Home decor colour trends come and go, but classic white linens — like bedding, towels, and tablecloths — never go out of style. Sure, being a neutral colour helps, but there’s a certain comfort that comes from being able to look at white bedsheets or a washcloth and immediately know whether they’re clean.
Unfortunately, getting to that point is easier said than done. Here are three mistakes to avoid when washing whites.
Don’t make these mistakes when washing white linens
With more than 20 years of industry experience, Wayne “The StainMaster” Edelman, CEO of Meurice Garment Care, has successfully tackled the toughest of stains, and is a whiz at washing whites. Below are three common laundry mistakes, and his tips for dealing with them:
1. Thinking white is the absence of colour
First things first: White isn’t the absence of colour — it is a colour. “Most think that fabrics are white at their core,” says Edelman. “But white textiles are dyed white, and fade like any other colour.”
2. Using chlorine-based bleach
One of the first things people learn about doing laundry is that bleach is the most effective way to get whites sparkling clean. But bleach can cause the fibres in the fabric to deteriorate, and while it does remove stains, it can also leave your laundry more yellow than white.
“The best way to brighten and restore stained and darkened white linens or towels is to soak them in warm water [and] laundry detergent, and use a sodium-based bleach like OxyClean,” Edelman says.
3. Missing clear stains
Not all stains show up right away on white linens. “Clear stains like sunscreen, white wine, and glue, may not always be seen on your white furnishes or towels, but they, in fact, are sugar stains and will caramelize overtime,” Edelman explains. This is why a napkin or towel may be white after you wash it and put it away, then look yellow when you pull it out next.
To prevent this from happening, Edelman says that you should always pre-soak or treat white linens if you know something was spilled on them — even if you can’t see the stains.
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