Can You Wash Towels & Pillowcases Together?

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Sorting towels and pillowcases prevents color transfer.
Sorting towels and pillowcases prevents color transfer. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

When it comes to doing laundry, color, fabric type and texture can affect the results. Washing pillowcases and towels together works well, provided the colors and textures are compatible. Most towels and pillow cases come with care labels sewn on them for quick reference on how to wash them. Learning a few basic laundry tips will help you wash pillowcases and towels together with confidence. Sorting your laundry ahead of time makes your laundry day go faster and prevents errors that can damage fabrics.

Background

Organizing laundry makes the task more efficient. Healthy laundry habits can help prevent illness. Disinfecting towels and bed linens, including pillowcases, helps to reduce the risk of spreading infections. These laundry items may come in contact with body fluids, sores and other sources of bacteria. Washing all your bedding and towels together can help make up a full load of laundry. Washing full loads rather than partial loads saves energy and water, the Oregon State University Extension advises.

Laundry Basics

When you do laundry, choosing the right temperature for the fabrics and colors helps to achieve the best results. Wash light-colored cotton sheets, pillowcases and towels in hot water. It's best to pre-treat any stains before you start the laundry because heat will set stains. Blood, ink, coffee or juice spills may come out if you use recommended stain removal methods and cold water before putting the pillowcases and towels in the washer.

Sorting

Sheets, pillowcases and towels come in a range of colors and textures. By separating dark colors from light colors, you avoid color transfer. A dark towel could bleed color from its fabric dye onto a light pillowcase or vice versa. Checking the laundry for stray items can prevent mishaps. For example, a red T-shirt washed with white towels could turn all of them pink. Texture affects your laundry results, also. If you wash towels, especially thick, newer towels, with pillowcases, you may get some lint on the pillowcases.

Considerations

Drying pillowcases separately from any towels that might shed lint will prevent lint transfer. Flannel pillowcases are more prone to holding lint than smooth-textured pillowcases. Washing light linens in hot water helps to kill bed bugs and other pests. Use bleach when you wash towels and bedding, the Oregon State University Extension advises. For those who prefer to avoid bleach, borax has disinfecting properties. Keep bleach, borax and other laundry and cleaning products out of the reach of children.

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