Not Everyone Knows How to Keep White Shirts White, Not Yellow

Laundry is something that many of us despise. One of the most inconvenient aspects is that regular washing can cause unattractive stains on your clothes, particularly white tees and shirts. In fact, after several wash cycles, white shirts frequently appear yellow or even gray. As a result, you’ve surely observed that a fresh white shirt appears much brighter than an old one. That doesn’t have to be the case with a few clever laundry solutions!

Check out some of Teeanime’s brilliant suggestions for keeping your white shirts white no matter how often you wear and wash them!

1. Wash them every one or two wears

Some people would never wear a clothing more than once before washing it, but others take delight in wearing things numerous times before throwing them in the wash. When it comes to white clothes, Good Housekeeping recommends washing them every one or two wears. Body oils and perspiration accumulate and color clothes yellow or gray, even though you can’t see or smell them. Wash certain items of clothes frequently to get rid of them (and keep them from accumulating).

2. Always wash white clothes separately

According to Martha Stewart, poor sorting is the leading cause of white shirts becoming gray or looking dull. The majority of individuals do not have enough white clothes to wash an all-white load. As a result, they combine their white shirts with various clothes. Unfortunately, many fabrics are not colorfast. This means that such items will bleed onto your white clothes and discolor them. What is the solution? Simply wash your whites separately from everything else, even if the load is little.

3. Use the hottest water you can

When you have a load of white clothes ready to go, examine the care labels to determine the hottest water temperature the materials can withstand. According to Martha Stewart, water at 120 degrees is the most effective in removing soil. You will, however, need to consider your unique fabrics. Not all fabrics can withstand the hottest setting on your washing machine. Delicate linen, for example, will most likely require a lower wash temperature than a more robust cotton oxford cloth.

4. Don’t overload your washing machine

Another mistake that causes your white shirts to lose their luster, according to Good Housekeeping, is overloading the washing machine. It may be difficult to resist the impulse to add a few more items if there is room at the top of the machine. However, you should give it a shot!

Clothes must circulate through the machine to be cleaned. If you completely fill the machine, the detergent will not have enough room to interact with the soil on your clothes or provide the greatest cleaning performance.

5. Choose detergent with a bleach alternative

Many individuals dislike the smell of traditional bleach on their clothes. To keep your white shirts brilliant, Martha Stewart suggests using a detergent that has a bleach alternative or enzymes. To ensure that the enzymes or bleach substitute work well, use the maximum amount indicated for the size of the load. It’s tempting to cut corners, especially if you want your bottle to last as long as possible. However, in order to achieve the stated outcomes, you must use enough detergent to make a difference.

6. Always measure your detergent precisely

Similarly, Good Housekeeping recommends measuring your detergent precisely. The fabric can get gray if you use too little or too much detergent. You wouldn’t think a little extra detergent would make your white shirts look dull, but it can. “Suds cushion fabrics and dirt, so stains are retained and don’t wash away as they should,” according to the journal. Simply follow the instructions on your bottle.”

7. Add a laundry booster

Another Martha Stewart suggestion for greater outcomes (and whiter shirts)? Include a laundry booster. “You can strengthen the cleaning power of a detergent by adding a booster, such as borax, oxygen bleach, or washing soda to help retain whiteness,” the publication says. A laundry booster, especially if your clothing are looking dingy, will help make them look brighter and whiter during a typical cycle in the washing machine.

8. Skip the fabric softener

You might not hesitate to use fabric softener in your laundry. After all, you want your white shirts to be as soft as the rest of your clothes. If you want to keep your whites bright, you should forgo the fabric softener. Fabric softener leaves a residue on your clothes, which might draw additional soil to the fibers. This causes more yellowing or dullness, which is just what you want to avoid with white apparel.

9. Pre-soak heavily soiled items

Did you put on a white tee for a sweaty workout or a sloppy garden job? Then Martha Stewart suggests pre-soaking extremely filthy things before putting them in the washing machine. Simply soak them in an enzyme detergent or oxygen bleach before washing them separately from our other goods. That extra step is somewhat hands-off, but it does an excellent job of preventing stains and dullness.

10. Pretreat areas with stains

Similarly, you should pre-treat stained clothing. To remove perspiration and other oily stains, use a clean toothbrush to pretreat the garment with liquid detergent, dishwashing liquid, or a colorless shampoo. To remove food stains or yellowing underarms, add undiluted liquid oxygen bleach to the cloth immediately before putting it in the washing machine.

11. Check your clothes when they come out of the washing machine

Most of us just transfer everything from the washing machine to the dryer. However, The Spruce suggests that you should inspect your garments when you pull them out of the washing machine. If a stain remains on a garment, it should never be dried on high heat. If you do, the discoloration will be permanent. You should re-treat the area and wash it again before putting it in the dryer.

12. Dry your clothes according to the instructions on the label

According to Good Housekeeping, over-drying your garments might make them look worn out. To avoid this, always read the care label to find out how to dry your shirts (or whether you should dry them at all). If you don’t want to read the label on every single shirt, use the automated setting, according to Good Housekeeping. When your garments are dry, the machine will detect it and stop.

13. Consider drying your items outdoors

The Spruce has a suggestion for anyone who are willing to forsake the convenience of a washing machine. If possible, dry your white shirts and materials outside. The article claims that “the UV radiation from the sun will help to brighten and whiten the garment.” What’s the next best thing? Put them in the dryer on low heat, take them out while still somewhat damp, and air-dry the rest of the way. Excessive heat causes yellow stains and leftover soil.

14. Use a color remover monthly

Martha Stewart recommends applying a color remover once a month, or whenever you see your white clothes becoming dull. If you don’t want to buy another laundry product, soak your clothing in boiling water and oxygen bleach instead. However, Martha Stewart points out that this procedure is only effective for textiles that will not shrink. You may need to experiment to determine which strategy works best for you.

15. Clean your washer every three months

According to The Spruce, if your washing machine isn’t clean, your clothing won’t be clean. As a result, the newspaper recommends thoroughly cleaning your computer at least once every three months. This is especially true for high-efficiency washing machines, including top-loading and front-loading types. These machines use significantly less water per load and can benefit from routine cleaning.

16. Counteract the minerals in your water

Another crucial step in keeping your white shirts white is to combat the impact of any minerals in your water that are in excessive concentrations. Use an iron-removing product on water with a high iron concentration (you’ll see crimson stains in your shower and toilet). However, do not use chlorine bleach because it might cause garments to yellow when mixed with iron and hot water. If you have hard water (you’ll see harsh, difficult-to-clean deposits on your bathroom fixtures), you may need to use more detergent; check the label first. However, if your water is exceptionally hard, Martha Stewart reports that you may be unable to achieve perfect whites without installing a water softener to remove minerals.

17. Realize that there’s only so much you can do

Finally, there are only so many things you can do to keep your white shirts white. “Even with rigorous sorting, don’t expect whites to stay neon bright forever,” Martha Stewart says. Many white fabrics have optical brighteners added to them to improve their whiteness. You can’t replace them once they’ve been washed away. So, you can keep your white shirts looking brilliant, but you’ll probably have to realize that they won’t last forever.