White linen shirts, cricket whites, a simple cotton white tee, it goes without saying that white is a key summer shade. And as the temperature rises, you may want to lighten up and adopt white into your wardrobe. But when we say white, we mean dazzling, as good as new white. Not tinged with yellow around the edges or a faint shade of grey. So, how do you keep your gear white? Read on to find out how to care for summer whites.
Crisp, Summer whites?
A crisp white shirt will breathe new life into your wardrobe. The only problem is keeping it that way. White has a tendency to:
a) Show up any mishaps or spillages in terms of food, alcohol, grease from your bike, etc...
b) Become slightly dingy after one too many washes.
Try as you might, accidents will happen. Take action quickly to achieve the best results. The sooner you spot a stain and start to remove it, the more effective you will be. Don't wait for it to dry into the fabric or use abrasive rubbing action to shift it. This can embed it further and ruin the fabric. Instead dab at the stain to minimise it from spreading.
Wear once before washing
The best place for that white shirt you wore yesterday is the washing basket. Wear it again and you'll risk turning the cuffs, underarms and collar yellow, thanks to your own body oils.
Boost with brighteners
Take advantage of the new advances in laundry care and choose a whitening product or washing powder with brightener added. Or you could always go old school and try lemon juice or white vinegar. One of the best ways to remove yellow stains is good old fashioned bleach. But use only as a last resort to avoid damaging the fabric. If the weather plays ball, dry your whites in the sunshine as ultraviolet rays can have a brightening effect.
Make sure you rinse your whites well to thoroughly remove any grime. Take extra precaution by keeping your load light and leaving room in the machine so your whites can move around freely. It's also worth cleaning your washing machine regularly to remove the risk of any dirt being transferred to your whites. It may be a dirty job but you'll prevent any marks from appearing on your favourite pieces of white clothing.
From that favourite white polo to your formal white shirt, they all run the risk of losing their lustre. While we may not be able to stop the occasional spillage, we do have a few tips on how to care for your summer whites:
Wash whites separately
First things first, protect those bright whites by washing them separately to colours. Not only can colour transfer occur but contact with black, greys and bolder colours will turn a bright white to dingy grey. White clothing is also more likely to pick up fluff from darker coloured items when washed together so separate them.
Turn up the heat
Check the fabric beforehand to ensure it can handle the heat but try and wash your whites at as high a temperature as possible. This will remove any germs or heavy soil and help keep your whites bright.