White clothes are notoriously difficult to keep…well, white. Whether it was a dress shirt, t-shirt, blouse, sweater, or even a pair of white jeans, we’ve all had the unpleasant experience of watching a favorite piece of clothing slowly (or quickly) fade away from its original color.
Unlike other colors that can hide some discoloration, white clothing wears stains, blemishes, and other imperfections like a neon sign. They’re bright, in your face, and hard to ignore. Unfortunately, there’s a popular misconception that discolored white clothes are a lost cause. We’re here to set the record straight. You can get white clothes white again! Here’s how.
Harness the power of the sun.
The washing cycle isn’t the only opportunity you have to restore white clothes to their original shine. Instead of tossing whites into the dryer, put them through a natural drying process by unlocking the power of the sun. When you hang clothing up outside to dry, they benefit from the bleaching effects of the sun without the harmful side effects of liquid bleach. This is a powerful stain-removing method when used in tandem with other strategies mentioned here.
Use the biting effect of citrus.
Lemons have the ability to zap away stains with their citrus-rich juice. There are a few ways to take advantage of this natural feature. You can simply cut a lemon in half and rub it on the stain to pretreat it before the wash cycle. However, you can also boil your clothes along with lemons. Simply bring a large pot to a boil with the citrusy fruit inside and let your whites soak for around an hour. It’s unconventional, but it’s effective!
Break out the aspirin.
It turns out aspirin isn’t just good for relieving standard headaches. This common medicine can also alleviate headaches of the laundry variety. Aspirin can help break down stains on white clothes to increase the likelihood they’ll get removed entirely during a wash cycle. Dissolve a handful of aspirin in a bowl or small pot and soak the stained clothing. After an hour or so, it should be ready to wash.
How to avoid discolored white clothes.
The aforementioned steps should help you restore white clothes to their former glory. Of course, it’s not possible in all cases. There are some stains that are simply too stubborn to get all the way out. That’s why it’s better to keep white clothes from becoming discolored in the first place. Good news: It’s possible too! Follow these tips to protect your favorite white clothes from getting stained to the point of being unwearable:
Separate whites and colors.
One of the most common laundry mistakes is mixing whites and colors. Dyes have a tendency to run, especially during hot washing cycles. If white clothes are in the same load as other colors, they could come out of the laundry with a hint of pink, blue, red, or whatever color bled during the cycle. Washing whites alone prevents this potential issue and keep whites pristine.
Don’t overload the washing machine.
We’ve all been guilty of stuffing a laundry machine to the brim to save a dime or a few minutes of time. This “hack” can backfire since clothes don’t have the room necessary for a thorough clean. It’s advisable to never fill a machine with more than 75%.
Pay attention to detergent instructions.
Detergents come with clear dosage instructions which have a direct impact on how clean (or dirty) your clothes look after a cycle. You don’t want to use too much or too little, so pay attention to the recommended amount, especially as it pertains to white clothes.
Suggested Reading: How to Choose the Best Detergents
Interested in learning more handy laundry tips and tricks to keep your clothes looking great and smelling fresh? Check out the Coin Meter site for more helpful and effective laundry advice. You’ll never look at this weekly chore the same again!