Basic Laundry Guide: You’re Washing Striped Clothing Wrong

Sometimes the world is not just black and white, or dark and light. Sometimes the world has mysteries and enigmas that mere humans cannot solve just yet. For instance: how do you wash striped clothing?

One of the basic steps in doing your laundry is sorting your clothes and making sure that your darks do not mix with your lights. But where does a striped piece of clothing fit into these categories?

Now, if you are a normal person– you would like this piece of clothing to stay in pristine condition. You want those stripes to stay nice and crisp. You do not want its colors to bleed into each other. It may be hard to believe that it is possible to wash it correctly since even trying to sort it with other clothes seems to be a cause for internal debate.

The Right Way to Wash Striped Clothing

Fret not, although a striped piece of clothing may present itself as a mystery, there is an actual right way to wash it.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Check if the colors bleed.

Find a hidden area on your striped clothing and dip it in warm water. It could be a seam or a hem or anywhere that isn’t obvious. In case the area cannot be submerged in water, you can do a spot test and focus on your chosen area by blotting it with a wet piece of cloth.

If dye releases into the water or onto your wet cloth– then you would know that your striped clothing would bleed onto other areas of the fabric.

If there is a significant amount of dye release, you want to take it to a laundry service provider or your dry cleaner so professionals can handle this tough case for you. If there is only minimal dye release, then you should opt to wash the item alone.

Step 2: Take care of stains before washing.

If your beloved striped clothing has stains, then you should pre-treat these smudges before actually washing. Since the piece of clothing has both dark and light colors, you want to use color-safe bleach or other bleach alternatives that are safe for colors to help you take the stain off.

Step 3: Hand Wash your striped clothing.

If you are washing your striped clothing for the first time, you want to hand wash first. You can sort your striped items based on the dominant color. For instance, if your striped shirt has more white stripes then you can opt to put it with your light-colored piles.

Use cold water to wash your striped item to prevent the dark-colored stripes from bleeding onto the lighter areas.

Step 3 Alternative: Using a washing machine.

Okay yes, this is also step number 3. Although hand washing is recommended for washing striped clothing since it prevents dye transfers better– you can still machine wash your item if you want to. Again, you may have to wash it on its own depending on the results of your color bleed test.

You want to set your washing machine on cool and then add an extra rinse spin cycle.

Step 4: Hang and dry your item.

Delicate garments like swimsuits and silk blouses must be hung and dried, while non-delicate items can be machine dried. You can find care information on the tag of the garment.

Depending on what type of item your striped piece of clothing is, you can either hang it to dry or dry it through a machine


Washing striped clothing is not such an unsolvable puzzle after all. The fact that it has two dominant colors might throw you off but once you know how to handle that– you’re pretty much good to go.

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