How To Wash White Clothes

Clean and ironed white clothes - Washing guide

Table of Contents

Maintaining the original whiteness and shine of white clothes is not tough, they just need proper wash and care. 

If you want to keep your whites in their best condition for a long time, you should read this article and learn how to wash white clothes. 

Things To Do Before Washing White Clothes

Read the garment care label

Manufacturers put clear wash and care instructions on the garment care label. Check it to see whether it is washable or not. If the care label says “hand wash”, or “machine wash”, then it is washable. Some clothes labelled as “dry clean” are also washable but you have to treat them with immense care. We do not recommend taking risks by washing them at home. However, if you still want you can use a home dry cleaning kit. 

If your garment is labelled as “dry clean only”, you will have to take it to a dry cleaner. 

Next, the garment care label will contain the right wash setting, and water temperature as well. 

Even though different fabrics are washed at different temperatures, and it is recommended to wash white clothes using hot water; we recommend using “Cold water” and “Gentle settings” as they can never harm the fibres of any type of garment. 

Also Read: Guide to understand laundry symbols

Which fabrics can not tolerate hot water

Spandex, fleece, silk, lycra, wool 

Which fabrics can tolerate hot water

Cotton, linen, polyester and other duration synthetics.   

Sort the clothes

A girl separating white clothes from coloured clothes
Separate white clothes from coloured ones

The first rule of washing white clothes is to never wash them with coloured clothes. 

Separate whites. Then, separate the white-coloured clothes on the basis of weight and stain. 

  • Weight: If you will wash your heavy white clothes (like jeans, trousers, shrugs, etc.) with light-weighted clothes (like tops, shirts, blouses), the light-weighted ones may not get cleaned properly. Because they will get cramped inside the washer. In case you are hand washing, it will be hassle-free, if you will sort the clothes. 
  • Stains: If you wash heavily stained garments along with the ones that are not stained (and just dirty), the stain-causing element will transfer to the other garment as well. Hence, it is better to separate stained garments and then pre-treat the stains first. 

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Pre-treat the stains

Once you have separated the stained clothes, pre-treat them. 

It is important to treat stains before washing, because: 

  • Generally, it is important to use commercial stain removers, or products like bleach, baking soda, vinegar, etc. to remove stains. When you wash the garment after removing the stain, the residue of the stain remover gets away from the fibres. 
  • In some cases, the stain only lightened and did not vanish completely. When the garment is washed afterwards, the lightened stain generally gets removed completely with the detergent. 
Products that you can use to remove stains from white clothes
Stain removers for white clotehs

How to remove stains from white clothes

Some light stains (mud, food, juice, etc.) can go away by using detergent and commercial stain removers when they are fresh. Here’s what you can do: 

  • Dampen the stained area. 
  • Drop 1-2 drops of stain remover or liquid detergent on the stain.
  • Rub it very gently in a circular motion for 1-2 minutes using an old toothbrush or any other similar brush.
  • Leave it for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with clean and cool water. 

If the stain still persists, you may need to use a stain remover that is effective on the type of stain.

Just in case nothing else works well, you should probably check out other methods.

Is bleach the perfect stain remover for white clothes?

Generally, chlorine bleach is considered an effective stain remover for white clothes. However, it is not suitable for all types of fabrics. Also, long-term use of chlorine bleach can harm the fibres of almost all fabrics and turn the white colour yellowish. 


Which fabrics can not tolerate Chlorine bleach?

Wool, silk, satin, mohair, leather, spandex, etc. 

Hence, to be on the safer side we recommend using oxygen bleach. 

Click here to read – How to use bleach for stain removal.

It is not necessary that the stain be gone with detergent, stain remover or even bleach. Some stains are extremely tough and it takes very specific stains to remove them. 

For example, oil-based paint stains can be removed only using paint thinners or turpentine. 

We have prepared a lot of guides on how to remove different types of stains, so you can refer them for: 

In case, you have a different stain to deal with, you can check out our detailed guide to stain removers.

If your white has turned yellowish, you can read – How to remove yellow stains from clothes

Don’t have time to remove stains?

Try Tumbledry! 

Step-by-step guide – How To Wash White Clothes

Step 1: Load the washer

Before loading the washer, do the following: 

  • Put all garments that are small (socks, baby clothes), contain embellishments, or are too old or delicate in separate laundry mesh bags. It will them from wear and tear. And your small clothes will not go missing. 
  • Close the zippers, buttons and VELCROS to prevent wear and tear. 
  • Turn the garments inside out to prevent wear and tear. 

In general, machines have multiple load sizes. Choose the right load size: 

  • Choose “small setting” when 1/3rd of the washer is full 
  • Choose “medium setting” when 2/3rd of the washer is full
  • Choose “large setting” when more than 2/3rd of the washer is full


Don’t overload the washer. 

If there is not enough space for the garments to spin inside the washer, the dirt will get re-settled in the fabrics. Hence, to clean your clothes properly, don’t overload the washer. 

How to know whether the washer is overloaded or not? 

Put your hand inside the washer after loading it. Swish your hand, if you cannot move it freely, it means the washer is overloaded. 

Step 2: Add detergent and laundry additives to the dispenser

We recommend choosing a detergent that contains oxy bleach as it can give a whitening effect. Add 1 tablespoon of detergent for 1 kg of laundry load.

Don’t use too much detergent, it can make your clothes feel stiff and itchy.

To know more detailed instructions about using detergent, click here.  

You can add laundry additives like bleach, baking soda, fabric softener as well. If you don’t want to use bleach, add a tablespoon of baking soda along with the detergent. Baking soda whitens white and softens the fabric as well.

Step 3: Set the right cycle and temperature

As we mentioned earlier, white clothes can be washed using hot water as it will not damage colour but in many cases, it can damage the fabric. You can check which clothes can tolerate hot water. 

To be on the safer side, use “cold water”. If it is safe to use hot water for the fabric of the garment then you can use it too. Set the machine on a “normal” wash setting. 

Add 1 cup (approximately 50 ml) of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle and run the machine.


Do you know we promise 99% stain removal?  

Step 5: Air-dry white clothes

Air dry white clothes after wash
Air drying white clothes

We always recommend air-drying clothes instead of using a dryer machine. In the case of white clothes, it is best to dry them under direct sunlight. It can give them a whitening effect. Plus drying clothes under the sun has many other benefits as well. 

Here’s how you can air-dry clothes easily: 

  • Squeeze the garment to get rid of extra water. While you will have to squeeze out denim and other thick clothes forcefully, it is important to be gentle while squeezing delicate garments. 
  • Hang it on a clothing rack or a clothesline. Make sure the place should be dust-free. 
  • If you are hanging clothes on a clothesline, always secure them with plastic clothespins. 
  • Leave them to dry for 5-6 hours. (It may take less or more time depending on the thickness of the fabric and the weather).

If you want to hand wash white clothes, you can check our article – How to hand-wash clothes.

Just remember to add vinegar to the rinsing cycle. And, adding baking soda to detergent when you are soaking clothes. 

Hey! don’t like washing clothes every weekend? Don’t worry, we will do it. 

Key Takeaway

Washing white clothes is easy if you just: 

Sort them properly, and use cold water and a normal setting. If the fabric allows, you can use hot water as well. 

Use ideal laundry additives like baking soda, oxygen bleach and vinegar depending as suggested in the article. For stain removal it is better to use detergent first, if it does not work, you can move to a commercial stain remover. If the stain still persists, you will have to choose stain-specific stain removers. 

When it comes to drying white clothes, air-drying under sunlight is best as it gives a whitening effect too. 

For more such information on washing clothes, stain removal and dry cleaning, keep visiting We post a lot on these topics.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not necessarily purport to reflect the values or views of Tumbledry.

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