How To Wash White Clothes Like a Pro
5 min read
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of a laundry basket will find it constantly full. Doing laundry can be a real chore, and unfortunately, it’s one that never seems to end. No matter how much you keep up with your laundry every week, your basket inevitably ends up full again a few days later!
While there’s not much you can do about the inevitability of weekly laundry, there are things you can do to ensure that you’re washing your clothes and linens effectively. With that, you can find yourself needing to wash your clothing less frequently.
Let’s talk about five easy ways you can ensure that, when you wash your white clothes, they stay as white and clean as possible. This can cut down on how frequently you need to do your laundry and make wearing your favorite white clothes less stressful. (If you know you can make your whites look good as new, you don’t need to fear your morning coffee or a spaghetti dinner.)
Read on for five ways to make your whites shine bright:
1. Think About the Fabric
We’ll talk more about how fabric type can affect factors like how likely your clothing is to bleed colored dye in the next section. But, in general, you’ll want to consider your fabrics before you even think about washing them — we’re talking before you even buy your items in the first place.
Not all fabrics are created equal: You’ll want to be selective, especially with potentially difficult-to-clean whites. Not everything is machine washable, so if dry cleaning or hand washing isn’t for you, be sure you’re not filling your closet and linen cabinets with finicky materials. This is true when it comes to bedding, particularly when your bedding is white because it’s prone to needing a little more love to keep it clean.
Choosing bed sheets like our Miracle Made Sheet Set can help keep your whites clean because these sheets are infused with antimicrobial silver to prevent a buildup of bacteria. The antimicrobial silver allows you to do laundry three times less than traditional sheets call for. With fewer washing sessions, the brighter the white for longer.
The Miracle Made sheets are also super breathable, so if you find yourself getting too cold or too hot at night, these sheets can help your body temperature regulate itself.
2. Separates Whites From Darks
The advice your grandparents (or maybe parents) gave you about your laundry was actually right all this time: You should definitely be separating your whites from your darks.
While it’s perhaps less of an issue in 2022 than it has been in decades past due to better dyes and different materials, colors will bleed onto your whites, especially after repeated washes.
This isn’t universally true, of course. Some types of fabrics tend to hold color more readily than others. But other types of fabric, like cotton, aren’t what’s called “colorfast,” meaning they’re more likely to cause or suffer from discoloration when thrown into the washing machine with contrasting colors.
So if you want to keep white clothes white, separate your white laundry from your colored clothes or bedding. It may feel like a frustrating extra step, but it’s going to be seriously helpful in the long run. After all, there’s nothing more disappointing than realizing your perfect white t-shirt has gone gray in its old age.
3. Separate Items That Need an Intense Clean
In addition to sorting your clothing by color, sort your clothing by how soiled it is. If you’re washing some seriously dirty gym socks with a stylish white button-up, you can run into some problems. Mixing clothes that have been soiled to different extents can lead to some heartbreaks.
It can cause some of your items to not get clean enough and others to spend their rinse cycle getting tossed around a washer full of residual sweat and dirt, leading to dinginess. Additionally, you’ll often want to wash things like towels, socks, and undergarments (even if they’re white!) in warm water or hot water. High heat will truly clean your belongings and remove stains effectively.
On the flip side, more delicate items that are less dirty will be better off with a lower water temperature. Of course, you should always follow the step-by-step instructions on your item’s care label first and foremost. Ultimately, separating out your seriously dirty laundry from your normal everyday wear is key.
4. Treat Stains First
After you’ve sorted your laundry but before you’ve turned on your wash cycle, you’ll want to first treat any stains that stand out to you. Even with a heavy-duty washing machine, one must pretreat before washing clothes to get white clothes white again.
Depending on the stain, you can look for specific instructions on how best to remove it. But there are some tried-and-true methods, such as using a combination of white vinegar (or lemon juice!) and a small amount of detergent to help restore the brightness of your white items before you throw them in the washer. You can also pre-soak your whites with a mixture of one cup of baking soda and four liters of water.
5. Consider Your Water Type
Water High In Iron
Depending on where you live, the water type in your household can make a big difference in terms of how white your clothes stay after washing. Sometimes, water can have a notably high iron content. You can tell if this applies to your water because it often leaves a red tint in toilets, tubs, and sinks. This can affect your whites, too.
If your water is high in iron, look for products that help to remove excess iron from your water to maintain the whitest possible appearance of your clothes. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of chlorine bleach because it can leave behind a yellow tinge on your whites when combined with hot water.
Hard Water vs. Soft Water
If you live in a city and struggle with hard water — you probably know if your water is hard because it can affect your skin and your hair. You may need to use more detergent than recommended to keep your whites glowing. It’s also possible to invest in water-softening mechanisms to help with this issue.
6. Think About Your Detergent and Boosters
Generally, you’ll want to find a gentle but effective laundry detergent that works hard enough to boost any stain remover you’ve used and keep your white fabrics fresh.
Our Laundry Detergent Sheets are an environmentally friendly option that creates zero waste and uses no plastic. They’re also ultra-concentrated, so you can rest assured that your whites will come out fresh and bright.
In addition to the optimal laundry detergent, you can add boosters to your separate white laundry for a brightening effect. If you want to increase the white-brightening effects of your detergent, try adding Borax, oxygen bleach, or even baking soda as optical brighteners to whiten your clothes.
Keeping your white garments and bed sheets as white as possible can be a challenge! But ensuring that your delicate whites stay bright is actually much easier than you might think. It’s all about sorting and accepting that your white items will have to be washed separately from other things.
With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to keep all of your white so white that you’ll need sunglasses to wear them.
Cotton and the Consumer | Texas A&M University
Laundry Basics | The Clean Institute
Antibacterial Silver | National Library of Medicine
10 Ways to Whiten Clothes Without Using Any Bleach | Wonder How To
Hard Water and Soft Water: Differences, Advantages, and Disadvantages | Healthline