White garments are staples in many people’s wardrobes. As neutral pieces, they go well with clothes of various colors and designs. Wearing white is also an easy way to look neat and elegant with little effort. But there are a few downsides to using white garments as well. Stains from food, drink, and sweat are more easily noticeable on white clothes. The fabric can also turn yellow from age or gray from product buildup. Once white clothes become stained or lose their brilliance, the garments can lose their distinct charm.
Thankfully, these issues don’t have to stop you from wearing your white clothing. There are effective ways to keep your white clothes in good shape. Apart from using a washing machine with dryer unit to launder your clothes, follow these tips to keep your white clothes looking bright.
Handle Stains Immediately
If you don’t want stains to become permanent on your white clothes, treat them as soon as they happen. Stains are easiest to remove when they are still fresh and haven’t soaked into the fabric yet, unlike when it has dried and fully absorbed by the fibers. Ideally, you apply a stain treatment and wash the soiled garment immediately after. But if you’re on the go, it’s still helpful to spot-treat the stained part of your clothes.
As soon as you notice a spill or splatter on your white garment, flush the stain under cool running water. If this is not possible, dabbing the area with clean water works too. This should eliminate most, if not all, of the stains. Bringing stain pens also helps remove stains while you’re out and about. Alternatively, hand sanitizers are great, too, because the high concentration of alcohol can remove most fresh stains.
Pay Attention to Collars, Cuffs, and Hems
It’s easy to treat noticeable stains from food, drinks, or makeup because you see them right away. But many people often neglect the hidden stains inside collars, cuffs, and hems until they’ve become unsightly. Typically, these spots collect grime caused by dirt and soil. They can also collect in these areas due to the natural oils from the skin rubbing off on the common pressure points of the clothes.
If you want to keep enjoying your white clothes minus the grime, make it a point to regularly check the collar, cuffs, and hem of white clothes for any stains. If any are present, treat them by using a stain-removing spray before laundering the garment.
Sort Your Clothes Before Laundering
Apart from pre-treating stains, how you do your laundry contributes to preserving the integrity of your white clothes. This includes sorting your laundry before you wash them. When you don’t separate your white garments from the colored clothes, the dye from colored clothing can bleed into the water while they’re being washed together. This can result in stains or lend a dingy appearance to the white garments. As such, make sure not to mix your colored and white clothes in the wash. Although it might take more time to sort your laundry, it will save your whites from becoming discolored.
Avoid Using Too Much Detergent
A common misconception about doing the laundry is that using more detergent will result in whiter and cleaner clothes. But this isn’t true at all and will likely have the opposite effect. Using too much detergent per load will cause the detergent to coat the fabric and leave a residue, which might not be removed during the rinse cycle. While the said garment is drying, the heat may cause this residue to become deeply embedded in the fabric. This can result in stiff and improperly cleaned clothes with a dingy appearance. If you want to avoid this situation, make sure to follow the recommended amount of detergent to use per laundry load so you can avoid any product buildup on your clothes.
Add Laundry Boosters in Your Wash
While following the recommended amount of detergent can help maintain the brightness of your white clothes, it’s also a good idea to add laundry products that are specifically designed for white garments. For example, using laundry boosters like borax and oxygen bleach along with detergent can preserve or even restore the bright white appearance of clothes.
Another product to consider is blueing agents. This kind of product adds a tint of blue to your white clothes, thus reversing the yellow appearance and making white clothes appear brighter. However, make sure to use the blueing agent correctly. Don’t pour it directly on your clothes as it will create blue spots on the garments. Instead, follow the manufacturer’s directions to get the ideal result.
Dry Clothes Under the Sun
If you have access to an outdoor drying rack or clothesline, take advantage of it and dry your white clothes under the sun. Sunshine is a powerful and natural brightener that can help white garments stay white. It also aids in preserving your clothes’ fiber integrity. As an additional benefit, drying your whites outside may help reduce your energy bill since you won’t be using an electric dryer.
As long as they’re spot-free and bright, white garments are great pieces to have in your closet. If you want to maintain their quality, take your cue from the tips mentioned above. They can help you remove bothersome stains and retain your white clothes’ brilliance so you can continue to enjoy the clean and polished look of whites.