How to Keep White Clothes White

Laundry hacks that work

White stands for purity, cleanliness, and simplicity. A crisp white shirt can make you look and feel fresh. But how do you ensure your white clothes look white after a few spills, stains, and washes? 

Most of us know the golden rule- wash your whites separately, but what about stains or the dreadful yellowing of your favorite white outfit? In this blog, we will dive into laundry hacks that actually work on your whites. 

The Basics of washing whites

Listed below are the three basic rules to follow while dealing with your white garments. 

  • Always separate white garments from the rest of your laundry. Some dyed fabrics can bleed and change the color of your whites. 
  • Hot water wash cycles work best on white garments. Make sure you consider the fabric quality before you decide on the water temperature. 
  • Good quality detergent and bleach work well to keep your white garments clean and bright. 

What you need while washing white garments

baking soda

Let’s look at the equipment and products you will need to wash your white garments at home.

  • Washing machine/ large bucket for hand-washing clothes 
  • Strong and good quality detergent 
  • Fabric Brightener 
  • bleach/baking soda/borax 
  • Stain remover

How to wash white garments at home

  1. The first step to cleaning white clothes is to separate your laundry based on color and fabric. Colored clothes will bleed and ruin your white garments. You must also separate white garments according to the fabric. You should never wash certain fabrics like silk, wool, and cashmere in high temperatures- so you want to wash these by hand in cool water. Fabrics like cotton, cotton blends, etc., can be washed in the washing machine with hot water for a nice crisp and fresh look. 
  2. Next, spot stains and treat them before you put your white garments into the washing machine. An oxygen-based stain remover works best on most types of fabric. 
  3. You can proceed to load your washer. Tip: never overload your washing machine. If your washer is overloaded, it will not wash off dirt properly, and your whites will look dull and dirty. 
  4. Now, set the temperature and washing cycle for your white garments. Choose the hottest possible setting for your fabric type. You can choose between the regular wash cycle and heavy-duty wash- ensure your fabric can sustain the process. 
  5. Add half a cup of borax or one cup of baking soda for brighter and fresher whites. Bleach does work well but can damage your fabric over time. 
  6. Add your detergent at this point. A good quality detergent with optical brighteners is your best bet for washing white clothes. 
  7. When you reach the rinse cycle- add a cup of white vinegar to your load. Vinegar will help remove all residual detergent from your garments and works as a natural odor and pest repellent. 
  8. Before you start the dryer- check all the white garments for any stains that may have remained. The stains will become permanent if you use a hot temperature setting during your dryer cycle. 
  9. Now it’s time to dry your whites. If possible dry your whites in the open sun as the ultraviolet rays help brighten white clothes. 

Pro tips for laundering your white garments

Use a good quality color remover to keep your white clothes white and bright. Sometimes no matter how diligent you are, one pesky little dyed fabric makes it into the washer with your white garments. Dye bleeding and make your white clothes look dull and grey. A color remover can restore the original brightness of your garment. Follow the instructions on the box for the best result. You can use a color remover in your washing machine. 

For stubborn stains and yellowing, treat your whites with baking soda. Add hot water and two cups of baking soda to a large bucket and let your white clothes soak in it for at least two hours. Use an enzyme-rich detergent to wash your white clothes to break down oils, fat, and proteins found in most stains. 

Trust your dry cleaner when it comes to your expensive and delicate garments. You may not be able to treat some stains at home, but a professional dry cleaner will know exactly what to do. 

How to store your white clothes to prevent yellowing

Storage may be the last step in the process of your laundering routine, and often overlooked. Many of us are guilty of tossing around our clothes and having an over-filled closet. But storage is an important step; with proper storage, you can extend the life of your favarite outfits. 

Use acid-free tissue paper to store your white garments in your wardrobe, and place them in cloth storage bags. If you prefer hanging your clothes, ensure enough space between two garments. White clothes should not be stored with denim as the latter can bleed indigo dyestuff all over your whites. 

Clothes act as our second skin. Taking care of our garments means saving money in the future, reducing waste, and staying healthy!