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I actually want to know how to wash whiter

(55 Posts)
sergeantmajor Mon 17-Mar-14 12:34:23

After years of watching ads where housewives wonder how to get their wash whiter, I find myself staring at my greying bed linen and wondering the same thing. How can I get my White Company bed sheets to be worthy of the name? Have tried: Biotex pre-soak and long hot machine wash, but the sheets still look pretty dismal.

PigletJohn Tue 18-Mar-14 11:01:28

Absolutely essential to only ever wash things together that are entirely white.

No "nearly white" or "quite pale" or "partly white"

Also a powder (they contain bleaching agents) not a liquid, and not a cool wash

If your washer contains a residue of grey soap sludge, give it a hot hot hot service wash with a cup of washing soda crystals and no soap or fabsoft. You can put white cotton towels in as they will not be damaged by the heat. If the water foams up and goes cloudy grey, that's the old soap sludge dissolving. Do it again until it stays clear.

My office shirts are dazzling.

rootypig Tue 18-Mar-14 13:51:10

pigletjohn how often would you do the hot soda crystal wash for maintenance? I have a new washer, very hard water.

PigletJohn Tue 18-Mar-14 13:59:03

get it clean once, then maybe monthly. If you have white cotton towels, you can use them in your washer-cleaning schedule. It may be helpful to add crystals in every wash, they improve powders in hard water.

You will know if the machine has sludge, because the maintenance wash will make it foam up.

I use a water softener, so I don't get this in my own home.

sergeantmajor Tue 18-Mar-14 16:09:37

Really good tips here, thank you. Off to create a sparkling new world...

happyyonisleepyyoni Tue 18-Mar-14 22:25:43

All good advice but line drying is the real key as the uv light from the sun is a great fabric bleaching agent.

Pipbin Sat 22-Mar-14 20:00:35

I have been saying recently that the liquids and tablets don't was nearly as white as they used to.
I have a white bra that is only a year old but it chewing gum coloured now.
I shall try drink outside as soon as I can be bothered we have a sunny day.
As soon as the liquid runs out I'm going to invest in some basic powders.

MadameLeBean Sun 23-Mar-14 08:00:01

Lidl "formil" powder - huge box for cheap and lasts us 6 months or more!

e1y1 Sat 29-Mar-14 15:50:01

Ever so slightly off topic, but here goes. I like line drying, but I really don't like the smell. Is there something wrong with me? As it's practically the first thing people mention about liking line drying.

I live in the clean-air hills of Lancashire, North West, so don't think it's the area.

Sorry for not being much use to the thread, just thought I would stick my two pennies worth of being completely meh on the smell of line dried laundry.

CakeExpectations Sat 29-Mar-14 16:06:08

Dr Beckmann Glowhite sachets. They're the dog's bollocks.

<eyes sparkling whites approvingly>

bishboschone Sat 29-Mar-14 16:12:58

Only wags it with white .. Not lights .. Just white . It won't discolour ... And use a bio powder with bleach in.

rollonthesummer Sat 29-Mar-14 16:18:09

Those of you who only put completely white items in your white wash, what do you do with eg white/pink knickers or cream tops? Do a separate wash with just a few bits in?

One poster mentioned that she put washing powder in the drum to stop the drawer getting gunked up-do you all do that?!

rollonthesummer Sat 29-Mar-14 16:18:55

Can you put a bit of bleach in the washing machine or will it send your next wash bleachy?!

Giraffeski Sat 29-Mar-14 16:21:25

I do whites, light coloureds and dark coloureds.
And nappies, towels ad infinitum...
Second what everyone else is saying about powder and drying outside, and I do do maintenance washes with soda crystals every six weeks or so, otherwise the nappies start aggravating DDs eczema, which is a sure sign that the detergent is starting to build up.

rollonthesummer Sat 29-Mar-14 16:23:27

What's a maintenance wash? Soda crystals? In the drum or drawer? 60 degree or 40? Short wash or normal?

Giraffeski Sat 29-Mar-14 16:25:59

Soda crystals in the drum, 90 degree wash. Sometimes put some towels in if I have them ready, sometimes do it empty.

Giraffeski Sat 29-Mar-14 16:27:37

Oh and long wash, but my machine has a 90 degree wash setting so I just use that, don't press Eco wash or quick wash button though.

RandomMess Sat 29-Mar-14 16:32:36

The one time my whites went yucky was because there was a blue sock stuck in the pump...

I always use colour catchers now just in case. Usually get a couple of uses out of them.

bishboschone Sun 30-Mar-14 13:55:08

Yes .. Whites , colours and darks .. It's the only way to keep whites white .

Catsmamma Sun 30-Mar-14 14:04:01

yes....absolutely no non whites in with your whites.

and a sixty wash, and line drying.

I do use tabs and gel doodahs, but I keep meaning to go back to powder.

rollonthesummer Sun 30-Mar-14 20:01:14

Is bio or non bio powder best?

PigletJohn Sun 30-Mar-14 20:27:34

in the Which tests, the Bios seem to come out on top. Aldi Almat bio is a Which Best buy. The Colour formulae are non-bleaching, so fade less, but then Whites are less brilliant. The liquids are not so good for whites, as non-bleaching, but work better at cool temperatures as they do not need to dissolve.

We have been habitually using Persil non-bio, because it used to be thought that it was better for irritable skin. However the latest story is that non-bios are no better for the skin, but sometimes it just helps to change to a different brand if the perfumes or formula for your current brand do not suit your family.

MyGastIsFlabbered Sun 30-Mar-14 20:30:49

I was wondering this today as my washing never seems to come out clean. I wondered if it was my machine or my powder. I'm sick of seeing stains on everything (have 2 small children so stains are inevitable but nothing seems to come out clean after a wash).

MyGastIsFlabbered Sun 30-Mar-14 20:32:01

Also my washing never feels soft, when it's dry it feels 'crispy'.

CMOTDibbler Sun 30-Mar-14 20:39:34

I use half the amount of Lidl Formil powder, and a splash of Napisan in shirt washes.

For the washing machine, a 90', no powder wash for the towels once a week (white towels) to clean any residue out. An occasional 90' with a couple of dishwasher tablets in to deal with any grease.

I may be a slattern in many ways, but my whites are lovely smile

PigletJohn Sun 30-Mar-14 20:40:48

try the hot service wash with washing soda crystals and no powder or fabsoft just in case you have a soap residue. Clean out the pump filter and soap drawer first.

Indoor drying is not good for softness.

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