White shirts, tees, jeans and socks seem like a complete nightmare to keep clean, but there are plenty of ways to get them looking white again if they’ve faded with wear.
Bleach, vinegar and even lemon juice are common household items that work a treat, and while it might seem a little daunting to splash them all over your prized possessions, it could be just what they need to get them looking fresh again.
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Instead of simply throwing out old and dirty-looking items, it’s a better idea to look after them instead. When your white clothes get stained or dirty, try out one of these methods to give them a longer lifespan.
Here are our tried and tested solutions to making your white items white again at home.
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Probably the most common household item to try, bleach can be a lifesaver when it comes to cleaning your whites.
It’s important to read the safety label to ensure your skin is protected. Bleach can also stain your clothes, so keep the clothes you’re wearing protected or opt for old items you don’t mind getting ruined.
- Soak your items in cold water in a container. Make sure they’re completely soaked before the next step.
- Add a few tablespoons to the container.
- Stir the container and soak for 10 minutes. Make sure you don’t leave them to soak for too long, or it might damage your clothes.
- Rinse with cold water.
- Add in your washing machine and leave to dry.
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Domestos Original Thick Bleach, 98p for 750ml, Amazon – buy now
If you prefer using natural substances on your whites, lemon juice is ideal.
You can either dab a stain with lemon juice to remove it, add 7 teaspoons to your washing machine drum and wash as normal, or boil two sliced lemons in a large pan of water, remove from the heat and add your whites to soak for an hour to clean them.
Another easy treatment for your whites is white vinegar.
As well as using regular washing detergent, all you need to do is add half a cup of white vinegar to the fabric softener section of your washing machine and wash as normal.
This won’t leave your clothes smelling of vinegar, nor will it bleach them.
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Baking soda can also be used to whiten your clothes. Add half a cup of baking soda to your regular washing detergent and wash as normal.
You can also spot clean stains by mixing baking soda with water to make a paste and applying it directly onto the stain.
You can leave it on your clothes for up to two hours for tough stains.
There are also plenty of products you can use to whiten your clothes. Here are my favourites.
Vanish Fabric Stain Remover, Oxi Action Powder Crystal Whites, from £5.50, Amazon – buy now
The Pink Stuff Stain Remover Powder for Whites, £2.49 for 1kg, Ocado – buy now
DYLON White ‘N’ Bright + Oxi Stain Removal Pack of 5, £5.60 for 5 sachets, Amazon – buy now
Dr Beckmann GloWhite Intensive Whitening, £2.63 for 3 x 40g Sachets, Amazon – buy now
How to keep whites white
While you can do the above methods when clothes do fade, it’s best to keep your clothes their best before it gets too late.
Make sure you wash your whites separately from colour items and ensure the washing machine isn’t overloaded when you put your wash on.
Ensure very soiled items are washed separately from others to ensure dirt doesn’t transfer.