I know fascinating topic. DS starts school soon and has to wear white shirts. He's a mess magnet and I know they will come home dirty. This is why he never wears white . Our washer tends to turn whites grayish. What can I do to keep the white shirts as white as possible? I cant afford to replace them just because they're dinghy. Is there a washing powder you can recommend?
I do a weekly white wash when DS gets in from school on Fridays. (He had enough for one a day). I do all his school shirts and whatever else white needs doing - we have had a seperate whites laundry basket (for everyone) since DS started school. I always wash the whites with Vanush for whites. And I agree with the point about better quality shirts standing up better. DS has had the same white shirts from Next since he started 2 years ago. They wash really well, and stand up to the odd bleaching when really grubby too. He had a couple of supermarket ones too, as spares, which yellowed with far less use.
And be prepared to lower your standards or replace shirts .... However much you manage to wash out mud, grass stains, baked beans, glue and paint, the day will come when your child comes home with indelible pen on their clothes.
Stick them in cold water to soak when he takes them off each day - various spillages and stains will work their way out then, and then, as everyone says, only wash whites with other whites, and at a slightly higher temperature than you might otherwise. Once they've gone a bit grey, you can soak for a few hours in diluted bleach (a big 'gloop' in a bucket of water), rinse, and wash again. Also agree with sunlight being a good bleach.
your washing machine isn't responsible for turning things grey/dull. It's your washing process that does.
Always seperate your loads - dark coloures, light coloures and whites. There is no need to soak whites, just make sure you wash them on a hot wash (anything above 50 degrees) with a biological or non biological powder, NOT a colour powder or liquid. Bio and non-bio powder contains oxygen bleach which keeps whites white and coloures bright. Liquid's don't. And because it's oxygen bleach and not chlorine bleach, it won't damage the fabric or turn it bright orange.
Liquid detergent is fine for darks but powders are definitely better for whites and anything that is heavily stained or gets a lot of wear like bedsheets or dishcloths.