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How to wash white clothes: Tips and tricks

White laundry comes in all shapes and sizes, from soft linens to shirts and socks and everything in between. How you wash white clothes and treat them can make the difference in how long they last and how dazzlingly white and bright they stay. Here’s how to do white laundry and keep your items looking brighter and whiter each and every time.

Pre-wash tricks for brightening white clothes

Sort your whites into different loads

Many people sort their white laundry from their colors and that’s as far as they go. However, to keep your whites looking white, you should know how to separate laundry even further for the best results. This way, you can use the maximum amount of cleaning power on each load.

To sort your whites, follow the care instructions on your garments and fabrics. Specifically, you want to know:

  • Can you wash it?
  • At what temperature?
  • What wash cycle is recommended?
  • How should it be dried?

You may end up with three separate loads when you need to wash white laundry, for example:

  • Your regular/everyday white laundry: This would include most shirts and blouses that can be washed in warm water.
  • White linens and socks: Items like towels, sheets, socks and sweatshirts can usually be safely washed together in hot water.
  • Delicate white items: Sheer blouses and shirts and delicate undergarments are often best washed separately in cold water on a delicate cycle. Check the care instructions on these items. Many delicate items must be washed by hand or be dried by being laid flat.

Knowing how to wash white clothes is a lot simpler when you always follow the care directions on your garments and group garments with similar care instructions together.

Pretreating stains on white laundry

Always immediately treat spills and accidents on white fabrics and wash immediately. Fresh stains are much easier to treat than dried-on stains.

For tough stains, you should pre-treat with detergent before washing. To pretreat, rub a little detergent into the stain. Then put in the wash with the recommended amount of detergent.

How to wash white laundry

Cleaning white clothes in a machine

  1. Select the right cycle for the type of load you’re washing. This is why sorting your whites correctly is so important—so you can select the right cycle for best cleaning results without damaging your clothes.
  2. Use the hottest temperature allowed by the care instructions on the garments you’re washing. In general, the hotter the water, the whiter your clothes will come out. Again, this is why sorting beforehand is one of the most important tips to brighten white laundry.
  3. Add the right amount of detergent for your load. Consult the packaging for how much to use.
    Load your washing machine with the largest load you can. This helps save water and detergent. But don’t overfill the washer as doing so can result in clothes that don’t come out as clean. Consult your washing machine manual if you’re not sure how full to fill it.
  4. Remove your whites from the washing machine as soon as the cycle has ended. Clothes left in the washing machine for too long can start smelling musty and may need to then be washed again.

Detergents for washing white clothes

All Persil® ProClean® detergents are formulated to help keep white clothing, linens, and other laundry looking white and bright:

How to care for white clothes when drying

Keep the following things in mind when drying your whites:

  • Remove your laundry from the washing machine as soon as possible. Damp clothes left in the washing machine too long can develop moldy or musty smells.
  • Check your clothes for stains before placing them into an electric dryer. If you still see stains, try pre-treating and washing them again. Drying clothes can set stains, making them more difficult to get out later.
  • Select the dryer cycle that’s right for your laundry. Consult the care instructions on your garments. For example, can the clothes be dried on high heat? Can they be dried in a machine at all?

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