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12 Tips to Keep Your Whites White

Only a glass of wine seems more appealing than crisp white bed linen at the end of a hard day. But honestly, how many of us dare to invest in white linen? Staining, greying, yellowing – who wants to deal with these monsters? Fear not for we tell you how to keep your white linen super fresh and inviting.

1. Make it a habit to run an all-white load. Most people tend to mix whites with coloured garments. Dye molecules from cotton often end up in the wash water and settle on other fabrics, usually whites.

2. Don’t mix your whites with heavily soiled items such as athletic socks and dusters. Often, if you don’t add enough detergent to hold the dirt in suspension, it tends to end up back on the very sheets you wanted white and bright.

3. The time to toss white linen in the machine is when they’re still white, not dirty. They may look clean but body oils and perspiration can quickly turn sheets and pillow cases yellow.

4. Soak heavily soiled linen with an enzyme detergent (available in the laundry aisle of many supermarkets) or oxygen bleach, and wash them separately.

5. Slowly reduce the amount of detergent you are using. Excess detergent is often retained by cloth fibres and has a tendency to attract dirt.

6. Add half a cup of baking soda with your detergent at the beginning of the wash cycle while washing your whites. Before beginning the rinse cycle, pour in half a cup of white vinegar. The combined effect of these two natural whiteners will surprise you.

7. Bleach is not the go-to solution for whites. Often, it can react with body oils to make whites more yellow. Try eco-friendly and home-made cleaners such as a long soak in a solution of lemon juice and salt.

8. Many supermarkets now stock colour removers that you can use to wash your whites once a month so that they lose the “dinginess”.

9. The minerals in hard water deposit on whites and leave them dull. If you have excessively hard water in your area, consider investing in a water softening system or add a water softener to each laundry load.

10. If the water in your home is hard, don’t use chlorine bleach. The duo is the despair of homemakers worldwide as they come together to yellow clothing.

11. If your washing machine is not clean, it will reflect on your whites. Clean the washer thoroughly every month.

12. To ensure that your whites get an extra boost of white, hang them out to dry in the sun. Sunlight has bleaching capabilities and won’t set stains like the dryer does.

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