How to wash white clothes? There's one rule you should never break: Always wash whites separately from colored clothes. I know, I know. You're in a rush and sending the whole load through a cold-water wash is a lot quicker.
But the result is often that whites emerge looking gray, yellow, or worse - with a lovely tie-dye effect. Here's how to wash white clothes safely, from start to finish.
White clothes should always get the separate treatment - away from light and dark clothes. Here are the basic rules to follow on wash day:
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It pays to know your fibers when choosing the laundry temperature for white clothes. (Tip: Always choose "cold" for the rinse-water temperature. It saves energy and is just as effective.) Here's how to wash white clothes, based on the fabric:
Once you've selected the right water temperature, turn on the machine and add detergent and laundry boosters, such as color-safe bleach, bleach, and/or fabric softener (for fluffier white clothes).
If you don't have a special dispenser for the boosters, just pour them into the wash water once the machine is filled. If your white laundry is heavily soiled, if you're washing a large load, or if you're using cold water, add extra detergent.
If you have to stuff them in, you've got too much stuff to stuff in one load. The machine should be no more more than two-thirds full. The clothes need to tumble around to get clean.
Unsure? Watch for rollover of small items such as socks when the machine is washing. They should sink and reappear later. If they don't, they're too cramped for their own good. And yours.
After your whites have been washed, check for any remaining stains you can see. Re-wash if needed. If you dry stained clothes in the dryer, the heat will set the stains - regardless of the clothing color.
Keep in mind that it's best to dry loads of laundry that are similar in fiber content and weight.
Leave clothes in the dryer just long enough to remove wrinkles and moisture. Some fabrics, such as Spandex and linen, will be damaged or shrink when dried with too much heat.
Ready to get started washing whiter whites? Shop for laundry detergent and boosters here.