How To Keep Your Whites White

Published: 21-06-2024

Want to know the best methods for washing whites?

There’s something so satisfying about pulling a fresh load of crisp, white laundry out of the washing machine; but what should you do when your whites start to dull or stain?

It’s a common issue when caring for white fabrics, but by using the right methods and products when washing your whites, you can keep them looking as bright as the day you bought them!

Here’s our guide on how to ensure your whites stay white and bright in the long run.

Wash whites separately

Washing whites separately from darks and other colours is crucial to prevent dye from bleeding into your whites; but did you know that even pale coloured fabrics can affect the brightness of your white fabrics?

This is not so much to do with colour bleeding, but more due to fluff transferring from other items onto white fabrics, which will make them appear dull and unclean.

Additionally, whites require different washing temperatures and detergents to stay bright. By separating your laundry, you not only prevent transfer from coloured or dark fabrics but also ensure that your whites receive the specific care they need to stay vibrant.

Best temperature to wash whites

Whites such as towels and sheets should be washed at a higher temperature to help remove ingrained dirt and kill germs. We recommend 60°C as the best temperature to wash whites.

However, different fabrics require different temperatures to ensure they don’t get damaged when washing, so always read the label to check the recommended temperature for each item.

The temperature alone, however, won’t always guarantee all germs are gone from your whites. To ensure a more thorough cleaning and a brighter, white appearance, you’ll also need to select the right laundry detergent for the job.

💡 Some laundry detergents are formulated to provide effective cleaning at lower temperatures, meaning you can achieve optimal cleaning results while saving energy and cutting costs.

Choosing the right laundry detergent for washing whites

Use a bleaching agent

You can boost the brightness of your whites and prevent a dingy or dull look by choosing a detergent with an added bleaching agent.

Bio vs non-bio

Choosing between biological (bio) and non-biological (non-bio) detergents depends on the type of fabric you’re washing and the level of staining you need to remove.

Bio detergents contain enzymes that are more effective at removing stains than non-bio detergents. Their effectiveness at removing stains means bio detergents can often be used at lower temperatures, allowing you to cut your energy costs. However, bio detergents can be damaging for certain fabrics like wool and silks and are sometimes too harsh for sensitive skin.

Non-bio detergents do not contain the enzymes that you’ll find in bio detergents, meaning they are less effective at removing stains, but are more gentle on sensitive skin and are a better option for delicate fabrics.

Use the specified amount of detergent

When washing any fabric, it’s imperative that you use the recommended amount shown on the detergent’s packaging. Using too much or too little detergent can cause your fabrics to not be washed properly and even cause limescale and grease build-up, which over time can damage your washing equipment.

Use a water softener

Hard water can discolour whites. If you have hard water in your area, consider using a water softener to prevent your whites from becoming dull.

Pre-treat stained whites

Whether you’ve just dropped some tomato sauce on your white shirt or spilled tea on your bedsheets, spot-treating stains before you wash them means you’re less likely to end up with permanently stained fabrics.

How to remove a stain from your whites

  • Act fast - If you’ve just stained a fabric, treat it as quickly as possible and ideally don’t allow the stain to dry as it will become harder to remove the longer it has contact with the fabric.
  • Use a stain-removal product - Pre-treat the stain with a stain-removal product or rub a small amount of detergent into the stain.
  • Try a cold soak - After pre-treating the stain, soaking the fabric in cold water can lift away some of the staining, while hot water may embed some stains deeper into the fabric.
  • Wash the fabric - Wash your stained fabric in the washing machine (if the fabric can be washed in the washing machine) using your regular detergent or a specific stain-removing detergent. If washing stained whites, try a detergent with an added bleaching agent.
  • Wash until the stain is removed - If the stain isn’t removed after laundering, don’t let the garment dry. Pre-treat it and wash for a second time, continuing until the stain has considerably faded or disappeared.

💡 Always follow the washing instructions on your stained fabric before washing or attempting to remove stains.

To keep your commercial facility’s whites sanitised and looking their best, you need the right washing equipment to handle your specific requirements. Explore our expert range of customisable and specialist washing machines from GA Commercial here.