Whiten Up

Every summer we see an abundance of white clothing in magazines and stores, but this season white is officially a trend! Not only is it a welcome option to all of the bright, saturated colors we’ve been seeing, it’s a no brainer when getting dressed because every color works with it. And, let’s be honest… nothing keeps you cooler when it’s hot. As I see it, the only hiccup with wearing white is that white doesn’t seem to stay white for very long (especially if you live in NYC). What’s a gal (or a guy, for that matter) to do? Read on for some helpful tips to help you keep your favorite white items clean and pristine.

Divide and conquer. Sort whites and launder them separately to prevent any color transfer. Even if your colors don’t appear to bleed, they can still mute your whites so why chance it?

Pre-treat stains A.S.A.P. As soon as you notice a stain, get to work! Simple liquid dish soap and water can do the trick. Before washing the item in the machine, check to see if the stains have vanished. As with most things in life, if first you don’t succeed, try again. By the way, not all stains respond well to the to the same treatment method. For example, you may be able to remove a red wine stain with white wine, but don’t expect the same solution to work on ink! For a list of common laundry stain remedies, check out: Common Laundry Stain Remedies.

Embrace eco-friendly. I know that all of our parents and relatives probably used chlorine bleach back in the day, but that was before we knew that it could be responsible for some respiratory issues, allergies, and other ailments. Safer, healthier options include the “natural oxygen” bleaches found in health food stores. Alternatively, why not DIY by adding ½ cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle? Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent and has been found to work wonders to brighten whites.

Wash your washing machine. Admittedly, this may sound a little silly, but the residual surface dirt left by doing several loads of laundry can rub off on your whites. After every seven to ten washes, run your washing machine as if you have a full load of laundry, but don’t actually fill it with any clothes. Your whites will thank you for this!

Skip the dryer. You should avoid putting your white clothing items in the dryer, as this can sometimes turn whites yellow (not a good look!) and/or set stains that you didn’t even know were there. Play it safe and hang or lay flat your favorite whites to dry.

Dress from the inside out. A white blouse will have a prolonged life (and fewer perspiration marks) if worn with a cami or tank underneath. Have a bunch on hand and retire as necessary.

Add a stain remover or bleach pen to your makeup bag. Either or both can save the day by removing a stain before it becomes permanent. Keep one with you at all times.

It’s important to remember that no matter how superb our laundry skills or how careful we are when we wear it, white has a limited life expectancy of a season or two. If you find a white item that you absolutely love, consider buying multiples.

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