Can You Dry Whites and Colors Together in the Dryer?

Most people lead busy lives and shove all their laundry together in the washer and dryer. But is this the best practice for your clothing? Should you really be drying whites and colors together in the dryer?

As it turns out, you shouldn’t dry your whites and colors together in the dryer. Damp, dark-colored clothes can bleed onto your white or pale-colored clothes and ruin them.

The last thing you want is to pull out your clean laundry and see all your whites are stained! In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about what happens when you mix whites and colors together in the dryer, and why you should avoid it.

Can You Wash Whites and Colors Together?

If you have the time, it’s best to separate and wash your whites and darks separately. White clothes are supposed to be washed in cool water and dark clothes should be washed with warm water. Mixing the two together can cause the colored clothing to bleed and stain your whites.

However, if you’re really in a pickle and don’t have time to separate all your clothes then you can wash them together. Make sure you use cold water and don’t add any new articles of colored clothing as they’re more likely to bleed than clothes that have been well-washed several times.

Can You Dry Whites and Colors Together?

You should avoid putting your whites and colors together in the dryer. Mixing your clothes together can cause the darker-colored clothing to bleed dye onto your lighter fabrics. This can cause stains on your white clothes and leave them unusable.

Certain clothes such as dark blue jeans have a very strong dye that can bleed onto your other clothes even if it’s been washed multiple times. To avoid ruining your whites you should be washing and drying them separately.

Do Colors Bleed in the Dryer?

Colors can still bleed in the dryer. Your clothes are still very damp when you put them in the dryer and if you have clothing with bright, vibrant colors mixed in with pure white fabrics, they’re likely to come out stained.

The heat of your dryer will leech the dye out of your damp, dark-colored clothes. White clothes and linens won’t come out a pure white if you mix them in the dryer with darker clothes.

What Else Can Happen if You Dry Colors with Whites Together?

The main concern when mixing colors and whites in the dryer is the possibility of colors bleeding onto your whites. This can cause staining and ruin your white clothes, but it’s not the only risk when mixing these together.

There’s also the possibility that you could damage some of your clothes. Most white items in the laundry are more delicate than colored clothing. If you have colored clothing made out of heavy material, such as blue jeans, then they can cause damage to more sensitive white clothes.

The heavier clothes can cause fraying, tears, or rips in your delicate white clothes. It’s best not to mix the two to avoid damaging or even ruining your clothes.

How Should You Separate Laundry?

How Should You Separate Laundry?

There is a science to separating your laundry for best results. First, you should separate your laundry between clothes and other linens such as bed sheets, blankets, towels, etc. Then, in each of those piles, you should separate them into piles of colors and whites.

If you have the time and want to be extra careful then it can be helpful to separate your laundry based on the materials they’re made out of as well. Clothing that’s made out of polyester and nylon should go in one pile, wool and cotton in another, and delicates such as silk or lace should be separated.

Separating your clothes before washing them will prevent any damage or staining and allow you to wash them at the temperature best for their individual materials.

What Temperature Should You Dry Whites in?

What Temperature Should You Dry Whites in


The best temperature to dry your whites in actually depends more on the fabric they’re made of. Stronger fabrics can be dried at higher temperatures so you should set your dryer to its regular or heavy setting.

Delicate fabrics, which make up a majority of white clothing and linens, should be dried at lower temperatures. This prolongs the drying time which prevents any heat-related damage from ruining your clothes.

Alternative Ways to Dry Clothes?

Dryers require a lot of energy and running one constantly can really drive up your electric bill. If you’re looking to save a little money and conserve some energy then there are plenty of alternative ways you can dry your clothes.

One way is to hang your clothes up outside on a clothesline. On warm days when the sun is shining, or even when there’s slight cloud coverage, this method is time-tested. Your clothes will dry in a couple of hours and have the added benefit of smelling like the fresh air.

Another alternative to using a dryer is hanging your clothes on a drying rack inside. This is great for people who don’t have or don’t want to use their dryer, but also don’t have a suitable yard for hanging up their clothes. You may want to run a fan in the room that you’re hanging your clothes up in to help them dry faster and avoid a musty smell.

If you just have a single article of clothing that you really need to wash and dry before a big event then you could even use a hairdryer to do the job. It’ll require you to hold the hairdryer the entire time and run it evenly along your laundry until it’s dry. But, it’ll be quicker than running the dryer and takes less energy.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to doing your laundry there’s a lot to learn. The old adage about never mixing your whites and colors in the washer is actually good advice. You should avoid mixing your whites and colors in the dryer as well to avoid color bleeding or damage to your clothes.