All about Washing White Clothes
White garments are delicate to clean and can discolor easily, but with the correct technique, it should be a breeze. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your white clothes look their very best after every wash.
It’s important to find the proper detergent for whites, as certain types may cause an unwelcome yellowing effect. To avoid this, use a detergent labeled for colored or whites in combination with a bleaching agent (chlorine or oxygen-based) to effectively clean your white garments without discoloration. Additionally, a gentle detergent should be used, as harsh detergents can cause fabric to become stiff, weak, or dull.
When possible, white and colored garments should never be washed together, as the dirt and dye from the colored garments can transfer onto whites. Furthermore, white should not be washed too often or with other garments that also require a bleaching agent and harsher detergent.
Hot or Cold Water?
The temperature of the water used should depend on the fabric. Heavy cottons and linens should be washed with hot water, while lighter, finer fabrics should be laundered cold. Test the water on a patch of the garment to ensure it’s not too hot and can handle the wash without being damaged.
For whites, a double rinse cycle should be given to remove any dirt and detergent residue.
Be sure to change the water between washes or after washing heavy soils, as the dirt, lint, and detergent residue will all mix, cake the fabrics, and cause discoloration.
To get the best out of your garment, it’s important to follow the care instructions on the label. To keep whites from yellowing, dry them in direct sunlight as opposed to the dryer. When drying indoors, avoid contact with any surfaces that may cause yellowing.
Using Whiteners and Brightners:
To help keep the original whiteness of white garments, fabric whiteners and brighteners can be used. They should ideally be used in the final rinse cycle, as this allows them to better cling to the threads and will provide longer-lasting whiteness.
In conclusion, following these simple steps when cleaning your whites will result in crisp and bright garments after every wash.
- Use detergent labeled for colored or whites.
- Separate white and colored garments.
- Choose the water temperature for the fabric type.
- Double rinse with clean water.
- Follow the care instructions on the label.
- Dry in direct sunlight.
- Use fabric whitener and brightener in the final rinse.