Can You Dry Light And Darks Together?

drying dark and light clothes in dryer

Laundry days can be tiring. It feels like a never-ending cycle of washing, drying, and separating laundry. You wonder if you can save time and effort by tossing your light and dark garments together. It’ll be convenient to skip the extra step of separating them.

Some claim it’s a time-saving hack that poses no harm, while others vehemently argue against it, warning of potential disasters like color bleeding and ruined clothes. So can you dry light and dark clothes together without any consequence?

For a complete laundry separating guide, read: How to separate laundry?

Can You Dry Light and Darks Together?

Drying light and dark clothes together aren’t recommended as there is still potential for color bleeding in the dryer. The washing process may remove some excess dye, but garments can still release small amounts of dye during the drying cycle.

Fabrics contain dye molecules that can be released when exposed to heat and moisture in the dryer. These dye molecules can easily migrate and attach to nearby fabrics, especially if they are made of absorbent materials. To preserve the color and appearance of garments, it is advisable to separate dry light and dark clothes during drying.

do not dry lights and darks together in dryer

Can You Dry Similar Shade Colors Together?

You can safely combine similar shade clothes without significant color bleeding or transfer risk. When garments of similar shades, like pink with red and light blue with dark blue, are dried together, the potential for dye migration is minimized compared to mixing contrasting colors.

However, it is still advisable to exercise caution, especially with new or highly saturated garments.

drying similar shade clothes in dryer

What Colors Could Be Mixed In Dryer?

Colors that can be mixedRecommendations
Similar shades of the same color (e.g., light blue and dark blue)Generally safe to dry together
Neutral colors (e.g., black, white, gray) with similar shadesCan be dried together
Pastel colors (e.g., light pink, mint green) with similar shadesCan be dried together
Dark colors (e.g., navy, burgundy) with similar shadesCan be dried together
Bright or saturated colors (e.g., red, yellow, neon) with similar shadesCan be dried together, but be cautious of potential color bleeding
Contrasting colors (e.g., red and white, black and white)Not recommended to dry them together to avoid color bleeding

While this table provides general guidelines, it’s important to consider each garment’s fabric type and care instructions. Some fabrics may require specific care and temperature settings.

Looking for a complete guide? If yes, then you must read: How to mix colors in a dryer?

How to Separate Clothes for Dryer?

Fabric TypeSeparation Method
DelicatesDry separately or use a delicate/low heat setting
CottonCan be dried together with similar colors
SyntheticsCan be dried together with similar colors
WoolAir dry or use a wool-specific drying setting
SilkAir dry or use a silk-specific drying setting
DenimCan be dried together with similar colors
Towels and beddingCan be dried together with similar colors
Athletic wearCan be dried together with similar colors
FormalwearFollow care instructions, and dry separately if needed
Mixed fabric loadSort into appropriate fabric categories

This is just a simplified answer to make your job easy. ALWAYS READ CARE LABEL of clothes for the best instructions.

Can You Dry Bleached Clothes with Darks or Colors?

Do not dry bleached clothes with dark or colored clothes, as bleach contains potent chemicals that can react with dyes, causing color fading or alteration.

After bleaching your clothes, there can still be leftover residues of bleach which can transfer to other clothes in the dryer. To preserve the appearance and quality of colored, dark, and bleached clothes, we advise you to dry them separately.

Related: How to remove bleach from clothes?

  • Toggle Title

    Yes, drying lights and darks is always recommended as there is potential for color bleeding from dark to light garments.

  • Can you dry colors and blacks together?

    Drying colors and black garments together is generally safe if the colors are similar and have been washed without any color bleeding.


It’s not recommended to dry light and dark clothes together. Wash newly bought clothes separately to check if there’s any color bleeding. The heat and movement in the dryer can cause dye release from dark fabrics, leading to color transfer onto lighter ones.

This can result in discoloration and compromise the appearance of the garments. To maintain the integrity of light and dark-colored clothes, it is best to separate and dry them in separate loads. Always check the care label of garments for the best cleaning and drying ways.

Related: Can colors bleed in cold water?

Related: Minimum temperature for drying clothes outside

Related: Dryer Balls vs. Dryer Sheets.