Separating Your Clothes Into Dry Cleaning and Wash and Fold: What Goes in Each Pile

There are many things you can do to extend the lifespan of your clothes. One is to sort them before sending them to dry cleaning and wash and fold services. Making this a habit maintains its quality and minimizes accidents resulting in ruined clothes.

There’s no one way to do it. What we have here is merely a guide you can build on to see what works for you. If you already have a system but find it lacking, the following will give you tips on perfecting it.

Separate Colored New Clothes

To prevent the color from bleeding out into the rest of the batch, separate new clothes into their own pile. However, you can throw the plain white ones into the rest of your white clothes.

Separate Heavily Soiled Items

The next thing you should do is check for dirt. Heavily soiled or stained items should go into a separate pile. You don’t want the dirt or stain to spread to the rest of your clothes. You also must make sure to spot-remove the stains before loading them into the washer. This gives you a higher chance of removing stains completely.

When you send your clothes to the laundry and dry cleaning services, you must note that these items need extra attention. The professionals in your local wash and fold know how to deal with stubborn stains and dirt, returning them to you almost as good as new.

Sort by Method of Washing

Read the manufacturer’s instructions and sort your clothes according to their recommended method of washing: hand wash, dry clean, and machine wash. And don’t worry. Just because you have a pile for hand-washing doesn’t mean you’ll have to do it. Wash and fold laundry services has the right solution for your needs.

Sort by Type

Once you’ve removed the heavily soiled clothes from the pile, it’s time to sort them by type. Some people prefer to start by sorting them by color, but sorting them by the quality of the fabric is recommended.

When you wash clothes, either by hand or using a washer, the mechanism that helps remove the dirt is how the fabric rubs against each other. You don’t want to load your cotton shirts with your denim pants. The latter is so abrasive that it might ruin the quality of your shirts.

Here we have seven categories. Although you can narrow it down or expand based on your preferences, we recommend following these categories to ensure the best results.

Sheets, Beddings, and Towels

You want to separate these items because they need either washers designed for heavier loads or special dry-cleaning steps.

Upper Garments

Separate upper garments into their own pile to protect them from more abrasive items. These are usually shirts and jackets. Take note of items that need special attention, such as hand-finished shirts.


Lower garments go here except for denim.


The reason we suggest you separate denim clothing is the fact that it’s so abrasive and can easily affect the quality of other materials.

Sports or Active Wear

Because of the amount of sweat and dirt they usually have, active and sportswear go into a separate pile. They’re also often made of different materials from the rest of your clothes.


These usually come with tags detailing instructions from manufacturers. Mixing them with other items may affect their form. This goes for delicates or other items made from lace, knit fabric, and silk.

Sort by Color

The main reason you should sort by color is you don’t want to ruin the color of your clothes. There are colors that fade more quickly than others and items that can bleed out into the rest. You may be familiar with a white shirt going into the washer, only to come out pink because the owner decided to mix it with a red garment. You want to avoid that.

Here are the color categories to work with:

  • Whites with no patterns
  • Whites with prints
  • Light or pale colors
  • Bright colors
  • Dark colors

Tips for Sorting Your Laundry

1.      Always check the label.

Aside from ensuring you don’t damage your clothes, there is a lot of valuable information you can get from reading the label. Manufacturers include instructions on proper fabric care and crucial information like the materials used.

2.      Pre-sort your laundry.

If you want to save time, pre-sorting your laundry every time you put them in the laundry bin is just what you need. This means you won’t rush sorting your clothes every weekend because your dry cleaning pickup service is on its way to get your laundry.

One of the ways to do this is to get a laundry sorter or create your own. You can also assign a bin for every category. After a few weeks of sorting your laundry as you go, you will fully integrate it into your routine.

3.      Mix categories if possible.

It’s not very practical to wash just a couple of items separately because it belongs in the same category. If items from different groups have similarities (e.g., your bonnets are made from the same material as your cardigans), you can load them in one cycle.

4.      Use bags to protect items.

If you have clothes with accessories like sequins, large buttons, and zippers, putting them in laundry bags will ensure the trinkets stay in place and protect other items from getting damaged.

The benefits of sorting your laundry may not be as apparent now, but it’s one of the best practices for proper clothing care. Let these tips guide you in creating your own system. Ensure your clothes and home items stay good as new by making a habit of categorizing your clothes before sending them to your local laundry service.