How to properly wash whites
I take pride in my professional image—to me it is important to be clean and presentable in day-to-day life. Washing clothes correctly is essential to my efficient lifestyle. Clothing and delicate garments are an investment. If I only wore a pair of socks or a shirt once and bought new ones after one wear think about how wasteful that is! How bad is that for the environment in an age where we as a society need to be green for the planet, and our futures.
Another reason to wash clothes properly is because it preserves them with a long-lasting fresh look. Clothing to me can be timeless, sentimental—as I have many garments passed down from my family and deceased loved ones. They are also important for change in seasons, especially coming into winter. No one plans on having ten extra cashmere sweaters lying around, never mind being clean. That’s why taking care of your clothes properly will have lasting effects, be sustainable, and contribute to an efficient lifestyle.
The first step is to pretreat stains. Julia Layton states, “For stains, pretreating is the way to go. Before putting a stained item in the wash, apply a little liquid detergent, a paste made from powdered detergent and water, or a pre-treating stick or spray directly to the stain. Let it sit for at least five minutes and up to several hours, depending on the instructions for the specific product and the stubbornness of the stain (4).” Martha Stewart expands on that by suggesting the helpful tip to “sprinkle an oily stain with cornstarch. Wait 10 to 15 minutes, then scrape it off. Dab stains (don’t rub or press hard) with cool water, which will lighten most spots and remove others altogether (5).”
One step that is often overseen is the delicate setting; always make sure the setting is on delicate. Then wash bright clothing apart from off-whites to grays. Off-white’s can separately go in a warm wash. If colors are being washed they should always be grouped with ‘like colors’—warm water is important, or I recommend hot water for all bright whites. Hot water removes the pre-treated stains, and brightens whites. A tip from London’s Hilton Hotel head of laundry, Katarzyna Kurylek states that “three tablespoons of laundry detergent, and three tablespoons of baking soda will remove stains and brighten whites” (1). A tip to remove armpit stains is a mixture of one tablespoon of baking soda with one tablespoon of lemon juice. Following these easy steps will leave you and your whites looking fresh.