Your white clothes need special care. As a rule, you must wash them after every 1 or 2 use. However, knowing how to wash white clothes is important. Wrong washing technique or using the wrong kind of laundry detergent can ruin your white garment. Also, if there are stains on your white clothes, you must treat them the right way.
There are some dos and don’ts on how to wash white clothes that you need to follow. Here are some tips that’ll come in handy.
1) Understand the Fabric
You must treat the stains on your white clothes as soon as you spot them. Postponing will make the stains more stubborn. Before you wash your clothes, spot treat the stains. Simply dampen the stained part on your garment and pour 3-4 drops of liquid detergent or detergent powder directly on it. You can try either Surf Excel Liquid Matic or Surf Excel Easy Wash. Though these detergents are formulated to wash your garments, they work as effectively to pre-treat stains as well. These detergents will help fight tough stains effectively and get your clothes looking spotless. Rub it with your fingers. Allow it to stay for 5-10 minutes. Then wash with plain water.
Delicate fabrics like silk and wool should never be treated with a bleach-based detergent. Delicate garments made from silk, wool and cotton require extra care and using a mild detergent can work wonders. We recommend Love and Care, which is available in the market and is specially formulated for specific fabrics. Always check the instructions on the pack to know the correct way of using the product. Dampen the stained part, add 3-4 drops of detergent directly on the stain and rub gently. Then soak the garment in a solution of water and 1 tbsp. of detergent for 30-40 minutes before washing.
2) Always Separate White and Coloured Clothes
Has your lifestyle during the Covid-19 lockdown affected the type of stains you get on your clothes?
Washing dark and light coloured clothes together can result in dye transfers. There’s a good chance of colour bleeding from your red sweater and settling on your white shirt. Avoid such laundry disasters by making separate piles for your light and dark coloured clothing.
3) Wash Your Machine Drum
An unclean wash drum can contribute to the discolouration of your white garments. Before tossing your white clothes in the washing machine, ensure that the machine is clean. As a general rule, you must clean your washing machine at least once a month.
4) Don’t Add Excess Load
Remember not to overload your washing machine when you wash your white clothes. Overloading your washer will deny your clothes space they require to move around. The dirt particles may be lifted off one garment, but they’ll end up settling on another. So, instead of cramming one wash cycle with too many clothes, it is better to run two wash cycles. Ideally, the machine must be filled to 2/3rd of its capacity for best results.
5) Wash With Warmest Water Possible
Once you’ve treated the stains, wash your white clothes on a normal or heavy-duty cycle depending on how dirty they are using the warmest water recommended by the wash care label on your fabric. Please note that you should never treat the stains on your white clothes with warm water. It will set the stain more firmly in your fabric.
6) Make Whites Whiter
To make your white clothes look brighter whether you are washing in the machine or by hands, use good quality bleach. You can use a bleach (sodium hypochlorite) like Rin Ala for sheets and clothes. It is a fabric whitener. Rin Ala being sodium hypochlorite bleach is recommended to use on white clothes only. Do not use on coloured clothes. Check the instructions on the pack to know the right quantity to be used. Pour it as suggested in the instructions. After wash, dry in direct sunlight. Sunlight acts as a natural bleach and disinfectant. Always check the wash care label on your whites to determine the best washing method.
If you are washing by hand, soak your whites in a solution of 1 bucket of warm water, ½ cup of bleach and 1 tbsp. of detergent. You can try Surf Excel Easy Wash for this. It helps fight tough stains effectively. Soak for 1 hour and then wash as usual. Dry in natural sunlight. You can also try Surf Excel Matic Liquid. Being a liquid, it easily dissolves in water. Always check the pack to know correct usage instructions.
7) To Wash White Bed Linen and Towels
Always wash your white bed linen and towels using hottest water temperature as suggested on the wash care label. Hot water helps kill bacteria. You can also add ½ cup of bleach along with the detergent to the wash if you are using a washing machine. Surf Excel Matic Liquid is specially formulated for your washing machine and helps maintain its life. Being a liquid, it dissolves easily in water without leaving any residue behind (like powders do). You can also try Comfort Core Fabric Conditioner. It adds a mild fragrance to your clothes and it helps keep the fibres of your clothes intact, making them softer. Before using any product, check the instructions on the pack and use as directed. Dry in natural sunlight to enhance the brightness.
8) To Wash Delicate Whites
To wash your delicate white clothes, add 2 tsp of mild detergent to warm water and soak the clothes for 20-30 minutes. Then hand-wash these garments using a mild detergent. Avoid using very cold or very hot water as it can cause the fabric to shrink. Always use warm water.
9) Inspect Your White Clothes
Check your white clothes thoroughly before putting them in the dryer. If your garment appears stained even after washing, run the machine again.
10) Use the Right Amount of Detergent
Using excessive amounts of detergent can cause discolouration of your white clothing. Read the product label to know the exact amount of detergent to be used.
11) Treat Hard Water
Hard water can leave your white garments looking dull and lifeless. If you get hard water supply in your home, you must invest in a water softening system. The minerals in the hard water settle on your white clothes, causing them to lose their brightness.
12) Treat Yellowed Whites
If your white shirt has started to appear pale, you can try treating it with a fabric whitener like Rin Ala. Rin Ala being sodium hypochlorite bleach is recommended to use on white clothes only. Do not use on coloured clothes. Read the wash care label instructions on the clothing item to ensure that it is safe. If recommended, soak your white shirt in the fabric whitener solution overnight and wash like you usually do. Repeat, if necessary.
13) Prevent White Clothes From Fading
If you are using are dryer on your white clothes, you must set it on low heat. Hang them on a clothesline in direct sunlight. Sunlight acts as a natural disinfectant and brightens white clothes. If you need to iron your white clothes, use the steam function on a lower temperature. An iron that is too hot can lead to discolouration of your white clothes.
14) Store Your White Garments Correctly
Storing your white garments in plastic containers or tubs that do not allow air circulation can leave them smelling musty and lead to discolouration. Store your white clothes in cotton garment bags. Or wrap them in a white cotton cloth to keep them protected from dust.
For delicate white clothes with heavy embellishments or sequin work, use an acid-free tissue paper. Ensure that you do not put away your white clothes in a damp or humid place. Use silica gel packets to absorb excess moisture.
There’s nothing more elegant than a crisp white outfit. However, white garments are also a risky choice because they get dirty easily. What’s more, dirt on your whites is easily noticeable. These tips and tricks on how to wash white clothes will ensure that every time you step out in your favourite white outfit, they look clean and bright like brand new.
Sujoy Dutta from the Rin team suggests “To keep your whites white for longer, besides always washing your white clothes separately from the colored ones, you must also ensure that your less dirty whites are not washed with your filthy whites. Because stains, dirt, grime can transfer from one white to the other.”