Guide to Cleaning White Clothes

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Home Improvement

Advice for Laundering White Clothes

When washing white clothes, consider the following tips:

Pretreatment: To tackle stains, it is recommended to pretreat the affected area. Prior to laundering the stained item, apply liquid detergent, a mixture of powdered detergent and water, or a pre-treating stick or spray directly onto the stain. Let it sit for at least five minutes and up to several hours, depending on the instructions for the specific product and the severity of the stain.

Another option is to soak the item in a bucket of water mixed with bleach, detergent, or soap.

Immediate Drying: It is important to dry clothes as soon as the washing machine cycle has ended, for both white and colored garments. Damp clothing left sitting in the machine can develop mold or mildew, which is not only unpleasant and malodorous but also harmful to health.

Using Sunlight: Drying white clothes in the sun can actually help to brighten them further. Natural fabrics, in particular, benefit from the whitening (and disinfecting!) properties of the sun’s rays.

Ultimately, it is a harsh reality that some white clothing with stains or discoloration may be irreparable. Despite your best efforts under the optimal conditions, it may not be possible to restore your white dress to its previous condition. In such scenarios, the best solution is to plan ahead: If you adore a dress and would be heartbroken if it cannot be cleaned, it is best to purchase a second one.

For more information on washing white clothes and other laundry-related concerns, please refer to the following links.

Related Articles

  • What makes cotton more absorbent than nylon?
  • Why does some clothing have a tag advising to wash before wearing?
  • Using Vinegar for Laundry

More Great Links

  • Care2: Your Favorite Color: What it Says About You
  • Martha Stewart: Spring Homekeeping Tips

Sources

  • Bartos, Lorene. “Red and white, wash them right.” Journal Star. Jan. 23, 2010. (April 3, 2012) http://journalstar.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_dd4bd938-07d2-11df-b760-001cc4c002e0.html
  • Bond, Annie B. “Tips for Keeping Your Summer Whites White.” Care2. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/tips-and-hints-to-keep-whites-white.html
  • How to Eliminate Stains. Martha Stewart. (April 3, 2012) http://www.marthastewart.com/275491/how-to-wash-and-remove-stains/@center/277000/homekeeping-solutions
  • How to Remove Bleeding Dyes from Clothing. HowToCleanStuff. (April 3, 2012) http://www.howtocleanstuff.net/how-to-remove-bleeding-dyes-from-clothing/
  • Keeping White Clothes White. Baby Detergents. Nov. 19, 2010. (April 3, 2012) http://www.babydetergents.com/keeping-white-clothes-white/
  • White, Susan. “Getting Clothes Clean.” NMSU. (April 3, 2012) http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/c-503.html

FAQ

1. What is the best way to wash white clothes?

The best way to wash white clothes is to separate them from colored clothes and use a bleach-based detergent. Bleach helps to remove any stains and brighten the whites. It’s important to follow the care label instructions on the clothes and use the appropriate water temperature and cycle.

2. Can I use regular detergent on white clothes?

Yes, you can use regular detergent on white clothes, but it’s recommended to use a bleach-based detergent to help keep the whites bright.

3. Should I wash white clothes in hot or cold water?

It depends on the care label instructions, but generally, it’s recommended to wash white clothes in hot water to help remove any stains and bacteria. However, if the care label says otherwise, follow those instructions instead.

4. Can I wash white clothes with other colors?

No, it’s best to separate white clothes from colored clothes to avoid any color bleeding.

5. Can I use fabric softener on white clothes?

Yes, you can use fabric softener on white clothes, but it’s recommended to use a fabric softener that is bleach-free to avoid any yellowing or discoloration.

6. How often should I wash white clothes?

It depends on how often you wear them and if they get stained or dirty. Generally, it’s recommended to wash white clothes after every wear to keep them looking bright and clean.

7. Should I wash white clothes separately from towels and sheets?

It’s not necessary to wash white clothes separately from towels and sheets, but it’s recommended to wash them separately from colored towels and sheets to avoid any color bleeding.

8. How do I remove yellow stains from white clothes?

You can remove yellow stains from white clothes by soaking them in a mixture of hot water and bleach for at least 30 minutes before washing them. Another option is to use a stain remover specifically designed for yellow stains.

9. Can I use vinegar to wash white clothes?

Yes, you can use vinegar as a natural fabric softener and to help remove any odors from white clothes. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to help brighten the whites.

10. Should I dry white clothes in the sun?

Yes, drying white clothes in the sun can help to naturally bleach and brighten them. However, it’s important to avoid drying them for too long in direct sunlight as this can cause yellowing.

11. What should I do if my white clothes turn gray?

White clothes can turn gray if they are not washed properly or if they are washed with colored clothes. To brighten them up, try soaking them in a mixture of hot water and bleach for at least 30 minutes before washing them.

12. Can I use bleach on all types of white clothes?

No, it’s important to check the care label instructions before using bleach on any type of white clothes. Some fabrics may not be able to withstand bleach and can become damaged or discolored.

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