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Can You Wash Red With Black? (White and Pink)

Can You Wash Red With Black? (White and Pink)

Perhaps you’ve just added red clothes to your wardrobe. Well done! However, you’re now wondering whether combining this new, vibrant color with black in the washing machine is possible. After all, the wrong laundry combination can lead to ruined clothes. So, can you wash red with black?

Well, that’s one of the frequently asked questions about laundry. So, I did some research to answer it for you. Read on to find out what colors you should – or shouldn’t – wash together with your new red clothes.

Can You Wash Red And Black Together?

You shouldn’t wash red and black clothes together, especially if you’re unsure whether they are colorfast. Red and black clothes may bleed during the washing process, which may ruin your clothes. As such, it’s always wise to wash the two colors separately.

Before you do any washing, how you sort your clothes is critical. It can affect your clothes’ vibrancy, durability, and overall look. That’s why you must take time and learn how to sort clothes for laundry day.

Usually, when doing any laundry, you must have at least three assortments. The first is for whites, the second is for light-colored clothes, and the last one is for dark-colored clothes.

  • The whites category consists of all the white clothes you own. That can be your white tee-shirts, white shirts, white socks, and so on.
  • The light-colored clothes are those that are not white but aren’t too dark either. They include light blue, lavender, yellow, light green, periwinkle, powder blue, and other pastel colors.
  • The third category is for all the dark-colored clothes you own. These are usually deep or rich colors like black, brown, red, navy blue, royal blue, dark green, brown, etc.

Now, this grouping technique calls for washing clothes in the same category together. That means when you go by it, it’s okay to wash red and black clothes together. And well, it’s still possible to combine the two colors. 

After all, they’re both dark colors, meaning that if one color comes off, the effect it will cause on the other will remain subtle. Even so, most experts suggest that you wash red and black clothes separately and from other dark colors.

Do Red Clothes Bleed?

We don’t have a direct answer as to whether red clothes will bleed. The truth is that it depends on the fabric and the dye used. Some red clothes will fade while others are colorfast. If unsure of the category of your red clothes, wash them separately the first three or four times. Doing so helps determine whether they are colorfast or not.

If you just added red clothes to your wardrobe, congratulations on your new purchase! Red symbolizes energy, love, courage, and that’s not all! No wonder this color is one of the most popular choices for clothing!

One thing to know about your recent purchase, though; you might have just invited one of the laundry’s worst enemies into your home. You see, red clothes are the most susceptible to bleeding. Yes, read that again – red is the number one color for bleeding.

You see, most red clothes utilize a type of dye that we call direct dye. This dye is notorious for being one of the least colorfast dyes available. What does that mean? It means that this dye is more likely to bleed than other types of dyes.

So, should you avoid buying red clothes altogether? No, not necessarily. You see, bleeding has nothing to do with the red color, per se. Direct dye isn’t exclusive to red clothes. You’ll find this dye in other colors as well, and that will also mean that they are as likely to bleed.

But why do we single out red as the most susceptible color to bleeding? Well, it has to do with the fact that most manufacturers choose to use direct dye for red clothes more than for any other color

That’s why not all red clothes will bleed. And if you’re unsure whether your red clothes will bleed, always wash them separately. The rule of thumb is to do that the first four times. It will help you know whether they’re color fast.

You’ve to do it four times because sometimes bleeding will happen because of overapplication of the dye. The first few washes will help wash away any excess dye, providing a clearer picture of whether your clothes are colorfast.

Can You Wash Reds With Darks?

While you can wash reds with darks if they’re both colorfast and very dark, we highly recommend against it. Red clothes are better off being washed separately simply because they’re the most likely to bleed.

You see, when talking about darks, we’re usually referring to dark-toned clothes. That includes colors like black, brown, burgundy, orange, navy blue, royal blue, dark green, etc.

Now, the darker pigmentation means any color cross-contamination will be less visible. But the fact that your clothes won’t show it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. So, if you know that you’re dealing with colors more likely to bleed, like red, always wash them separately.


Can You Wash Red With White?

No, you shouldn’t wash red with white clothes. The red dye may come off in the wash and tint your white clothes, giving them a pale pinkish hue. If you must wash whites with other colors, you’d rather work with light-colored garments like pale blues, yellows, and greens.

We’ve already said that red is one color you’ll want to keep the furthest from any other color that you want to maintain its original hue. As for white, it’s the most vulnerable to suffer from any color cross-contamination.

So, when we talk about red and whites, we are referring to two colors at opposite ends of the colorfastness spectrum. One is the most lethal when it comes to bleeding, while the other can’t even handle a little bit of color contamination.

The best way to protect your white clothes is to keep them as far away from any other color as possible. That’s why you need to have an assortment that exclusively consists of whites if you want to avoid any color transfer.

If you must wash other colors with your whites, ensure they’re light-colored clothes. Light colors are less likely to bleed, so your white clothes are less likely to get stained. And as usual, always use cold water. Hot water will make almost any color bleed. 

Can You Wash Pink With Red?

Yes, you can wash your red with pink, but only if you’re sure the red color is colorfast. Red and pink are close enough on the color wheel that any bleeding is likely to go unnoticed. But if separating them is still within viability, it’s better to do so.

Red and pink are both colored clothes. However, one belongs to the light colors category while the other is a dark color. That’s why I recommend separating them when washing, even though the two colors are close in the color spectrum.

The main reason for separation is that, as I’ve said before, dark colors are more likely to bleed than light colors. So, when red color – or any other dark color – comes off in the wash, it’s more likely to cause the light-colored apparel to appear dull.

The magnitude of the effect depends on the color gap between the two garments. If the colors are too close to each other, like red and pink, the color change will likely go unnoticed. But for colors far apart in the color spectrum, the effect is more noticeable. 

But again, coming back to red and pink, if you can separate them, it’s still better to do so. That way, you can be sure that your clothes will retain their original hue and vibrancy.

Can You Wash Red With Blue?

You can wash red with the darker shades of blue, but only if the two are colorfast. Darker shades of blue like navy or royal blue belong to the darks, the same category as red. So, you can group them with your red clothes if the reds are colorfast and it’s a must that you wash them together.

The effect of color cross-contamination will be less visible in dark colors like navy or royal blue. That’s because the darker pigmentation means any color transfer will have less impact. But if you can wash your reds and blues separately, it’s still better to do so. That way, you avoid any color bleeding, and your clothes will retain their original colors.

Can You Wash Red With Gray?

You can wash red with gray, but only if the red is colorfast. Red and gray are both dark colors, so they can be grouped in the same laundry when washing. However, even though the effect of color transfer will be less visible, there’s still a chance that the red color will bleed and transfer to the gray clothes.

So, again, like with any other color, if you can wash your reds and grays separately, it’s still better to do so. That way, you can avoid color cross-contamination, and your clothes will look their best.

What Color Clothes Can You Wash Red Clothes With?

The best color clothes you can wash red clothes with are other red clothes. Like whites, reds work better when washed separately and won’t cause harm to other clothes. Of course that may mean an extra load of laundry, but it’s worth it to keep all your clothes looking great.

But that doesn’t mean you should treat your red clothes like they’re made of porcelain and can’t be washed with other colors. If you must wash your reds with other clothes, make sure they’re colorfast and group them with other dark colors.

Final Verdict

Red clothes often lose their dye more readily than other colors, so it’s best to wash them separately from other clothes. If you must group them with other colors, only pair them with other dark colors like navy or royal blue. And always check that the reds are colorfast before washing them with anything else. If they aren’t, wash them separately. Then, follow necessary measures to minimize color bleeding. That includes adding salt or vinegar to the water to minimize color shedding.