How To Keep Your Whites White

  • ALWAYS wash whites separately. You might think it couldn't do any harm to wash a pastel color garment with your white garments, but it does. That is how whites begin to look dingy. And just say you have a white tee shirt with a picture or lettering on it. Put that in with your light colors, not your whites.
  • Wash your all natural fibers that are white in cold water to avoid shrinkage such as 100% cottons, linens and wools. A shirt or blouse in a natural fiber blended with polyester or other synthetic fibers, will be fine to wash in warm water which takes stains out better. Those fabrics won't tend to shrink as much because they are more tightly woven.
  • Add bleach to your white wash to get rid of yellowing under the armpits due to antiperspirant. I recently have begun wearing Tom's of Maine natural deodorant (not an antiperspirant). It is better for you because it lets you perspire a bit and doesn't clog up your pores with aluminum like antiperspirants do, PLUS it doesn't make a yellow stain under the armpits of my clothing which is a huge plus. It was a little difficult to get used to at first, but once you try Tom's of Maine all natural deodorant for about a week, you won't want to go back to your old stuff! And contrary to popular belief, bleach does not wear down your clothes if you don't apply it directly to the fabric. I've been using a little bleach in my white washes for years now, and no holes yet! However, bleach may actually turn your synthetic white fibers a little yellowish, so watch your fabric content.
  • If you don't use bleach because you don't like chemicals, you can make your own eco friendly Oxi-clean recipe for taking stains out of whites using 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 1 cup water and mixing all four ingredients in a bowl. Pour this mixture on the stained areas of your white garment and let sit in a sink over night. Wash them the next day and the stains should be lighter or completely gone! Even though this method is all natural, you should still test a small spot on your clothes to avoid any accidents.
  • Another more natural approach to keeping your clothes white, is to add 1 cup white vinegar to 2 1/2 pints of tap water in a large pot. Bring the solution to a boil, then pour it into a bucket and drop in your dingy socks, [uniforms, etc.]. Let them soak overnight, then the next day wash them as you normally would.
  • If you have a clothes line, hang your white clothing out to dry in the nice bright sunlight. The sun will help fade any stains.
  • Wash your whites right after you wear them. The longer the stain gets to set in the fabric, the tougher it is to get out.
  • Avoid dry cleaning your clothes whenever possible, however if the label says dry clean only, pay attention to it and make sure you dry clean it. I struggle with this myself. I have taken white linen to the dry cleaners before because the label told me to and they turned it a pale shade of yellow due to the fact that they were using an old and dirty dry cleaning solution. So now, if I am buying white linen, I make sure that the label says that I can wash it, otherwise I don't buy it. On another note, if a garment just says dry clean on it, take it as a suggestion, but I have been known to take a chance and actually wash those items. They came out fine. But if you decide to wash something that says dry clean on it, make sure you realize that you are taking a risk and whatever happens is your fault.


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