How to Wash White Clothes

Tips and tricks for washing your white laundry

White laundry comes in all shapes and sizes, from soft, linens to shirts and socks and everything in between. How you wash and treat them can make the difference in how long they last and how white and bright they stay.

How to wash white laundry

Here’s how to wash your whites to help keep them looking brighter and whiter.

Sort your whites into different loads
Many people sort their white laundry from their colors and that’s as far as they go. But to keep your whites white, you should sort them even further. This way, you can use the maximum amount of cleaning power on each load.

To sort your whites, follow the care instructions on your garments and fabrics. Specifically, you want to know:

  • Can you wash it?
  • At what temperature?
  • What wash cycle is recommended?
  • How should it be dried?

For example, you may end up with 3 separate loads of white laundry, like so:

  • Your regular/everyday white laundry: This would include most shirts and blouses that can be washed in warm water.
  • White linens and socks: Items like towels, sheets, socks and sweatshirts can usually be safely washed together in hot water.
  • Delicate white items: Sheer blouses and shirts and delicate undergarments are often best washed separately in cold water on a delicate cycle. Check the care instructions on these items. Many delicate items must be washed by hand or be dried by being laid flat.

Always follow the care directions on your garments and group garments with similar care instructions together.

Pretreating stains on white laundry
Always immediately treat spills and accidents on white fabrics and wash immediately. Fresh stains are much easier to treat than dried-on stains.

For tough stains, you should pre-treat with detergent before washing. To pretreat, rub a little detergent into the stain. Then put in the wash with the recommended amount of detergent.

Washing your whites in a machine

  1. Select the right cycle for the type of load you’re washing. This is why sorting your whites correctly is so important—so you can select the right cycle for best cleaning results without damaging your clothes.
  2. Use the hottest temperature allowed by the care instructions on the garments you’re washing. In general, the hotter the water, the whiter your clothes will come out. Again, this is why sorting is so important.
  3. Add the right amount of detergent for your load. Consult the packaging for how much to use.
    Load your washing machine with the largest load you can. This helps save water and detergent. But don’t overfill the washer as doing so can result in clothes that don’t come out as clean. Consult your washing machine manual if you’re not sure how full to fill it.
  4. Remove your whites from the washing machine as soon as the cycle has ended. Clothes left in the washing machine for too long can start smelling musty and may need to then be washed again.

Detergents to use to help keep whites bright
All Persil® ProClean® detergents are formulated to help keep white clothing, linens, and other laundry looking white and bright:

Drying your whites

When drying your whites, keep a few things in mind:

  • You should remove your laundry from the washing machine as soon as possible. Damp clothes left in the washing machine too long can develop moldy or musty smells.
  • Check your clothes for stains before placing them into an electric dryer. If you still see stains, try pre-treating and washing them again. Drying clothes can set stains, making them more difficult to get out later.
  • Select the dryer cycle that’s right for your laundry. Consult the care instructions on your garments. For example, can the clothes be dried on high heat? Can they be dried in a machine at all?