It’s fairly common knowledge to separate white clothing from coloured/dark laundry and this is really, really important. Throwing your Dainty White Top in the washer with your bright red Delish Lace Kaftan Tunic could result in some unwanted discolouration! Even if your white clothes don’t get dyed from your coloured clothes, they can start to look dingy fast, so be sure wash and dry them separately.
If you’re able to, it’s ideal to further separate your whites by fabric content. Wash clothes made from synthetic fabrics (like polyester, rayon, or acetate) separately from natural fabrics (like cotton or linen). This isn’t mandatory like separating colours, but it does help to keep whites their best.
As with any clothing, it’s important to wash whites according to the directions on the clothing care tag. The tag will tell you everything you need to know. If your clothes don’t have a care tag, wash them in cold water on a gentle cycle and they should be fine. Rinsing is especially important with white clothing; thorough rinsing helps ensure all of the dirt and grime washed out of the clothes is washed away and doesn’t resettle in the fabric and make it look dirty.
There are lots of products on the market that can be added to your washing machine to help get your clothes their brightest. One kind of product is called brightener or optical brightener. These products contain fluorescent brightening agents that make fabric appear whiter, hence the “optical” part of the name. Though these are effective, there is some evidence to suggest the ingredients are toxic and are harmful to the environment. Instead, try making your own brightening agent using lemon juice and vinegar for a much safer alternative. Other multi-use products like baking soda or borax can also be added to the wash to help whiten fabric.
Have you worn and washed your favourite white top a dozen times and it’s starting to look a bit yellowed and dingy? It might be time to turn to bleach for some serious brightening. Before you get out the bottle, check the care tag on your clothing—if it says it can be safely bleached, then follow the directions on the packaging and go for it!
However, not all clothing can be bleached. Take Lilika’s Adore White Top for example. This top’s fabric contains spandex which is a fiber—along with silk and wool—that should never be exposed to bleach because it can cause irreparable damage. Instead, try soaking the garment in mixture of water and stain remover or colour booster. You could also try things you might have around the house including dish soap, white vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. Dilute your product of choice in water and soak the garments before washing regularly to help lift the yellow discolouration.
So you wore your Foxy Little White Dress to a party and someone spilled their drink on you? It’s unfortunate, but accidents are bound to happen now and then! The best thing to do is to wash the garment as soon as possible and to use an appropriate pre-treatment beforehand. If you decide to pick one up at the store, be sure you get one that works for the type of fabric your clothing is made of, whether it be natural or synthetic. There are things you can use at home instead though: lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar, or even crushed aspirin in water are all possible options. Once the garment in the washing machine, add some borax or baking soda to help lift the stain even more.
And if all else fails, take it to a reputable dry cleaner. They’re experienced when it comes to getting out stains and might have better luck with it! It’s worth it for a piece of clothing that you love.