Any Tips on Washing Whites?

Posted

I wear whites by choice, and was wondering if there's anything special that will help keep them looking good. I know how to clean my husband's funky shorts, but I never iron them and make him wear them on the outside. ;)

TIA.

mtnmom

mtnmom

1 Article; 334 Posts

I would like to know as well. Personally I do not care for whites as I am a stain/spill magnet and have horrible monthly cycles. But I have no choice as they are mandated on one of the units I work on.

I do use an occasional shot of Clorox but try to be judicious with it as I am in a rural area on septic system and the Clorox can kill all the beneficial bacteria. Plus I worry about leaching/runoff into the nearby river.

MIA-RN1

MIA-RN1, RN

1,329 Posts

when I bought my whites for school the lady at the store advised me to never use bleach because it eventually yellows the fabric.

I wash mine in just regular warm or cold, and only with other white stuff. When I get a stain I zap it with oxy-clean and it has worked so far. SOmetimes my detergent is regular stuff, sometimes the kind with fabric softener in it and sometimes its the one that whitens without bleach. (whatever is on sale that week lol)

I hang them to dry to minimize shrinkage and also because I don't want lint from the dryer getting stuck to them.

One night before clincial I found a huge light orange stain all over the back of the calf on my pants. I sprayed it w/ oxyclean, rubbed it around and rinsed it out and the stain was gone. That stuff is a miracle.

Antikigirl

Antikigirl, ASN, RN

Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc. Has 13 years experience. 2,595 Posts

We have well water and it tends to yellow/orange whites. So we had a filter put in, and we use oxyclean as well for all whites. That seems to do the trick, as well as that bleach pen (Use rarely though...you can yellow the fabric) you can buy for the tough spots.

But when we can, we take our whites to the dry cleaners (at least once monthly) to get a real good job done. This is tax deductable (work related expense) so keep those recipts!

elkpark

14,633 Posts

I get v. good results with a scoop of the original Oxy-clean powder added to the load of wash plus the Clorox stain remover (in the dark blue spray bottle) sprayed on any specific stains. If it's a really, unusually challenging laundry situation, I "double up" with the Oxy-clean powder plus the Clorox liquid "bleach for colors" (I forget its exact name).

sunnyjohn

sunnyjohn

2,450 Posts

Good bleach won't yellow fabric. The cheap stuff will. My mum washed with bleach my entire life and never ruined or yellowed fabric. Only use a splash (1/8 to 1/4 cup) Add it to the water and let the basket fill BEFORE you put in the clothes.

If you're whites have coloured embroidery, don't use bleach.

Colour-safe bleach can be used on whites to, and is especailly good for whites with coloured embroidery.

NOLA201

NOLA201

13 Posts

Hi. I have well water also. There is a couple of products that I add to my white laundry to stop the "yellowing." The yellowing (and rust) occurs because of the amount of iron in the water. "Iron Out" is a powder that can be purchased by the bathroom cleaners and added to laundry, used to clean stains from tubs, toilets, and sinks. "Whink" is in a brown bottle and is a liquid that has the same uses. Neither one is cheap, but it's worth the cost, especially to save your clothes. You DO NOT have to have well water to use these products successfully. My sister now uses it on her white clothes with "city" water and it's great. Just remember to only use it with all whites!

Also, bleach should be used with cold water for it to work properly (apparently the hot water ccounter-acts the chemical properties/process of bleach - as learned in my pre-nursing chemistry class).

Good Luck!

Wow, thanks, all! OxyClean and a small amount of Clorox in cold water it is.

mrsalby

mrsalby

Specializes in Neuro ICU. 101 Posts

Another that works is simple green and/or dishwasher detergent (gel not powder). The phosphate content in DW det really knocks out stains. I used this to get Alabama clay out of white softball socks! Works wonders. (Works on pen ink too)

mrsalby;)

Gompers, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. 2,691 Posts

Hi. I have well water also. There is a couple of products that I add to my white laundry to stop the "yellowing." The yellowing (and rust) occurs because of the amount of iron in the water. "Iron Out" is a powder that can be purchased by the bathroom cleaners and added to laundry, used to clean stains from tubs, toilets, and sinks. "Whink" is in a brown bottle and is a liquid that has the same uses. Neither one is cheap, but it's worth the cost, especially to save your clothes. You DO NOT have to have well water to use these products successfully. My sister now uses it on her white clothes with "city" water and it's great. Just remember to only use it with all whites!

Iron Out is good stuff - I used it at my parents' house back when they had well water. It kind of bleaches things though - I once washed a white blouse with blue flowers and they all but disappeared!

PeachPie

PeachPie

Specializes in EC, IMU, LTAC. 515 Posts

Someone once told me that ammonia works wonders...

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