how to wash white clothes

To Keep Them Bright and Clean

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 white.

Fortunately, by knowing how to sort and wash white clothes correctly, you can keep your whites looking bright and clean, wash after wash.

Here's how to wash white clothes from start to a bright, clean finish.

Wash White Clothes Separately

Take the time to separate white clothes from the colored items in your load. 

 This is the number one rule.

You should always wash white clothes separately from other garments to prevent colors transferring to and staining them. 

Even older clothes can transfer color when fibers are loosened up in the wash cycle, leading to white clothes taking on that less-than-desirable gray hue.

Also sort your white clothing by fabric type, as they may need different wash temperatures to get clean.

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.

Stain Removal Tips

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.

Don't Overload the Washing Machine

Load the washer but don't pack it. 

How to wash white clothes

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. 

Use the Right Amount of Laundry Detergent

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. 

Choose the Warmest Water Safe for the Fabric

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.

Dry Whites outside if Possible

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, as excessive heat can cause white clothes to yellow.

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