If there’s one thing I would love to outsource in my life, it’s the laundry! With four people in this house, it’s hard to keep on top of everything, and often, I end up throwing everything into the washing machine together to save time.
Of course, this isn’t the best thing to do when it comes to whites. White clothing requires specific care to keep it looking fresh, whether you’re washing pristine white t-shirts or trying to remove stains from a bunch of school shirts.
There are a few things you can do to keep your whites looking brand new:
I know this is obvious, but it’s easy to miss when you’re in a rush! Wash whites separately if you can. Even if you don’t notice the difference right away, washing white shirts with darker colours can cause the white to become grey and dull, especially over time.
Using a laundry basket with a separate section for whites can speed up this process, especially if you can train your whole household to separate their washing, too!
Use home remedies
If it’s too late and your whites are looking a bit neglected, there are a few home remedies you can try to treat stains.
For example, washing your whites using half a cup of white vinegar (along with your normal washing powder/fabric conditioner) may help extract any grey or yellow stains from your whites, restoring some of that original bright white.
You can also add baking soda to the wash to help remove stains. It won’t remove major stains (I’m thinking pen stains on a school shirt), but it may help to remove food stains, especially if you apply it directly to the stain first.
It does take extra time, but soaking your whites before washing can help to restore their brightness. Put a few items in a large bowl with hot water and baking powder: this can help to break down certain stains (like, for example, fatty or oily stains). You can then throw them into the wash as normal.
Warm water is key for keeping whites bright. While using a lower temperature is more sustainable as a general rule, if you’re doing a load of whites, it’s a good idea to up the temperature a little in order to effectively remove stains.
However, it’s worth remembering that delicate whites will still need to be washed at a lower temperature to protect the garments from falling apart – high temperatures will be damaging to delicate materials. The care symbols on your garment should help you to decide which temperature is best.
Consider colour catcher sheets
Accidents happen – it’s easy for a black sock to wriggle its way into a load of white washing, especially if you’re in a rush. Even one small dark item can make your whole load of white washing look grey, so using a colour catcher sheet is a good idea, just in case.
Colour catcher sheets can help protect darker colours from ‘leaking’ into your white clothing. Getting into the habit of throwing a colour catcher sheet in your machine every time you run a white wash can act as a safeguard against human error.
Featured image: Mediamodifier