How To Wash White Clothes (And Keep Them White) | Canstar Blue
Whether you like to dress up or down, white clothes are a wardrobe staple and a timeless choice that offers endless outfit possibilities. On the other hand, washing white clothes and trying to keep them white can make your head spin! That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to help you make the process less stressful.
5 Ways to Get the Best Results When Washing White Clothes
White clothes tend to yellow over time due to a combination of dirt, sweat and chemicals from deodorant, but luckily for us there are plenty of ways to revive them and make them look new again. brilliant white! Check out these simple steps below:
1. Treat stains as they appear
By treating new stains as they occur, you remove the stain before it has time to set. To do this, apply a stain remover to immediately target the mess. This will remove the stain with enzymes that break down the stain molecules. Stain removers come in many different formats such as sprays, gels, powders, etc. It is recommended that clothing be thoroughly washed after stain treatment.
The one thing to keep in mind with stain removers is that they shouldn’t be used on delicate materials such as silk, velvet or leather – these should be professionally dry-cleaned to get rid of them. ensure that the fabric is not damaged.
2. Separate whites from colors
Be sure to separate your white laundry from bright or dark colored clothes. If washed together there is a risk of bleeding and color transfer which not only turns your whites into an assortment of colors but also leaves a dull dark wash. So all around, it’s not an ideal situation, especially when the alternative is so simple.
3. Avoid overloading
Doing the laundry is no walk in the park, so it’s understandable that most people want to get it done as quickly as possible, but remember that overloading your washing machine isn’t the answer. When your machine is overloaded, there isn’t enough space between clothes for water and laundry detergent to effectively target dirt and grime, which can cause clothes to look dull and even gray. For reference, your largest load of laundry should take up only three quarters of the tub.
4. Choose the right detergent
Use a liquid detergent specially designed for white clothes (powder detergents can leave residues on clothes). The key to choosing the right detergent is to take a look at the ingredient list. You are looking for active ingredients like surfactants and enzymes. Surfactants work by drawing dirt away from the fabric and enzymes help remove stains. Distilled white vinegar is also a great whitening and brightening booster that you can add to your laundry.
Read more: Powder or liquid detergent: which to use?
5. Avoid fabric softener
Fabric softener can cause residue to build up in your washer, which can cause your white clothes to turn gray over time. It’s best to use a mixture of baking soda and distilled white vinegar (add a cup to the stain remover compartment) which together act as a natural lightener for clothes.
At what temperature should I wash white clothes?
In general, white clothes are best washed in warm to hot water (40˚C-60˚C) to keep them spotless. However, it’s also important to check the washing instructions on the garment care label to verify the hottest water temperatures the fabrics you’re washing can withstand. Some materials, like cotton, can tolerate higher temperatures, but polyester blends are better suited to warm water.
There are several reasons to adjust the temperature of your washing machine to get the best wash. For example, a heavily soiled fabric will require a higher temperature than an unsoiled fabric. However, stains such as protein-based stains (such as blood stains) require a cold wash to help remove discoloration.
How to keep white clothes white without bleach?
You can bleach your laundry with bleach-free alternatives like baking soda, distilled white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. (a mild form of oxygen bleach). You can add these natural alternatives to your wash cycle or use them as a pre-soak. It has even been suggested that by drying your clothes outside in the sun, the UV rays will help keep them white! Although bleach can be an effective solution for removing stains from your white clothes, it may not react well with detergents and may even make white clothes look more yellow.
Read more: Your Guide to How to Clean White Shoes
How to wash blanks in the washing machine
Some modern washing machines have a “white setting” designed for “bleachable whites” such as plain t-shirts, sports socks, underwear, tablecloths, etc. This wash setting dispenses bleach at the optimal time during the wash cycle and uses a vigorous spin for optimal cleaning. This program can be used with or without bleach. If your machine does not have this setting, a warm cycle with the correct detergent will work just fine!
Read more: Washing Machine Cycles Explained
How to keep white clothes from turning gray
White clothes usually start to turn gray due to the transfer of dirt from dirty clothes to other items in the washing machine. To avoid this, be sure to use a detergent intended for whites (although they may contain bleaching agents such as sodium percarbonate) and don’t overfill the tub to give clothes room to move and dirt to wash out. Also, make sure the right amount of detergent is used based on your load size and soil level.
How to Sort and Wash Colors
It would be better wash “dark colors” alone and save lighter colors for a different load. This is because, as with whites, lighter colors also pose the risk of color transfer, turning your once light blue shirt into a striking purple. In the “light colors” pile, you can include white items with labels or patterns as well as light colors such as pastel pinks, purples, blues, etc. Dark colors include clothing black, navy blue, dark blue/gray/purple, brown, etc. If you have time, you can separate bright colors such as reds and yellows as these are the colors most likely to bleed in the wash, but if not, pair them with dark clothes.
How to wash dark clothes
To preserve dark colors as much as possible, it is recommended to wash them together in a cold water cycle and to ensure that the detergent used does not contain bleach. To better protect your clothes, be sure to close the zippers, fasten the hooks and turn the clothes inside out. This reduces the amount of abrasion caused in the washing machine when items collide naturally, which reduces color loss. Just keep in mind that some fading, especially in dark garments, is unavoidable due to the nature of the dyes used in manufacturing.
Read more: How do I clean my washing machine?
What should I do if the color runs?
If the unthinkable happens and your favorite shirt is now a completely different color, don’t panic! Do not put it in the dryer as the color will set, making the color change permanent. If you notice that the color of the clothes has run off, simply rewash the clothes separately. There is no guarantee that the garment will be exactly the same as before, but it should at least remove some of the unwanted color.
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