto other items in the wash. Detergents containing oxygen bleach also cause colours to fade.

  • Bleed from direct dyes – sometimes dyes can bleed out of one particular garment into the wash – even in cold/lukewarm water.

Sorting laundry loads

It may be easy to throw a load of mixed laundry into the machine, but if you don’t want everything to turn an odd shade of pink or grey, follow our simple tips.

Sort laundry into groups: whites, light colours, colours and delicates (wools, silks etc.). If you only have a small amount of one group don’t be tempted to put it in with another – save it for a full load.

For dazzling whites - use a detergent containing bleach, such as Ariel Automatic Powder Original for fully automatic machines or Ariel Powder Original for regular machines and hand washing

For colours - use a detergent without bleach, such as Ariel Automatic 3in1 PODS OriginalAriel Automatic Power Gel Original or Ariel Automatic Powder Color

Quick tip: Turning your clothes inside out will protect them during the wash. It stops jeans turning white at the seams.

Quick tip: Stains on coloured loads is not an issue anymore. Try Ariel Automatic Power Gel Original that is tough on stains but gentle on your coloured garments.

Choosing the right laundry basket

Use a partitioned laundry basket – it’ll save you time sorting it all out later. In case someone places something in the wrong section, check labels for the manufacturer’s washing recommendations.

If in doubt, test an item for colourfastness by applying warm water to an inconspicuous part (for instance, the inside of a hem), then press with a warm iron between two pieces of cloth. If any colour leaks, it’s not colourfast.