White Washing

You may have wondered how hotels keep their towels white. Likely it’s a combination of commercial-grade laundry detergents that contain bleach or hydrogen peroxide and washing towels at higher temperatures with professional-grade equipment that can agitate and rinse clothes more effectively.

For us mere mortals, we gotta make do with more typical tools.

As Summer Whites become the de rigeur again, we have some tips on how to keep (and restore) your favorite cotton and linen whites.

Washing whites is not as straightforward as throwing them in a laundry pile and hoping for the best. Knowing what NOT to do is as important as a scoop of OXY.
  1. Not Pre-Treating  Mud stains tend to come out in the wash, but tough stains like wine or coffee may not come clean without the extra oomph of pre-treatment. We suggest this 3-step pre-treatment: 1) soak your stained whites thoroughly; 2) place detergent directly on the stain; and 3) soak clothes in vinegar and warm water to help bring out the stains further.
  2. Using Too Much Detergent  Despite your best efforts, if your whites continue to look dull, then cutting down on laundry detergent could do the trick. Having too much detergent, in any form, can actually hurt your load of wash by leaving detergent residue– resulting in a scratchy, crunchy, discolored mess.
  3. Not Turning Clothes Inside Out  Much like washing dark clothing inside out to prevent fading, turning white clothing and bed sheets inside out before washing can help to protect the visible exterior from static and friction, preserving the appearance of the fabric for longer, experts suggest. 
  4. Washing Too Frequently  Another easy method to prevent clothes from graying is simply to wash them less. Obviously, items like underwear or sweaty gym clothes should still be washed regularly, but most of your clothes don’t need washing after one or even two wears. Shaking your clothes out when you take them off and leaving them hung up to air out overnight is a great way to get another wear out of an outfit and help keep whites looking white.

SHOP —> The Classic White Top Collection

PS. There are a number of reasons why whites may turn yellow, but the most common causes are deodorants, sweat, or using too much laundry detergent. Luckily, it’s easy to prevent this discoloration by using the correct whitening laundry products, or wearing a base layer underneath precious white clothing.