Have you ever seen a friend of yours walking around in a crisp white shirt or a pair of perfectly white pants? Have you looked at them and wished your clothes would also have that pristine white shine? Well, you can actually make that pure white colour last long on your clothes with just a few home tricks and tips. Let’s learn a few below and keep them right up our (white) sleeve!
10 Ways to Clean White Clothes
Below we have a few tricks which can help not only keep your whites white but also make soiled or faded clothes look brand new!
1. Separate Your Whites
This is the major mistake many people make; they do not separate their whites from their coloured clothes. Even light coloured clothes can transfer onto whites, so make sure you make a separate pile of only white clothes, wash that first and then wash your coloured clothes.
2. Use Less Detergent
More detergent does not mean cleaner clothes. Using more detergent or fabric softener actually acts as a deterrent to cleaning dirty clothes. They coat the fabrics and stick to the dirt on them like magnets. So use a standard amount of detergent while cleaning white clothes and rinse them properly in the end.
3. Use a ‘Bluing’ Agent
Called optical brighteners, these agents add a touch of blue colour to otherwise yellowed or dingy white clothes. Since yellow and blue complement each other, they help make white clothes look whiter. Don’t pour it directly on the clothes; you can either mix it with water first or add it into the detergent dispenser in your washing machine.
4. Use Low Heat
When you are drying your white clothes in a dryer, use low heat and take the clothes out while they are still a little damp. Moderate to high heat can singe the fabric and make white clothes look yellow.
5. Bleach Only Cotton
Chlorine bleach can damage some fabrics and can turn white clothes grey or yellow. You can use bleach safely on cotton, but avoid using it for other fabrics.
6. Add Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is an organic bleaching agent and works great on white clothes. Mix half a cup of lemon juice in hot water and soak the clothes in it overnight before washing them the next day. Another way is to clean white clothes with vinegar, which acts a lot like lemon juice. Just add 1/4th to ½ cup of white vinegar to a load of laundry before washing it.
7. Use Borax
Borax is a natural boosting agent which makes hard water soft, removes any residue from white clothes and makes them whiter in appearance. Follow the directions on the box while using it. Instead of borax, you can also use baking soda to wash white clothes.
8. Use Dishwashing Liquid
Dishwashing liquid contains brighteners and can be used to wash underwear and kids’ socks. Add a few spoons into the water while washing clothes.
9. Try White Brite
White Brite is a commercial whitener used for removing yellow stains, dinginess and even rust stains from white clothes. You can use it for coloured clothes too.
10. Try Hydrogen Peroxide
Mix one-part dishwashing liquid and two parts hydrogen peroxide to create a great spot remover. Rub it onto the underarms, collars or any stained spots on your clothes before washing.
Extra Tips to Keep Your Clothes White
White clothes often have the problem that they fade over time or become yellowed. Here are a bunch of tricks you can use for washing white clothes to keep them white.
- If you are someone who doesn’t wash white clothes by hand, make sure you clean your washing machine every three months. A dirty washing machine will show negative results on your white clothing, making them yellow or dingy.
- Reduce the quantity of laundry detergent you use to 2 teaspoons for each load.
- If you get hard water in your area, install a water softening system or use a water softener while washing clothes. The minerals in hard water tend to make white clothes look dull.
- Dry clean white clothes after one wear even if you don’t wash them. Perspiration or body oil can yellow white clothes.
- Don’t overuse chlorine bleach on white cotton fabrics as too much of it can cause them to turn yellow.
- Pick a laundry detergent that already contains bleach instead of adding them separately and running the risk of yellowing by overuse.
- Dry your white clothes according to the care labels on the fabric.
Here are some common questions asked regarding how to clean white clothes with home remedies.
1. Is It Better to Wash White Clothes in Hot Water?
The hotter the water, the more germs you can kill. High water temperature also helps remove soil on clothes. You can find all the information for this on the fabric care label or tag. To wash white clothes, it is always better to use the hottest water recommended for that particular fabric, no more, no less. You can always add baking soda or borax to boost the washing and make white clothes look whiter in appearance.
2. How Do I Get the Yellow out of White Clothes?
Don’t automatically use chlorine bleach to whiten cotton clothes as this will just make them more yellow. An oxygen-based bleach is better and can be used on all fabrics except silk and wool. Mix some oxygen bleach and cool water (according to the packet instructions) and let your yellowed whites soak in this for four hours. Drain this solution, and then wash your clothes as usual. This can get the yellow out. You can also use a commercial colour remover to whiten white clothes or a bluing agent.
You can use the above tricks and tips to wash white towels, bed sheets, tablecloths, and even curtains. Get ready to have snowy-white towels and crisp white bed sheets as well!