Can You Wash Khaki Pants With Colored Clothes?

It’s that time of the week again – laundry time. You’re loading your washing machine, only to get to your recently acquired pair of khaki pants and get stumped. Truly, the color can be quite confusing.

In the actual sense, the word ‘khaki’ refers to that color that is close to being beige, close to being tan, yet it is none of them. Instead, it has a sandy color (brown with some yellow in it). Hence, khaki pants are usually colored but light in color. Now, the question is, “Can you wash khaki pants with other colored clothes?” 

Yes, you can wash khaki pants with colored clothes if they are all on the lighter end of the color spectrum.

Let me explain. If by khaki, you mean the sandy color I described above, then you can load it in the wash along with other colored clothes that are also light in color, such as sky blue, yellow, pink, etc. However, clothes of dark colors must go in a separate wash. The reason for this separation will become clear to you as you keep reading. 

Incidentally, the meaning of khaki has evolved over time to include a particular kind of fabric and a particular design of trousers.

The fabric is usually a hundred percent cotton, made in a twill weave but sometimes, it is made of wool or a combination of the two.

The pant design is one that is also known as chinos.  When most people say khaki these days, they are most likely referring to chinos that are yellowish-brown and made of twill-weaved cotton. However, they could also be referring to just the design and the fabric but of a different color. 

Hence, if your khaki pants are actually not in the signature khaki color, their actual color determines what you can mix them with while washing. If they have a light color, wash them with light colors. If dark, then wash with dark colors.

Can You Wash Khaki Pants With White Clothes?


You can only wash khaki pants together with white clothes if the khaki pants themselves are white. If you read through the previous section in this article carefully, you know by now that most khakis are colored like clean sand but it is possible nonetheless to have them in other colors or to have them white.

So, if they’re white, go ahead and load them up together with other whites. But if not, avoid that at all costs. White is, in layman’s terms, a lack of color.

It is dangerous to mix it with any kind of color while washing because it is prone to stains and clothes with even the slightest color can shed dyes that will either cause the white to have unsightly streaks or give it a tone of color you don’t want. This unfortunate occurrence is known as transference of color.

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If you frequently wash white clothes with any other color but white, you’ll observe over time that your white has got dull or can no longer be considered to be white. 

Besides, whites are more or less the only color that bleaching actually helps to maintain. It is much more convenient to add bleach to a wash made up of only whites, to brighten them and also get rid of stains. 

Therefore, to keep your white clothes bright and stainless, wash them strictly with other white items. Wash your khaki pants with other light-colored clothes if they are not white. 

Can You Wash All Colours Together? 

If you are like me for whom washing is a chore, it may be tempting to just load your laundry into the washing machine randomly, without regard to color. That would be disastrous! You absolutely cannot wash all colors together or you risk damaging all of them. 

One essential activity you must devote some time to before actually washing, is sorting. There are a few criteria to consider when sorting laundry but the chief among them is color.

Colored clothes are made so by treatment with various dyes. Loading colors indiscriminately into the wash would mean loading and mixing all manners of dyes. It is likely that no color in such a load would remain the same. 

Now, let’s see how color sorting should be done. What colors can actually be loaded together since we can’t mix them all?

What Colours Can You Wash Together?

There are three basic laundry groups you must sort into, based on color. These are:

  • Darker Colours
  • Lighter Colours
  • Whites

However, if you have a large laundry or you don’t mind making more than three loads, it is more to the benefit of your clothes if you further separate the darker colors into Blacks and Non-blacks.

Another group you want to have is the Stained. Separate all clothes that have major stains on them. You can either spot clean to get these stains out before adding them to whatever color group they belong to, or you can load clothes that have the same kind of stains together and treat them to a stain remover. 

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Clothes within the same group of colors can then be loaded and washed together. If you’re confused about what colors fit into each group, no need to worry. I’m here for you. Below are the colors that can be considered in each load.


Of course, this refers to every clothing item that is strictly white. However, an exception can be made for clothes of mixed colors but predominantly white.

That is, clothes that are mostly pure white but have minor stripes, spots or patches of colour. These kinds of clothes may be washed with whites. Just soak the colored part beforehand to see if it bleeds (sheds dye). If it does, it’s best to hand wash it separately. 


All black clothes go in this group. If it’s majorly black but has some other colour(s) on it, lump it in here as well. A good reason for having black in a pile of its own is that it prevents fading due to colour transference.

Whatever dyes are lost are mostly reabsorbed by the same blacks. Also, you can choose to darken them with dyes and this is easier done when they are in a load of their own.

Non-black Darker Colours

These consist of items that are not black but have dark colors. Some of these are:

  • Dark brown
  • Dark blue, navy blue
  • Grey
  • Wine, dark red
  • Dark green
  • Purple, violet
  • Olive
  • Indigo

Lighter Colors 

These include :

  • Khaki
  • Yellow
  • Beige
  • Pink
  • Light blue
  • Light green
  • Cream
  • Orange
  • Off whites
  • Gold
  • Silver

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Wash Khaki Pants With Jeans?

You can only wash khaki together with denim if they fall within the same group of colours that can be washed together. For instance, you can wash them together if they are both light in colour.

If one is yellow and the other is light pink, then you can by all means mix them in the wash. However, avoid joining the two if one is white and the other isn’t, or if one of them is much darker than the other. 

If you are mixing jeans and khaki in the washing machine, remember that they should both be turned inside-out. Else, the buttons, zippers and other parts like this, tear at other clothes and also get pulled at, as they roll around.

Does Khaki Shrink?

Yes, khaki is prone to shrinkage due to the cotton material it is made of. Hot water and a high temperature in the dryer can cause it to shrink. So if you want to avoid shrinking, then stick to cold water for washing and a cloth line for drying. 

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However, if your aim is actually to shrink your khaki probably for a better fit, then take no precautions. Wash and dry under the hottest conditions possible.

How Often Should I Wash Khaki Pants? 

You should wear your khaki pants at least five times before dumping them in the laundry basket. Washing them too often, puts them at risk of fading and getting worn out quickly.

Hence, you should wash khaki as less frequently as you can. You could also target washing only when they are clearly dirty or beginning to smell. In the meantime, you can easily get stains out by cleaning just the affected point with a good cleaning agent. 

Can I Bleach Khaki?

Sure, you can bleach khaki but you may not like the result. If it is made of one hundred percent cotton or wool, it’s a bit safer as you stand the chance of having a uniform colour (or lack of colour) at the end.

However, you should check the outcome of bleaching a hidden area of your beloved khaki first before you go ahead with your bleaching mission. 

On the other hand, do not bleach if the khaki has some silk in it. This will cause the colour to differ at different spots. And no, it won’t form any pattern you can proudly wear. The same thing applies if the material has some nylon in it.

Can You Wash Khaki Pants With Colored Clothes – Conclusion

Khaki pants are meant to be washed with lightly coloured clothes since they are usually light colored. However, there are colour codes you must abide by when sorting your laundry. These have been covered here. I also took a few questions you may encounter as you prepare to wash and I answered them for you. Now, get washing!

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