Should You Wash Khakis With Lights or Darks?

Congratulations on your recent acquisition of khaki pants and perhaps some shorts – great choice! You’ve invested in your wardrobe and want these pieces to stand the test of time.

Achieving that longevity, as you may already suspect, requires a little extra tender loving care, especially when it comes to laundering. Yet, amid your enthusiasm, there’s a lingering uncertainty – you’re unsure how to clean khakis properly.

Questions like, should you sort them by color? Can khakis be washed with lights or darks? Is bleach a safe option? And what about the dreaded dryer? You’re not the only one!

If you ponder these very questions, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re here to provide you with all the essential guidance on maintaining your new khakis and ensuring they remain a staple in your wardrobe for years to come. Let’s dive in and unravel the secrets to khaki care!

Can You Wash Khakis With Other Colors?

Before delving into our topic today, let’s clarify something upfront. Throughout this article, we’ll refer to “khaki” when discussing chino pants. Technically, khaki is an orange-brown color, not a style of pants; the style is known as chinos. However, since most people commonly use “khaki” to describe the pants style, let’s stick with that for the sake of clarity in this article.

Now, let’s return to the pressing question: Should you mix khakis with light or dark-colored clothing when doing your laundry? Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this query.

Mixing your khakis with lights or darks largely hinges on the specific color of your khaki pants. As a general rule of thumb, always sort your khakis for washing based on their colors. In other words, avoid washing light-colored khakis with dark-colored garments, such as black. Light-colored khakis should be grouped with other light-toned clothing, while dark-colored khakis should be paired with darker hues.

So, the answer ultimately depends on the color of your khakis. Before we proceed, let’s take a moment to address something that might seem like common knowledge to many but is worth reiterating.

Why is it important to separate colors in the first place?

When you wash clothes of varying color intensities together, you run the risk of color transference, which is the transfer of color from one garment to another. So, if you wash dark-toned clothing with light-colored items, you may notice the light clothes losing their vibrancy and appearing dull.

Hence, sorting your garments before loading them into the washing machine is crucial. Most experts recommend organizing your laundry into at least three distinct color groups:

  1. White clothing: Reserved exclusively for white garments. White clothes are particularly susceptible to color transference, so avoid mixing them with other colors, including light-colored items.
  2. Light-colored clothing: This category encompasses all clothing with a lighter shade, including khakis. Think of grouping light brown, light green, light blue, yellow, orange, cream, beige, pink, lavender, ochre, and perhaps maroon together.
  3. Dark-colored clothing: Here, place black, all shades of gray, olive, purple, indigo, navy blue, crimson, rust, dark green, dark red, or any garments with deeper tones. These colors are less likely to be affected by color transference.

By adhering to this color sorting method, you’ll help preserve the vibrancy and longevity of your clothing while ensuring that your khakis continue to look their best.

Can You Wash Khakis with White Clothes?

Yes, but only if the khakis in question are white. To clarify, white clothes are particularly susceptible to color bleeding during washing, making it advisable to avoid pairing them with garments of other colors.

While some people might wash light-colored khakis with white clothing, we recommend using a color-based sorting system for your laundry. We understand your affection for both khakis and white clothing.

You want your white garments to maintain their pristine brightness every time you wear them. To achieve this, it’s crucial to refrain from mixing non-white khakis with your white laundry during the washing process.

Can You Wash Khakis with Jeans?

Yes, washing khakis with jeans is possible, but there are considerations to consider. The compatibility of khakis and jeans for washing depends on various factors, including the color of the jeans.

Typically, khakis tend to be light-colored. This means they can be safely washed with other light-hued items such as light blue, light green, orange, yellow, cream, and similar shades. If your khaki and jeans fall within the lighter end of the color spectrum, washing them together shouldn’t pose any problems. However, a few precautions are still necessary.

Always opt for cold water when washing khakis and jeans together, as warm or hot water is more likely to cause dye bleeding. Additionally, consider turning both garments inside out before washing to protect them from buttons and zippers while ensuring the dye remains intact.

Can You Use Bleach on Khakis?

You should avoid using bleach, especially chlorine bleach, on khakis. Chlorine bleach contains sodium hypochlorite, an active ingredient responsible for bleaching by breaking the chemical bonds of chromophore molecules, which give objects their visible color.

This process, known as oxidation, alters the color of chromophores, causing them to reflect a different color from the visible spectrum or even no color at all, resulting in a white appearance.

However, using bleach on khakis, whether made of cotton, wool, nylon, silk, or a blend of materials, is ill-advised. It can lead to discoloration, patchiness, and losing the khaki’s original appearance. So, it’s best to avoid bleach entirely when caring for khakis.

Can You Put Khakis in the Dryer?

Yes, you can safely put khakis in the dryer, but following a few guidelines is essential for optimal results. When using a dryer, select the lowest temperature setting available.

Depending on your dryer’s specifications, khakis should be ready to remove within 15 to 20 minutes. However, it’s crucial to take them out before they are completely dry.

Hanging them in the sun to finish drying will help prevent excessive wrinkling, ensuring they look their best and last longer.

Can You Wash Whites with Colored Clothes?

As mentioned earlier, it’s advisable to avoid mixing white clothes with colored garments. White is the absence of color, and combining white items with colored ones can lead to color transfer. This transfer can result in the loss of vibrancy and radiance in your white clothing.

So, to keep your whites looking their brightest, it’s essential to keep them separate from colored items during laundry. Moreover, while bleach can be effective for whitening white clothes, it should never be used on colored garments, especially those made of cotton, as it can cause unsightly discoloration.

The practice of segregating whites from colors is a two-way benefit.

Should You Wash Darks in Hot or Cold Water?

While it’s possible to wash dark-colored clothing with hot or warm water, using cold water whenever feasible is recommended. Cold water helps dark garments retain their original color and prevents potential color bleeding.

Furthermore, cold water is gentler on materials like swimsuits, washable silk, activewear, and delicate lingerie, reducing the likelihood of shrinkage. When cleaning items of these types, always opt for cold water.

However, there are instances where using cold water might not effectively remove stubborn stains. Consider pretreating the stains with a stain remover before washing, ensuring a more effective cleaning process.

The Bottom Line

Contrary to popular belief, khakis don’t require frequent washing. Experts recommend washing them only when visibly stained or after prolonged wear, allowing for multiple uses between wash cycles.

While some precautions are necessary, many of these practices align with common knowledge. If you’ve recently acquired khakis, you can enjoy their longevity with these simple care tips.

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The post Should You Wash Khakis With Lights or Darks? first appeared on Mama Say What?!

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Konstantin Aksenov

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