How to Keep White Clothes White (and Other Laundry Hacks)

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how to keep white clothes white

Washing your clothes is a chore, especially since many pieces, no matter how hard you try, start to look worn and faded after only a few washes.

Fortunately, there are a variety of hacks you can use that will make the process easier. From using vinegar to whiten your clothes to creating your own dryer sheets, here are some of the best laundry hacks to add to your washing routine.

Keep White Clothes White With Vinegar

When running a load of white clothes, throw in a half-cup of white vinegar into the wash cycle. The vinegar acts as a brightening agent, helping your clothes keep the color you love so much. A bonus to using white vinegar in the wash cycle? It’ll make your clothes softer, making them more comfortable to wear.

Use Ice Cubes to Refresh Your Clothes

For wrinkled clothes or clothes that just need to be freshened up, toss a couple of ice cubes along with a dryer sheet into your dryer. After ten minutes, pull out your clothes and hang them up quickly before they become wrinkled.

ice cubes for dewrinkling laundry

Yellowing? Use Lemon and Baking Soda

White clothing has the unfortunate habit of attracting yellow stains, which come from sweating. If you want to keep your whites looking pristine, attack those stains with a paste mixture of lemon juice and baking soda. Leave the item to sit for an hour, then add to a washing cycle. The chemical reaction of the lemon juice and baking soda will lift the stain while the wash cycle will ensure the paste won’t stay on your clothes.

Homemade “Dryer Sheets”

If you’re out of dryer sheets, head to your kitchen for the next best thing: aluminum. By adding a pair of aluminum balls to your dryer, you’re guaranteeing that your clothes will be static-free. You can also use tennis balls to fluff up linens and towels. The best part about this hack? You can reuse them! Just remember to switch out the aluminum balls every month for best results.

Throw in the Towel

Do you have somewhere to be and not a lot of time to dry the outfit you want to wear? Throw in a dry bath towel along with your outfit for 15 to 20 minutes. The dry towel will absorb the moisture from your clothes, shortening the time it takes to dry your clothes, while also removing lint.

Chalk Up Grease Stains

Grease stains can stop you from wearing one of your favorite pieces, but with a piece of chalk, you can restore it. Simply rub the grease spot with a piece of white chalk and leave overnight to soak up the stain. Then, in the morning, wash and dry as normal.

Soak Your Delicates

Soaking your delicates is a great way to lift stains before hand washing, making the whole process a lot easier. Use cold water and soft detergent, leave your delicates to soak for about half an hour, making sure to never soak silk for more than 20 minutes, then come back and rinse once with white vinegar, then again with just water. Soaking beforehand washing is the best solution for your delicates because washing them in a machine can cause your pieces to lose shape and wear out quicker, so give it a try this weekend!

Lipstick Stains? Blot with White Bread

Late-night dates and parties often end with lipstick stains somewhere on your clothes. The best way to get rid of the stain is by using white bread before washing. Just tear the crust off of any piece of white bread, throw it away, roll the remainder of the bread into a ball, and blot gently at the stain. The bread will lift the stain, making it easier for you to wash it without the fear of getting that bold lipstick hue on every other clothing item in the wash.

lipstick stain, a common laundry foe

Freeze Your Jeans. Seriously.

Jeans don’t need to be washed in order to keep them fresh; in fact, washing your jeans too much can wear them out, allow them to lose shape, and fade out the color. The solution is simple: stick the pair that you want to wear in the freezer overnight, then leave them to warm back up for an hour before wearing them. Your jeans will smell fresh and that dark color you love so much will stay intact.

Washing With Salt

If you’ve heard that salt can brighten up clothes, you’re right, but don’t add it to your wash cycle. Instead, shake your clothes in a container with dry table salt. This will brighten up dull colors by stripping the dirt prior to the washing cycle. If you want to make your clothes softer, pre-soak your clothes in salt water, letting it sit for an hour before throwing it in the washing machine.

table salt for laundry

Stick Shoelaces in the Dryer Door When Drying

Drying shoes can be annoying because of the sound they make in the machine. The best solution is to tie the shoelaces of both shoes together, then wedging the laces into the dryer door. Your shoes will still dry the same, but you won’t have to hear them thudding around while the machine is turned on.

Dry Sweaters and Delicates Flat

Delicates, sweaters, and other high-quality clothing should always be laid flat after washing. This is the best way to help your clothes keep their shape and will reduce shrinkage. When it comes to storing your clothes, look up how-to videos on how to store sweaters and delicates flat to reduce wrinkles; there are a variety of tutorials online that take less than five minutes to wash.

Clean Your Washing Machine

To keep your clothes clean, your washing machine is going to need some maintenance. Every month, pour a quart of white vinegar with a cup of baking soda into your machine, and, using hot water, run a cycle. This will keep your washing machine free of fungus that might be growing in the crevices that you can’t reach and will also keep the machine smelling clean. And don’t worry: your machine will not smell like vinegar once you’re done.

 

If your undershirts are still yellowed, worn, and stretched-out after using these tips, it might be time for a refresh. Check out Underfit’s best undershirts here to be converted.

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