It's summertime, which means you probably have a fab white top or pair of pants you're dying to wear. But if your favourite white is more than a year old, it probably doesn't have the brightness and beauty it once had. Not to worry, we're here to help! We have sourced some tried and true techniques that may help restore the sharp, crisp white of your favourite pieces! However, as always, please exercise your own judgement and know the risks before treating any garment.
Lean Mean Washing Machine
- Make sure that your cleaning tools are in tip top shape. Fabric lint and soap scum from previous washes accumulate in your washer's drum so be sure to give your washer a proper cleanse once in a while. The most common cleaning tip? Run a cycle with vinegar and then give the drum a good scrub!
- When washing, always separate your whites from other colours - even the lightest pastels - to prevent transferring colour and lint.
- Do not overstuff your washing machine! Lighten the load and leave room for water and detergent to do their 'thang.
Timing is Everything
- Washing a soiled garment as soon as possible is crucial in the battle against stains. Saturate the soiled area with a pre-treating agent and gently work it into the fabric for five minutes before placing it into the washer. If the stain remains after the first wash, repeat the same cleaning step a second time. Whatever you do, skip the dryer. The stain will be "baked" in forever once it is dried.
- If you're dealing with a big stubborn stain, don't be afraid to bring in the big guns: ammonia. Ammonia is a natural superhero and is often less destructive than bleach, which often breaks down even the strongest garment fibres over time. NOTE: Be careful with strong solvents and always test a small, discrete area of your garment before treating the whole thing.
Mother Nature to the Rescue... again
- Natural solvents like lemon juice, baking soda and white vinegar, are also said to help remove dingy tones from less-than-bright whites. They will gently whiten during the wash but the real magic happens when whites are dried outside on the line; apparently, the sun's rays naturally brighten!