Tips for cleaning white clothes

Whites are the toughest clothes to keep looking crisp and clean, with our crazy lives full of work, school, play, pets and messy meals. Check out these tips for cleaning your white clothes:

Always, always, always sort

Even if you’ve washed your favorite pair of blue jeans twenty times, there’s always the chance that dyes or additives to the denim fabric can mix into the water. Even a small bit of color can make whites appear dingy or stained, so always be sure to take the time to sort your whites from your colors.

Heat is your friend

Although many people have begun to wash every load in cold or cool water to save on energy bills and protect the environment, whites need truly hot water to remain looking bright and clean. For most fabrics, hot water will always clean better, but be sure to consult the care tag to be sure it won’t cause shrinking in a particular garment.

When life gives you lemons, use the juice

If you’re accustomed to using bleach in your white loads, you know that it can begin to have a graying quality on clothing after many washes, not to mention it has been known to irritate delicate skin. Lemon juice, when added to a washer, has natural whitening qualities that will keep your clothes looking brand new in a much gentler manner than bleach.

Ditch the dryer

Natural fabrics like cotton can begin to fray in overly hot dryers, making them look aged. To maintain that like-new look, dry your whites outdoors in the sunlight whenever possible. They’ll dry more quickly, and the sun’s rays actually have whitening and disinfecting properties that keep your clothes both brighter and healthier.

Pretreat those nasty stains

Although it takes extra time, pretreating stains on your whites will save you time and money in the end. Even if you’re using a powerful detergent in hot water for your wash cycle, it may not be enough to completely lift a stain from a white garment. Pretreating formulas or homemade pastes made from laundry detergent and a little water help to dissolve stains before they go into the wash, making it more likely that a wash cycle will completely erase the stain.

If you’ve been bleaching your dingy, dirty whites with no success, employ these tips for any new white clothing you purchase and you’ll be sure to see positive results. Proper care of white clothing saves you time and money, and it can be accomplished without using harsh chemicals that can harm your family and your clothing.

Here are five easy tips from the folks at TLC to help you ditch the dingy, stained laundry and keep your whites looking like new, all without using harsh bleach chemicals.

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