Another laundry question - sorting & teen dd

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Posted 10/3/2012 by lattemomof3 in NSBR Board


PeaNut 252,825
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Posted: 10/3/2012 9:03:14 AM
DD 13 has recently been doing her own laundry once a week, if your kiddo does their own, how do you have them sort it? I think I'm pretty anal about it - I have baskets for whites (hot or warm water- undies, socks, light colored stinky t-shirts from the gym), dark colors, red/pinks, jeans, towels, & delicates (bras & their light colored clothes that I don't want washed in warm water like the whites. That sounds like a lot when I type it, but I don't think I'd like to wash red/pinks with blues/blacks, or jeans with say, a thin little American Eagle t-shirt. No way does dd have enough clothes to sort like that, & I want her to learn how to do her own like she'll need to in college- help please!

Cake Diva

PeaNut 90,802
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Posted: 10/3/2012 9:07:31 AM
My girls both do their own laundry.

I have them leave the whites on the laundry room floor, and I toss them in with the rest of the house whites (usually enough for one load a week).

The rest? They wash it all together!


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PeaNut 139,756
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Posted: 10/3/2012 9:08:50 AM
In college I did lights and darks. 2 loads a week or longer between if I could manage it. As an adult I do darks, lights, towels, bedding. No way no how am I separating clothing types and like colors. Sometimes if I just need one thing cleaned, I'll just throw 2 days worth of dirty clothes in all mixed together. Nothing catastrophic has ever happened.

My sister who has 7 kids taught her kids how to do laundry family style. So they weren't just washing their own. Each kid was assigned a day and a color and they collected that laundry from everyone and laundered all the whites or whatever their assignment was. Laundry stayed properly sorted and no waste on small loads.

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PeaNut 96,783
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Posted: 10/3/2012 9:14:43 AM
I would explain my system to her and tell her she can follow it or not. She could use the small or medium load selection on the machine to conserve water and seperate her colors. Or she can shove everything in together and risk color cross over. Make it her choice and don't hover.

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PeaNut 449,226
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Posted: 10/3/2012 9:23:53 AM
I think I might warn her about NEW jeans (does the color still run?) amd then let her do it her way.

ETA.. I would tell her how you do it and WHY but not push it

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PeaNut 221,282
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Posted: 10/3/2012 9:25:30 AM
Every few days I do three loads. Whites (towels, socks, undies, under shirts, white uniform tops, dish towels) Tops (any color tee, colored uniform tops, hoodies) and Bottoms (jeans, khakis)

I have done laundry this way for a few years and I did occasionally have issues with colors. For the last year or so, I've used color catchers in the wash and haven't had a single problem. Yesterday I washed a pair of brand new bright red pants with khakis and a brand new red shirt with all the other shirts and no problems. Shout brand makes a color catcher, but if you look next to theirs, there is an off-brand that comes in a red box and is much cheaper. I just toss a color catcher in each load and be done with it.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 340,335
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Posted: 10/3/2012 10:07:58 AM
I taught DD to sort into whites, lights, and darks. She's in college now and throws everything in together, using cold water. Aaarrgh!


PEAceful Pea

PeaNut 14,521
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Posted: 10/3/2012 10:16:45 AM
My teens will leave their whites for me. They wash all their other colors together. If they have a mixed load with dark and light colors they toss in a Shout Color Catcher.

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PeaNut 172,235
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Posted: 10/3/2012 10:17:46 AM
I do whites, lights/mids and darks. Any reason why jeans can't go in with darks? They do here

Today, I will be colouring outside the lines.

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PeaNut 263,875
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Posted: 10/3/2012 10:36:18 AM
I do whites separately and wash everything else together with the color catcher sheets.


PeaNut 18,334
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Posted: 10/3/2012 10:49:21 AM
Darks and lights. That was it since it covered their laundry needs.
we did talk about special items, using different size loads on the machine and they figured out a sorting system that worked for them later on.

Tell her how you handle it, then let it go. Let her handle her laundry on her own. In the mean time, don't buy clothing for her that demands special handling.

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PeaNut 49,950
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Posted: 10/3/2012 10:52:25 AM
We do light / dark / jeans / towels / bedding -

I don't do jeans with the other stuff is because I'm afraid that the other stuff will get beat up by the jeans! Also, I've had experience with the jeans "bleeding" onto the towels or whatever else they're with. I don't use the Shout color catcher sheets, so I just do their own load. I've taught my kids the same way, so we just put the baskets down the hallway and sort the laundry accordingly. We usually just do laundry once a week, unless something comes up that we need to do a special load, then we'll gather a load in that same group to do a full load.


PeaNut 275,594
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:02:57 AM
I'm rather particular with laundry so thus far no one volunteers to help. I don't mix towels, jeans, clothing, kitchen towels/rags, etc. at all.

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PeaNut 74,068
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:13:06 AM
I taught my son to separate whites, medium and darks with jeans by themselves (I always think the other clothes might get beat up too!). Then I stepped back and let him do it they way he wants. He knew that if he messed something up I wasn't going to replace it though.


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PeaNut 18,741
July 2001
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:14:32 AM
I showed my daughter how best to laundry in the years before she started doing her own at age 13. What she did after that is up to her. She does not sort. She puts things in the dryer that I wouldn't. In the end, they're her clothes and if she ruins something as a result of these choices, she has to replace it on her dime.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 181,836
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:18:25 AM
I do white, lights, and darks. My dd does lights and darks. So far her clothes look fine.


PeaNut 25,268
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:22:44 AM
My teen dd just started doing her own laundry. Previously, dh and I have been happy to start the laundry, and everyone folded their own clothes. Now she prefers to do it herself.

I am not much of a sorter myself, to tell the truth. I sort lights and darks, but even that's pretty loose. We don't have all that many 'whites'. What we do have generally goes into the 'light' load. I do wash new, bright colors separately.

So dd knows how to do this. Truthfully I don't know what she does now that she's on her own, and I admit that I don't particularly care. She hasn't ruined anything yet, and I wouldn't be terribly upset if it did, as it happens to all of us once in awhile. On a regular basis it would annoy me, but so far, so good.


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PeaNut 265,707
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:28:02 AM
My new system is:

black, dark blue, brown, dark reds
medium/light blue, purple, pink, lighter reds
lightest colors, no-bleach whites
bleach whites
towels and bedding

And it still takes me a while to collect a full load of lightest colors and bleach whites. I don't do partial loads unless it's necessary - I prefer the energy efficiency of doing full loads.

For a single individual's laundry, I would do darkest colors, all other colors, and all super lights and whites without bleach. Maybe an occasional bleach load when bleachable whites get to looking dingy.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 11,642
February 2001
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:37:15 AM
I had no idea there were so many laundry schemes out there!

I do lights and darks, and I wash everything in cold most of the time. About once a month I will do a load of whites where I soak it extra long, or bleach it, or use hot. I've never had a problem with something running onto something else, and my clothes are clean.

mama nay

PeaNut 191,474
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:42:14 AM
I sort Lights(bras, Areo tees, misc shirts), darks (one load blue, one load black), medium (tans/khaki), and bleachables (socks, white undies, kitchen towels, white tee shirts), bath towels, and finally bedding (by color).

I fudge the loads as needed to make a FULL loads everyday. In my house there is no such thing as a small load - but then again there are 5 of us. If each of us did their own laundry I can't imagine the water and electric bill. So one person - me, washes. The kids(18,16 & 13) fold and put away. But the kids are expected to sort the laundry as they bring it down. If it doesn't come down it doesn't get washed. If you missed the color load and need xyz shirt - too bad, so sad.

Every day I wash which ever loads are the fullest and when they are caught up(i.e. not over flowing) the bedding and towels get their turn (around once a week).

~~Mama Nay~~


PeaNut 252,825
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:47:39 AM
That's why I wash jeans separately, so the thin t-shirts & nicer shirts don't get "beaten up" by the jeans. How about bras? I was taught that they should always go in cold water, so if I throw them in with the whites, do you wash them on warm? I don't know if washing undies & socks on cold would get them clean enough. Dd is just learning how to do laundry, she's fine doing it however, I'm just trying to figure out which way of sorting will be easier/more efficient than my system, while keeping her clothes nice.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 475,028
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:54:05 AM
My opinion is that if a kid is old enough to do their own laundry then they're old enough to do it however they want. After it's been explained I mean. I explained to both kids what could happen if you wash whites with a red sweatshirt, especially if the sweatshirt is new. Same with dark jeans. After a few reminders about this then they're on their own. If they choose to toss in whites with the red shirt and end up with pink socks, well then that's their problem.

My own sorting "technique" is basically light, dark, towels/sheets, and maybe heavier clothing once every couple of weeks in the winter (like jeans, sweatshirts, stuff like that). Also maybe once a season I'll haul all the blankets to the laundromat and do them all at once.


PeaNut 252,825
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:57:10 AM
Mama nay there are five of us, & that is pretty much how I wash too. But I think it will be nice for each kid to learn to wash their own stuff once they hit the teen years, if for no other reason than to learn how. I guess I could keep sorting how I'm doing it & have her wash one communal load and she can simplify her system when she's in college.

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PeaNut 25,620
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:59:51 AM
Separate bleached from not bleached, very light and very dark, and buy her a box of Color Catchers. Tiny loads are fine, and conserve water, but when you have to pay the same each time you turn on the dorm washer and dryer, not to mention time they don't have, its not a practical solution.

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PeaNut 289,166
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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:19:19 PM
I'm home right now, so I do it all for the kids. However, I don't sort. I just throw it all in together on cold. I will sometimes run a load of whites with bleach and do towels seperately, but that's it.


PeaNut 255,961
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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:22:01 PM
I wash all my whites separate because I use bleach on them. I wash almost everything else together except newer clothes or things that tend to bleed. I wash them separately.


PeaNut 341,236
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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:30:52 PM
I sort Jeans, whites, and colors. Special clothes are put separately as soon as they are taken off. I taught my girls the same way.

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PeaNut 18,334
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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:32:40 PM
How about bras? I was taught that they should always go in cold water, so if I throw them in with the whites, do you wash them on warm?

I think it depends on the fabrics the bras are made of and if they are heavily padded and what not. Fancy fabrics, lots of padding, heavy on the spandex probably need to be washed in a separate load or even by hand.

Mostly cotton unpadded ones do fine tossed in with the appropriate color load. I have white ones that are washed on warm with my whites and black ones that are washed in cold with my darks. I can't tell that either color is worse for the experience.

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PeaNut 89,393
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Posted: 10/3/2012 1:04:37 PM
Here is what I do:
whites (socks, undies, tshirts, khaki pants)
delicates (bras, DH's work shirts)

When I get to the point that DS washes his own, I'll either have him wash that day's communal load or I'll have him to lights and darks.


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PeaNut 43,843
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Posted: 10/3/2012 1:05:12 PM
I saw one episode of Kate + 8 and she said she didn't sort, everything was washed in cold water. I've read threads where lots of peas say the same. I have few whites but everything gets washed together.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 452,048
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Posted: 10/3/2012 1:45:11 PM
My dd's aren't responsible for washing their clothes. We (the 5 of us) work on laundry together. We all collect, sort, wash, dry, hang, fold, and then put our own away.

We separate our loads like this:

dark casuals (lounging clothes, jeans, ect)
dark delicates
light casuals (lounging clothes, ect)
light delicates
towels (sometimes I throw towels in with the casuals)
dish towels

Once in awhile I'll take our whites and bleach them. Otherwise they just get thrown in with the light casuals.


Pride of the Peas

PeaNut 25,575
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Posted: 10/3/2012 3:42:05 PM
We sort into darks, lights, delicates. Each person does their own laundry. Delicates are combined.

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Heather Marie

PeaNut 300,303
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Posted: 10/3/2012 10:59:51 PM
I sort into whites, colors, towels, sheets/blankets, DH work clothes. We keep all dirty laundry in our laundry room and it gets sorted as soon as it gets taken off into the appropriate basket.
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PeaNut 215,734
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Posted: 10/3/2012 11:36:56 PM
I am so picky !
Even now it is just DD and me I still run the same show:
-lights cold (bra's, anything light not warm)
-lights warm (bedding, panties, towels)
-darks warm (see lights hot)
-darks colds (jeans, anything dark)
-coloureds cold
Back in the married days I even did darks jeans and rough stuff and a gentle load. I was with three different bottles; cold, dark and regular for the warm stuff. I hardly throw anything in the dryer besides the warm stuff. And, yes, once every so often the dog has her own load

So....DD of 13 had to abide by my rules and please do not touch!



PeaNut 568,572
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Posted: 10/4/2012 1:00:03 AM
Yeah that sounds like a lot! I usually do whites and light colors (with a dash of oxiclean), dark - sweats, jeans, colors - vibrants, and towels. I have been known to toss in some colors with darks and they came out alright. Good luck and keep marching forward!

LuSundra Everett

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PeaNut 221,236
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Posted: 10/4/2012 5:29:47 AM
We don't sort except for sheets/towels/dish cloths, which always get washed hot. There is a white subset of that group that gets washed hot with bleach. Everything else goes in together on cold. Hasn't caused any problems for us!

(I do wash a brand new red item by itself for the first few washes, but I don't regularly separate reds that have already been washed several times.)

I think your system is too complex for a person doing just their own laundry - whether a teen at home or young adult at college/on their own - to reasonably maintain.


PeaNut 498,237
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Posted: 10/4/2012 6:08:49 AM
We don't sort kids and adults. We have hampers and whoever has a turn grabs one and washes. Our community hampers are labeled (to help sorting challenged).

We sort into
"A" - bleached whites (socks, towels, undershirts)
"B" - unbleached whites/lights (dress shirts, light sweats,
light pants that need treatment
"C" - lightweight colors (T-shirts, darker dress shirts, colored socks)
"D" - heavy colors (jeans, towels, black sports socks
"E" - brights (reds, purples...)
"F" - special care clothes (new, handwash...)
Each child washes their own bedding

I supervise A and will do F myself.

little mama

PeaNut 51,555
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Posted: 10/4/2012 6:14:00 AM
DS knows how to sort and do a load of laundry, but he doesnt have enough to do only his clothes. Your dd will probably do laundry less often - when she has a full load, when she is in college and paying for it. so as long as she knows how to do it, the detail of it being only her laundy isnt important.

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Peaing From Podunk

PeaNut 45,443
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Posted: 10/4/2012 6:23:44 AM
I sort into:
Pink, red, purple


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PeaNut 224,352
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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:54:18 AM
My children started doing their own laundry when they were exiting elementary school and we do lights, darks and hot. Hot is towels, sheets, sports clothing.

You are 'over sorting' IMO.

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