Darks? Whites? Pinks?

pink shirt

I’m sure I’ve written this post before.  But dag gone it, it’s happened again.  I thought I had it figured out, but this time, almost on national television.

When the Today show producers were taping last month, I was told to proceed with my normal routine.  I’d tossed at load of clothes in the laundry the night before and pulled them out that morning to fold as the kids were getting ready for school.

With the camera zoomed in on my basket of darks, there it sat:  Michelle’s school uniform shirt.  Normally it’s white; that day it was pink.  Beside it was a t-shirt, bright fuchsia.  They were a perfect match.

How humiliating.  Here I was, working to put my best foot forward, and the first thing they saw were my laundry inadequacies.

The camera man just smiled.  I let out a mild explicative.

I don’t understand.

I thought if I washed in cold it didn’t matter if a couple of lights got caught in the middle of their blue jeans and tie dyes.  Sometimes, in the interest of time, I integrate the assortment of garments and shove them in my large capacity washer together.  Unity.  Solidarity.  One.

Most of the time, the whites come out white and the darks keep their color.  But occasionally, I get this mess.  Why is that?  Does pink bleed or does it not?  Or does it bleed only when it wants to embarrass me in front of everyone who watches the Today Show?

I understand bleach.  I get dryer sheets.  A Tide stick is as clear as day.  I’m not a laundry moron.  And yet, this has me perplexed.

I don’t know why, but I clean out the lint compartment every time I dry a load.  That’s what I was taught, and I follow through.

When my washer gets off-balance and dances across the basement floor like Wynonna doing the Mamba, I open the door and readjust.

But these things are consistent.  They don’t change from load to load.

I wish that bleeding would do the same.

I tried to convince Michelle that pink was cool.

“It’s your favorite color!  It matches your Hunter rain boots and your favorite hair bow.”

“I’m not wearing that shirt!”

“Have you ever seen Happy Days?  There was this really cool girl called Pinky Tuscaderro.  Let me show you a clip.”

Not even a nibble.

It could have been worse.  The producer of Today could have used that clip as part of the segment broadcast to millions of people throughout the country.  Thankfully, they used constraint.  How humiliating that would have been.

Incidentally, I was running short on time this week and washed all of her clothes together: red and yellow, black and white.  And guess what?  They all came out their original color.  This really doesn’t make any sense to me.

Leave a comment


  1. Mel Ham

     /  May 1, 2013

    As a person that does laundry, I have a system that hasn’t failed me. I sort in lights and not so lights. Lights consist of white towels, kahki’s, light (yellow green, pink) knit shirts, sox, etc(using warm water)..not so lights are anything left from the lights laundry(fushia shirt would go here with cold wash0. This system is good. Usually about every 3 months you have to do a bright whites load with bleach. I run the machine add bleach..throw in sox, bright white towels etc agrigate for a minute and let sit for 20. By the way, I don’t do children’s clothes any longer….now I don’t have to be asked Mom where is my_____?!!!! at 715am when we are running late. My time is valuable and I’m not the super models maid for washing clothes that were just tried on and thrown in the floor. If elite sox get lost misplaced that’s on them not me. You should try it.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  May 2, 2013

      Good plan. And the oldest one has taken her laundry for the most part!

  2. Sarah LF

     /  May 1, 2013

    If it helps, I know the laundry rules and just yesterday A’s St. Timothy’s shirt came out with faint pink splotches all over it. And there wasn’t anything pink or red in the wash. Sheesh! What’s up with that? I’m going to bleach it. Bring me her pink shirt and I’ll add it to the load.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  May 2, 2013

      Won’t that turn the emblem pink? Saw Alex in the paper – Cute.

  3. Aunt Susan

     /  May 1, 2013

    Danny, why don’t you ask your mom for another lesson in laundry? or better yet, get her to teach the girls how to do laundry, so when they go to college they will be prepared!

    • Danny Tanner

       /  May 2, 2013

      I have had them doing some of their own laundry lately. Not sure if that’s gonna help…

  4. KB

     /  May 2, 2013

    You need “Shout Color Catcher” sheets! They are like a dryer sheet, but you put it in the wash and it “catches” all the dyes that would normally settle on the clothes. You can get them at Harris Teeter, WalMart (they even have an off brand that works), Target and most stores I think. Someone told me about them years ago and it has saved me and my 3 girls many times. I sent them each to college and out into the real world with a box!

    • Danny Tanner

       /  May 2, 2013

      Unbelieveable! I’ve never heard of that. I’ll give it a try.

  5. Was this a new pink shirt? I tend to wash all whites/grays/light colors in one load on warm. All brights and/or darks together and towels separately. I do wash the daIrks in cold. Turn the jeans inside out to help with the bleeding and if you have a new bright colored shirt (pink, red, etc) wash with those similar colors only on cold a few times. I’ve never used the color catcher sheets… However, one time, I did wash a bunch of white shop towels with one RED shop towel… my husband was not impressed with the pink towels that came out. 🙂

    • Danny Tanner

       /  May 19, 2013

      I’m gonna try those color catcher sheets. I wonder if they work.


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