How to Keep Your White Clothes White

White clothes are hard to keep clean and noticeable when they’re not. But with these tips, you can avoid the hassle and keep worn whites looking store-bought for a long time.

| November 2016

Sharon and David Bowers have written The Useful Book (Workman Publishing, 2016), a veritable encyclopedia of do-it-yourself — whatever “it” is, learn to cook it, build it, sew it, clean it, or repair it. Not only do the authors walk you step-by-step through handy repairs and projects, but they include illustrations, charts, and lists to keep their explanations simple and accessible. Like a shop teacher and a home economics teacher combined in print form, this book will have you prepared for anything!

You can purchase this book from the Capper's Farmer store: The Useful Book.

Bright white clothing screams “clean.” Even if it’s not seen and admired by the public, a fresh, new undershirt, pair of socks, or set of underclothes can make a person feel more confident, adding a little spring to the step. And don’t forget the warning handed down by my Mom and mothers like her about clean underwear! Making sure your whites are sparkling falls under the category of “plan for every inevitability.” The good news is that you don’t have to constantly toss and rebuy basics to maintain your bright whites. With a little know-how, you can keep them shimmering long past their expected expiration date. Here are some tips for keeping your whites bright.

Basic Care of Whites

1. Sorting. Keep whites separate. Sort whites from colored clothes. Dye molecules will bleed into the water and subtly tint your whites.

2. Treating stains. Attack spills and smudges immediately. Use a solid stain stick or spot-treating liquid and carefully follow package directions because all fabrics and all stains are unique.

3. Loading the washer. Pack the washing machine loosely, allowing enough room for the dirt to lift out and float away rather than be redeposited.

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