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Can You Dry Lights and Darks Together? (Explained)

We have a huge variety of clothes and fabrics with hundred shades of colors. When these clothes and fabrics get dirty, we need to clean and dry them. Moreover, some other reasons might be responsible for cleaning and drying different colors of fabrics.

So, when we dry different colors of fabrics, we get confused about whether we can dry lights and darks together or not. So, we have to know the consequences of drying them together. Moreover, we must know the difference between drying them together and separately.

Can you dry lights and darks together?

You can dry lights and darks together but drying them together is not recommended. You might think that drying will not mix the colors. But at the starting of the drying process, the fabrics are still wet. So, the colors can spread with one another and damage the actual color of the fabric.

When you are doing the laundry, washing and drying all the clothes together might be convenient and fast. But washing and drying lights and darks are not a good idea.

Generally, clothes are different in colors and shades. They can be lighter and darker shades. If you wish to dry them together, you can dry them. But drying darks and lights together has some drawbacks too.

You might damage the actual color and shade of the cloth by drying the light and dark cloth together. When you start drying the clothes together, they are still wet. When the clothes are wet, their colors can spread.

Moreover, the color bleeding can spread to the zippers and collars that will make the cloth unwearable. You might think that you only have to wash darks and lights separately, you can dry them together because drying will not spread the colors.

But you still have to dry them together. Otherwise, a little amount of moisture can also cause color bleeding. Generally, dark colors spread the colors more. Even if you don’t use any detergent, they can still cause color bleeding when they are wet.

So, if you dry lights and darks together, it will cause dark color bleeding in the lights. So, the light color fabrics will be damaged.

Do you have to separate clothes in the tumble dryer?

Yes, you have to separate clothes in the tumble dryer. You might want to dry the dark and light clothes together to follow a shortcut. But this can be harmful to the clothes.

If you separate clothes in the tumble dryer, the light color clothes will dry effectively without any stain from the other clothes.

Moreover, if you dry the dark clothes separately, they will not cause color bleeding to the other clothes. Moreover, some other clothes should also be separated. For example, if you dry sweaters with zipper-containing clothes, sweaters can get damaged.

How to separate clothes for the dryer?

When it comes to drying clothes after washing, you should separate the clothes according to their colors and shades. You might don’t know which clothes you have to keep separate from which ones. So, let’s see how you can separate clothes for the dryer.


You have to separate clothes according to their colors first. You have to keep the darks and lights differently. For example, if you dry white and violet together, the violet can cause color bleeding to the white.

So, you have to separate different colors and shades of clothes.


You can also separate clothes that are different materials. Otherwise, both clothes can be damaged. For example, if you dry finer materials with coarser materials, the coarser ones will damage the finer ones.

So, you have to separate different materials of clothes before washing and drying.


Different texture clothes can also get damaged if dried together. So, you have to separate the clothes that produce lint from those which attract the lint. Otherwise, the quality of the clothes will be damaged.

New and old:

You have to separate new and old clothes before washing and drying them. Because when you wash and dry new and old clothes together, new clothes release some chemicals that can spread through the old ones. So, you must separate them.

Can you dry these clothes together?

You might know that you have to separate clothes when drying them. But you might don’t know the appropriate shades and colors that have to dry separately. So, you can see from the following list to know which colors have to dry separately.

Dry colors and darks:

You can dry colors and darks if the colored clothes are close to the dark shades. But drying them together is not recommended. Darks can cause color bleeding to the different colors. Moreover, these colors and darks can mix and produce a new color that can damage clothes.

Dry colors and white:

You can’t dry colors and white. White colors also cause color bleeding sometimes. But when white goes to another color, it doesn’t cause so much difference.

But when other colors spread through white, it will cause the white clothes fully different. So, you must separate colors and white.

Dry black and white:

You should never dry black and white. Because white clothes will be stained from the black ones. Generally, black is the darkest color that causes color bleeding. So, the white color will be fully stained.

Dry white and dark clothes:

You must separate white and dark clothes. Generally, we should dry white clothes separately always. Otherwise, other colors especially dark clothes will make the white ones stained. So, the white clothes will no longer be usable.

What colors can you dry together?

Though you should separate different color clothes before washing and drying them. But it’s not possible to wash and dry every single cloth. So, you can batch dry and dry some colors together. So, let’s see what colors you can dry together.

Dark colors together:

You can dry some dark colors together. For example, you can dry black, grey, purple, navy blue, brown, and other dark colors together. If these colors cause color bleeding, this will not damage the actual color of the clothes.

Light colors together:

You can dry some light colors together also. For example, you can dry pink, light green, olive, yellow, khaki, orange, light brown, light blue, etc., colors together. Though they might spread few colors, this will not affect other clothes.

Here is a list of colors that you can mix and can’t mix:

Colors you can mix to dry together Colors you should not mix to dry
Black and greyWhite and light colors
Black and brownWhite and dark colors
Dark green and blackWhite and black
Purple and violetWhite and other colors
Black and navy blueBlack and light colors
Black and other dark colorsBlack and yellow

What are considered dark colors for laundry?

You must know the dark colors for laundry. Otherwise, you might mix them and the colors can damage other colors. So, let’s see what is considered dark and light colors for laundry.

Dark Colors:

Dark colors for laundry must be separated before washing and drying them. Black, grey, dark-brown, dark-green, olive, purple, indigo, navy blue, dark red, crimson, rust, etc., are considered dark colors.

White Colors:

Light blue, light brown, pink, yellow, lavender, khaki, beige, cream, ochre, orange, etc., are considered light colors for laundry. Though white is also a light color, white must be separated for laundry.

Can you put darks in the tumble dryer?

Yes, you can put darks in the tumble dryer. But you have to put the darks that are considered dark for laundry. For example, you can put Black, grey, dark brown, olive, purple, navy blue, dark-red, rust, etc., colors in the tumble dryer.

But you must not mix random colors in the tumble dryer. You can follow the instructions for laundry before drying in the tumble dryer.

At what temperature and how to dry white clothes?

White clothes should be dried separately and with care. You should dry white clothes at high temperatures. Otherwise, white colors can be shrunk at low temperatures.

So, you have to keep the temperature around 135 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be best if you dry white colors in the sunlight.

Can you wash lights and darks together in cold water?

No, you can’t wash lights and darks together in cold water. You might think that color bleeding only occurs in warm water. But color bleeding can also occur in cold water.

So, if you wash lights and darks together, dark colors will spread colors to the lights either you are using cold or warm water.

Final Thoughts:

You can’t dry dark and light clothes together. Because color bleeding can damage the clothes if you dry them together. You might think only washing them will cause color bleeding. But drying process can also cause color spreading because the clothes are wet.