White clothing is the bane of moms everywhere. Am I right? I've strictly forbidden my husband to purchase white shirts in the future. I'm telling you, the man is a stain. magnet. And my kids... Just whose idea was it to buy white soccer uniforms?!?
It's safe to say that I have more than a little experience in fighting the dingy white clothes battle. And over the years I've tried many different strategies to keep our white clothes looking white. While I can't say that I've come up with a completely foolproof way for keeping for keeping our white clothing looking new, I do have a few tips that have helped dramatically.
White Laundry Tips For Keeping White Clothes Looking New
But seriously, while I joke about banning white clothing from our home, in reality, it's pretty unavoidable. As I mentioned, our home soccer uniforms are white, plus my boys' band performance shirts are white, and white t-shirts are pretty much a wardrobe staple for us all. Not to mention socks, underwear, and my favorite kitchen towels...
So I use these five tips to keep our whites in tip-top shape for as long as possible!
1. Start with a clean washing machine
It seems a little absurd, but washing machines can actually get dirty, and washing white clothing in a dirty washing machine is sabotaging your clean clothes efforts before you even begin. Whether it be excess dirt from heavily soiled clothing, soap and fabric softener buildup, or mildew (especially troublesome in HE front loaders), it's important to clean your washing machine regularly.
Wipe down the inside of your washing machine often, paying close attention to the rubber gasket around the door for front loaders. If your machine seems unusually gunky, you can try running a cycle on the hottest setting with several cups of white vinegar and a healthy amount of baking soda added, or you can run a cycle with a washing machine cleaner about once a month or so.
2. Wash white clothing after every wearing
To help cut down on the amount of laundry we do in a week, we typically don't wash our clothing every time we wear it. If it's not visibly dirty or smelly, it can be hung and worn again, cutting down on some of the wear and tear.
But white clothing is a different animal. Body oils and perspiration can quickly cause yellowing, and they're not always visible to the naked eye. Washing white clothing after each wearing will remove these troublesome yellowing substances, keeping your whites looking new longer.
3. Use a laundry booster to whiten and brighten
Did you know that using chlorine bleach along with laundry detergent can actually cause yellowing? Instead, add a laundry booster to your wash to aid in whitening and brightening.
My favorite laundry booster is BIZ Stain & Odor Eliminator. Different types of stains require different stain removal agents, and BIZ contains ingredients to tackle a wide variety of stains: enzymes for protein-based stains, peroxides for ink/dye-based stains, whitening agents for brightening, and detergents for granular-based stains. Together they create a powerful stain fighter that doubles as a pre-treater, as well!
Just fill the cup up to the line marked 3 for a standard load of clothing. For HE machines, fill to just under the line marked 1. I personally find the lines a bit difficult to read, especially in my laundry room, which is somewhat dimly lit, so I used a black Sharpie to mark the line to make it easier to identify. I do the same with my laundry detergent -- using too much detergent can also contribute to yellowing.
By the way, BIZ isn't just for white clothing... It's fantastic for stains on clothing of all colors!
4. Use the hottest water recommended
Hot water is much more effective than cold at removing dirt and grime. Check the tags on your clothing for the recommended washing temperatures, and use the hottest setting listed.
Hot water helps to loosen stains and prevent dullness. Also, be sure not to overload your washer -- there needs to be enough water to flush away the soil so that it's not just redeposited on clothing.
5. Dry your clothes on a lower heat
Ideally, you should dry your white clothing outside so that the suns rays can help naturally whiten it. But this isn't practical for most of us these days, and in many cases, homeowner associations actually have regulations against it.
Using your dryer is the next best alternative, but use a lower heat and dry clothes just until dry. The heat from the dryer can set in stains, making them nearly impossible to remove in the future, so be sure to check your clothing to ensure that all stains have been removed. If an item is still stained, re-treat it and wash again before drying.
What are your best tips for keeping white clothes bright white? I'm always happy to learn something new!
I'm thrilled to be collaborating with BIZ Stain & Odor Eliminator for the rest of 2016 to help you make your laundry less of a chore. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more info, and grab a $1 off printable coupon to save on your next purchase!