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Ask Marilyn: Can Mixing Red and White Make You Blue?

Chuck Martin of Fairfax, Virginia, writes:

Marilyn: Why can't you mix colored clothes with whites when you do the laundry? My wife and I always argue about this. Now, I can understand that you don't mix your brand-new, bright red t-shirt with your white towels. But, after a few trips through the washer, colored clothes aren't going to bleed anymore. So, why can't you mix them at that point? I am a "one load and done" kind of guy, and my whites are just as white as the day they came home from the store. But when my wife does laundry, the washing machine chugs away all day while the electric meter spins.

Marilyn responds:

After a while, the main problem is light fibers being deposited on dark fabrics and vice versa. This can make quite a mess. For example, have you ever tried washing your dark socks with your white towels? Don't. Regardless, if I were your wife, I would keep quiet. You should never argue with a guy who does his own laundry! If he's happy with the way his things look, that's all that counts.



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