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How do you keep white shirts white?

(19 Posts)
dingdong05 Mon 24-Aug-09 11:08:39

My ds has just started school and am now forced to have white shirts which will not stay white if I'm left to my own devices! I've avoided white things for years because having off white whites drives me mad!

foofi Mon 24-Aug-09 11:13:10


MaryBS Mon 24-Aug-09 11:14:35

Soaking in soda crystals for bleaching.

dingdong05 Mon 24-Aug-09 11:18:30

is that vanish in the washing machine?

AMumInScotland Mon 24-Aug-09 12:33:31

I make sure if I'm doing whites, then it's only whites in that batch. That way they don't get the all-over-pale-grey effect. And I soak them in Biotex if they're getting mucky round the collars or cuffs.

ThisIsWhyYouWereToldNotTo Mon 24-Aug-09 12:34:36

Whites only washing. Biological powder that is NOT specified as for "colours". Vanish helps.

<anal and obsessive>

hatwoman Mon 24-Aug-09 12:38:37

never ever wash them with anything other than white. vanish on the grubby bits on the collar and - best tip I was even given - short sleeves. ie no cuffs to scrape along their pencil/felt-tip/chalk daubings

ThisIsWhyYouWereToldNotTo Mon 24-Aug-09 12:41:18

Ooh yes short sleeves are fabulous.

BUT... school paint doesn't come out of your basic school shirt (think you would need 100% cotton or something). I hate that. Little pale orange marks that wouldn't come out no matter what I tried <sob>

Countingthegreyhairs Mon 24-Aug-09 16:11:40

Definitely wash all whites together

Also, temp v. important: if you wash whites at too high a temp, they sort of go grey!

Therefore I always have two piles of whites one for more sort of delicate whites like fancy t-shirts and tops which I wash at 30°c nd one for more robust whites such as towels and cotton knickers (that you need to wash at 60°c and above for hygiene purposes)

A good idea not to let your dcs wear a white top more than once as harder to get entrenched dirt out at low temps

Vanish stain stick is brilliant for individual stains.

For adult white tops put white vinegar on underarms to get rid of any potential sweat stains

[even more anal and obsessive than ThisisWhy grin]

ThisIsWhyYouWereToldNotTo Mon 24-Aug-09 17:26:09

Lol I rarely wash anything at 60 - did oodles of research into it with nappies and pretty much all the bugs you kill at 60, you kill at 40 too.

pasturesnew Mon 24-Aug-09 17:29:41

That's interesting TIWYWTNT (sorry looks like I am calling you a twit, doesn't it? sorry about that!) as I always thought bedding had to be done at 60 but if 40 is OK that's a lot more eco-friendly and cheaper.

I like whitener sachets for my whites, and am also a fan of Vanish for collars etc.

ThisIsWhyYouWereToldNotTo Mon 24-Aug-09 17:38:09

Lol, should prob change my name

Yup, if cloth nappies are fine on 40 (normally recommended to do the occasional 60 wash just as belt n braces kind of thing) then bedding will be fine.

Anste Mon 24-Aug-09 18:23:45

I agree with most of the comments ONLY wash white with white, never cheat. Countinthegreyhairs has the a perfect answer!!

Countingthegreyhairs Mon 24-Aug-09 19:51:58

Why thank you Anste [gleam of obsessive in eye/maniacal grin grin]

Point taken about eco-friendliness and cost etc - agree machines and powders are much more able to wash at low temps nowadays - 'twas just thinking about occasions when there are viruses about or nits [yuck] or worms [double yuck] or vomit or anything else unsavoury ....

dingdong05 Tue 25-Aug-09 10:08:43

Thanks everyone!
Right, I need to:
wash white shirts after one wash.
only wash whites with whites
Wash them at... would 30 do? Or what about a quick wash?
get a vanish stick

I've already learned not to tumble the whole uniform together as the shirts end up covered in grey fuzz

MaybeAfterBreakfast Tue 25-Aug-09 19:25:38

Prewash with Biotex (and only wash whites with whites).
40 degree wash.
Not quick wash.

FourArms Wed 26-Aug-09 09:56:31

Depending on the type of school jumper, they end up covered in fluff for a few weeks when the jumpers are new. If it's a sweatshirt style, could you wash it a few times to stop this (might have to be inside out?).

I stick with whites only in white washes, and all seems fine.

AMumInScotland Wed 26-Aug-09 10:59:23

Yes, sweatshirts will cover everything in fluff - I find a few inside-out washes gets rid of the worst, but you'll still get some. Luckily DS has gone for nice cotton jumpers this time, and his shirts are staying lovely so far...

prettybird Wed 26-Aug-09 11:15:47

In addtion to all the advicve already received re washing whites with whites and using non colour wash, I'd add drying them outside on sunney days where possible. Sun is an excellent bleacher!

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