We are all familiar with that sinking feeling whenever we wear our “used to be” white clothes. It is actually a bit sad when they eventually turn into dingy white clothes that looks a bit dull. More than that, through time, they are no longer looking white. Instead, they look grey or even yellowed. Definitely, it is a good thing that we can do some steps in order to restore their brightness and in the process, get cleaner white clothes.
Do you have stained white clothes that already look like dark-colored clothing? You do not have to worry as we are here to assist you on how to improve their quality and appearance. Ultimately, we will help you to keep your white clothes looking white.
All in all, there are three major parts on how to go about it. Do not panic as these parts are actually very easy. All you need to do is to follow the steps to a T. These parts are the following:
- Separating and Sorting the White Clothes
- Washing the White Clothes
- Drying the White Clothes
Let us now take a look at the first major part.
Separating and Sorting the White Clothes
This is a very important step because the rule of thumb is that white clothes should always be washed separately from colored and dark-colored clothes. This is the case so that color transfer will be avoided. There are five ways of doing this, let us take a look.
1. Separate from Colored Clothes
The first process is to simply separate the white clothes from the colored ones. This means that you should take out the whites from the yellows, reds, blacks, blues, greys, etc. You can then wash the colored clothes next time. Keep in mind that you should always wash the white clothes first before moving on to the next batch of colored clothes.
2. Separate from White Clothes with Color
Now that you have all your white clothes, you can now proceed to the next process, which is to separate your white clothes which have a bit of color to them from your purely white clothes. An example of this is separating your white blouse that has a small blue pocket on it. Again, this is done to minimize the risk of color bleeding.
3. Sort Based on Filth
You should also separate the clothes based on how dirty they are. We are referring to food stains, blood, mud, etc. Even though they are all white clothes, keep in mind that the stains on them can also transfer to a cleaner white clothing. Therefore, those clothes with a lot of stains should be washed separately.
4. Sort Based on Special Instructions
There are specific clothes that require special care in terms of washing. Some might need a cold water, while others need to be washed in warm water. Further, some clothes might require bleach and a different wash cycle. To be sure, just check the tag in your clothes.
5. Separate Based on Lint Collection
There are just those clothes which are notorious for accumulating lint. You should also separate those because washing them in the same cycle might lead to tearing. A good example is to not wash a towel with a cardigan.
If you are done separating and sorting the clothes, you are now ready to move on to the next major part which is washing.
Washing the White Clothes
This part is pretty straightforward, so all you need to do is to follow these simple steps.
1. It is best to use hot water on white clothes because it is the most effective in removing bacteria and germs. However, there are certain clothes which you should wash in cold water to prevent shrinking and to effectively remove stains. The examples of clothes that should be washed in cold water are spandex, lycra, other cotton blends, nylon, and the likes.
2. It is now time to use detergent. Just follow the instructions on the label of your detergent or you can estimate the amount based on the size of your load. Never add more than the required amount as there might be buildup and this is more noticeable in white clothes.
3. You can add bleach to make them look whiter or to remove stains. Also, if you cannot use bleach, you can opt for alternatives like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, or white vinegar. Most importantly, only use bleach on clothes that need them in order to avoid fraying or tearing.
4. If you are really determined to whiten your clothes, you can add a bluing agent. Doing so will neutralize the yellow colors on the white fabric.
The steps are so easy to follow, right? Surprisingly, you are only one step away to effectively keep your white clothes white. Let us move on to the last major step.
Drying the White Clothes
Once your wash and rinse cycles are done, you should immediately transfer the clothes to another bin for them to not develop mildew or mold. Before hanging them to dry, just check if there are any stains left, so you can repeat the washing cycle if need be. If all your clothes are clean, you can now hang them to dry but do follow the care instructions on your clothes.
Some clothes require you to just lay them out, while others need to be put in a dryer. To really make that white standout, it is best to hang them under the sun. This is the case because the ultraviolet rays of the sun act as a natural bleaching agent.
Voila! Now, you have clean and whiter clothes!
Advanced Tips for Keeping Clothes White
Here are more tips to help you keep your white clothes white.
- Always clean your washer first before using it. This is not only for the benefit of keeping the integrity of your clothes but also for the efficiency of the washer.
- Do not use more than the required amount of detergent to prevent product buildup. If you have a high-efficiency washer, you can just use two teaspoons of liquid detergent.
- Hard water can make your whites look a bit dull. Therefore, you should have a water softening system or at least add a water softener with each load you wash.
- The natural oils and sweat of our body contribute to the yellowing of the fabric. So always wash or at least dry clean used white clothes even though they look clean.
There you have it, the easy ways on how to keep your white clothes looking white. As we have discussed before, bleach is an essential part of whitening your clothes. But do remember that excessive use of it can also contribute to the yellowing of the clothes, so use it in moderation. Again, if you are not sure about the amount of bleach, you can use the alternatives that we discussed above.
More than that, letting your clothes dry out in the sun can also help them to look whiter. But again, do take extra care on checking the care instructions for each clothing so as not to contribute to the weakening of the fabric. With that said, you can now say, “Hello cleaner and whiter clothes!”