How to wash white clothes to keep them from yellowing before their time. White clothes are more prone to becoming discolored and yellowed than their darker cousins.
As a result, it can be challenging to keep white clothes looking fresh, clean, and bright white. Fortunately, by knowing how to sort and wash whites correctly, you can keep them looking bright and clean, wash after wash.
Here's how to wash your whites from start to a bright, clean finish.
You should always wash white clothes separately from other garments to prevent color transfer between whites and other item in your load.
Even older clothes can transfer color when fibers are loosened up in the wash cycle, leading to white clothes taking on a less-than-desirable gray hue.
Also. before you wash white clothes, sort them clothing by fabric type, as they may need different wash temperatures to get clean.
This guide to choosing the right laundry temperature for your loads can help.
Put all of sturdy fabrics, jeans, towels, cottons, and clothes containing manmade fibers into one pile. Then, put delicate fabrics, such as silk, lingerie, Spandex, and activewear, into a separate pile.
Sorting white clothes this way allows you to wash clothes at the hottest temperature the fabric can withstand without being damaged.
Clothing labels provide instructions for the optimal wash water temperature, wash cycle, and whether to use chlorine or color-safe bleach - or none at all.
Get in the habit of always checking a stained garment as it comes out of the washing machine. If the stain isn't fully removed, treat the stain again then rewash.
This extra step will keep partially removed stains from becoming permanent blights on your formerly pristine whites.
Load the washer, but don't pack it full. A little breathing (swimming?) room allows items to tumble freely in the wash water, which leads to better stain removal.
If your T-shirts have look gray and dingy, overstuffing the machine may be the problem. When the washer is overloaded, there isn't enough space between items for the water to flush away soil, and it redeposits on fabrics, leaving them looking dull.
Always measure laundry detergent before adding it to the machine. Too much or too little detergent can also leave white clothes a little on the gray side.
When dirt is released into the wash water, one of your laundry detergent's key jobs is to keep it from redepositing on clothes.
At the same time, don't use more detergent than the instructions recommend, either. Too much detergent can lead to a filmy buildup on clothes that attracts more dirt.
To be on the safe side, a detergent with bleach alternative can make it easier to keep white clothes white.
Use hot water - or the warmest water recommended for the fabric - to remove body oils and grime that can dull the surface of white clothes. Wash heavily soiled clothes in hot water, moderately dirty clothes in warm water, and delicate fabrics in cold water.
Make adjustments to the water temperature as needed based on the clothing's care label to prevent shrinking. For example, nylon, spandex, lycra, and some cotton blends may shrink in hot water.
Drying white clothes outside can make a big difference in when it come to retaining brightness.The ultraviolet rays from the sun help to freshen and whiten the garments.
If drying outside isn't possible, use the dryer on a low-heat setting. Remove from the dryer while slightly damp, and air dry on a drying rack. Be careful not to over-dry the clothes as excessive heat can cause white clothes to yellow.