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How to Keep White Clothes White

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White Dress Michelle Pfeiffer

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Follow a few simple rules to keep white clothes white. And, if they happen to get a bit dull or yellowed, learn how to restore the brightness.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 10 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Sort clothing carefully. Wash white clothes separately to prevent color transfer.
  2. Do not overload the washer . Detergents loosen soil but there must be enough space and water for the soil to wash away rather than redeposit on clothing.
  3. Treat stains immediately. Follow stain removal guidelines for fabric types and type of stains. Do not automatically use chlorine bleach even on cotton fibers because overuse can cause yellowing . An oxygen-based bleach (OxiClean, Clorox 2, Country Save Bleach, Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach) is usually safer.
  4. Never dry a garment that still has a stain. It can become permanent.
  5. Dry white clothing and fabrics outside . The ultraviolet rays will help to brighten and whiten the garment.
  6. If clothing is dingy or gray, use a color remover to brighten the fabric. Or, try old-fashioned bluing to restore brightness.
  7. Specific questions? Just ask here.

Tips:

  1. If your washer is not clean, your white clothing will show it. Clean your washer thoroughly at least every three months.
  2. If you have hard water in your area, invest in a water softening system or add a water softener to each laundry load. The minerals in hard water will deposit on your whites and leave them looking dull.
  3. Launder white garments after every wearing even if they look clean. Body oils and perspiration can quickly turn a garment yellow. If you like to wear white and want to save money, be sure the garment is washable and does not require dry cleaning.

What You Need:

  • washer
  • chlorine or oxygen-based bleach
  • clothesline
  • stain removers
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