So this one’s gonna be short but awesome, because we’re solving one of those pesky little everyday problems: keeping your whites looking white. Really white. Not beige, not dingy, and not with those gross yellowy stains around the armpits.
A little while back I was having my comforter cleaned at the laundromat, and the woman working there was folding this insanely perfect load of whites, so I asked her how she got them so clean. I combined her tips with a little research and some experimentation, and bam – whites to impress even anal retentives like myself.
What you’ll need:
Resolve All-Stains Pretreater
Tide Free (or your preferred brand of laundry detergent)
1 Cup Measure
Let’s start with the basics
If you’re not super experienced at doing your own laundry, let’s start with some basic rules. Always check the inside label for washing instructions. Some fabrics or embellishments mean garments need to be washed inside out, while others are too delicate to put into a machine at all. And there’s nothing worse than finding out you weren’t supposed to put something in the dryer AFTER it shrank two sizes.
Separate out whites from anything with even a little color. The hot water used for the whites cycle can make colors run and then redeposit it on the white clothing, leaving everything slightly dyed (anyone remember the first season of Friends when Rachel accidentally turned all of her clothes cotton candy pink?). Bleach can also stain or fade colors if it’s not formulated for them.
Ready for me to blow your mind? It’s a combination of stain pretreater, OxiClean, regular detergent, and bleach. Yes, I’m aware that it’s not always recommended to mix bleach and OxiClean, but trust me, it works.
First, pretreat all stains and let it set as long as instructed. I love Resolve All Stains – it’s miraculously saved more clothing than I can count. Put it on, rub it in, and wait 5 minutes.
Next, load everything into the washer. Give it a healthy scoop of OxiClean and sprinkle it over the clothing. Set your machine to the hot water temperature setting and heavy wash cycle (yes, we like it hot and heavy). Add a cap-full of your laundry detergent (like Tide Free) into the wash. Then pour 3/4 cup of Clorox bleach into the bleach spout (DON’T pour it directly onto your clothing!).
According to Martha Stewart‘s minions, drying whites for an hour on high (with a dryer sheet, of course) is best for impeccably white clothing. And I trust them because, really, who’s whiter than Martha Stewart? Just remove any pieces which can’t stand up to that level of drying.
If you have white sheets, towels, or even clothing that’s heavily soiled, you may want to let it soak for up to a day in plastic container filled with cold or tepid water before washing. It might also take more than one of these power washes to get everything up. And, as with all clothing, the sooner you wash something that’s been soiled or stained, the better.
Now go forth and launder!