3 simple rules of washing white clothes for dazzling results

November 23, 2014

White clothes are impossible to keep clean. It’s as if every speck of dirt is magnetically drawn to them. Here are threesimple rules of washing white clothes for dazzling results each time.
These days, whites are fashionably acceptable all year round, so washing white clothes regularly is important to keep them fresh and bright. The following tips will guide you through laundering, but always check the garment’s label for specific care instructions.

A few rules to keep in mind when washing whites:

  1. Only wash white fabrics with other white or light fabrics.
  2. Chlorine bleach can cause yellowing in some fabrics, so opt for non-chlorine or oxygen bleach.
  3. Stains have a better chance of coming out if you tackle them immediately.

Dress shirts

The cost of having your dry cleaner wash and press dress shirts adds up, especially if you’re a frequent wearer. It is possible to achieve equal results at home.

  • First, remove any collar stays and store in a safe place.
  • Unbutton all buttons including those on the collar and cuffs.
  • Pre-treat any stains with a pre-wash spray or by rubbing a little detergent on them.
  • If the shirt fabric is fine or lightweight, go delicate with both laundry detergent and the washer setting. Otherwise, regular detergent and a normal wash setting will do.

After the wash cycle:

  • Remove from washer immediately and hang to dry. Leaving damp shirts in a crumpled, tangled mess will make it more difficult to remove wrinkles.
  • Use hangers that fit the shoulders of the shirt, otherwise you’ll end up with distortions or dents that are tough to remove with an iron.
  • Once the shirt is mostly dry, you can iron.
  • If needed, spritz with plain water when ironing.


Before you wear white jeans, use a basic fabric protective spray. This will make a huge difference in dealing with stains later.

  • Add a cup of distilled white vinegar regularly when washing a load of whites to keep them sparkly white. There’s no need to use hot water unless your denim is heavily soiled.
  • Finally, tumble dry on a low heat setting or better yet, air dry.
  • You can soften crunchy air-dried denim with a quick tumble around the dryer on a no-heat setting.


In general, jackets don’t require as frequent a washing as the rest of your clothes, but white jackets definitely demand more care than the rest.

  • Spot treat stains as they occur for best results.

Use a gentle detergent on down jackets, adding an extra rinse cycle.

  • Tumble dry on low with a couple of tennis balls to fluff up the down feathers.

Wool jackets require wool-friendly detergent and hand washing.

  • Let soak before pressing soapy water through garment.
  • Rinse well.
  • Squeeze out as much moisture as possible, then roll up in towels until just damp.
  • Hang to dry.

A little extra effort when washing your white clothes is all you need to keep them sparkling.

3 simple rules of washing white clothes for dazzling results
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