Whites have many faces – delicate, regular and special whites, but they have one thing in common: they all need to look impeccably bright in order to impress. Read our comprehensive guide on how to remove tough stains from white clothes and keep your whites white! What you'll find in this article:
How to remove stains from white shirts and other delicate items
It’s time to wash your favourite white shirt or white silk dress, but you’re afraid your washer is going to ruin them? Worry not, the below guide will help you end up with delicates that are stainless, bright, and undamaged.
1. Prepare for wash
Gather all your delicate whites, such as sheer blouses, shirts, and undergarments.
2. Check care label
Check the fabric care label of your clothing to make sure the items are washable. Note whether washing machine or hand washing is suggested, as well as the recommended wash temperature and drying method.
3. Load clothes
Load most of your garments into the washing machine, ensuring that there’s still enough room for your palm to fit in between your clothes and the wall of the drum.
Caring for hand-wash only items
To clean your delicate undergarments and other items labelled “hand-wash only”, follow these steps:
Dilute a small amount of Ariel in a tub or bucket of cold water
Soak your garments in the mixture
Take your items out and rinse them under running water.
4. Dose detergent
For great laundry results, add a high-quality detergent such as Ariel Matic Liquid Detergent to your wash.
Use the machine’s gentle or delicate setting, adjust the water level, and make sure the water temperature is set to a cold temperature, then press start.
Immediately unload your garments after the cycle has finished.
How to wash white linens, towels, sheets and socks
Discover how to get the rest of your white laundry items bright and clean with Ariel.
1. Prepare for wash
Gather white towels, sheets and socks that can tolerate hot washing temperatures – these will also be items that are prone to mildew, fungus, and mites. Check the labels if you're not sure. To prevent laundry accidents from happening, make sure you read our guide on how to sort clothing items.
2. Dose detergent
Add a detergent specifically designed to give you bright results at all temperatures, such as Ariel Complete. In case of stains, soak garments in a solution of warm water and Ariel Washing Powder.
Adjust your water level for the correct volume and set the machine for normal operation.
If you have a dryer, dry all of these items on high heat, or dry the sheets separately if you don't want excess towel lint on them. Alternatively, you can hang the clothes outside to let them dry naturally.
How to wash regular whites
When it comes to the question of how do you clean regular dirty white clothes, simply follow these four steps below!
1. Load clothes
Place white clothes labelled for warm-water washing in your machine. For instance, a cotton shirt and linen blouse can be washed at the same time. Set the machine on a warm temperature and on a normal or gentle operation.
2. Add detergent
Add your choice of Ariel detergent. In case of stains, pre-treat the stained area with Ariel Washing Powder: Fill a sink or bucket with warm water, then add half a scoop of washing powder. Mix the solution by hand until the detergent is completely dissolved.
Wash on your usual cycle, at the highest temperature shown on the care labels.
Hang the clothes outside to dry naturally. In case you have a dryer, dry cotton garments on high and synthetics on medium or low heat setting. You can place them all together in the dryer and take the synthetics out as soon as they are done.
Are you more of a visual type? Then watch our video guide to learn how to keep your white fabrics white!
FAQs about washing whites
Learn how to remove yellow stains from white clothes and find out how to wash white clothes with baking soda with our FAQ section!
When it comes to washing dirty white clothes, hot water will be more efficient at getting rid of germs and stains. However, in case of delicate items, you’ll want to use cold water, so as to keep your fabrics from getting damaged. For that reason, always check the garment’s fabric care label before choosing a temperature.
Chlorine bleach can be safely used to whiten cotton fabrics (in a moderate amount), but avoid using it on any other fabric types, as it may turn them yellow or grey. To bleach your white clothes, simply soak them in a bucket of cold water, add a little bleach, let them sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse in cold water and let them dry. Before choosing this method, make sure your fabrics are bleachable by checking their care label.
Baking soda is known for its natural odor control qualities and whitening capabilities and can help you enhance the brightness of your white garments. Here’s how:
Load your clothes into your washing machine
Pour half a cup of baking soda into the washing machine’s drum
Wash as usual
Enjoy your white-as-new clothes
If you notice your white laundry becoming discoloured suddenly after the wash, chances are a coloured item was free-riding with your other garments. Don’t worry, we know just what to do:
Remove the offending coloured item(s)
Soak your clothes in a mixture of cold water with a cup of distilled white vinegar
Re-wash your clothes as usual
Enjoy your newly whitened garments!
To restore the brightness of your white canvas shoes, we recommend applying the following technique:
Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 1 tablespoon of hot water into a paste.
Using an old toothbrush, apply the paste onto the stained areas of your shoes, covering these parts completely.
Place your shoes out in the sun, and let the paste dry.
After about 4 hours, knock off the dried paste from your shoes, and use your toothbrush to remove any residue.
Voilá, your shoes should be white as new!
Your whites can turn yellow either as a result of using chlorine bleach, which can yellow clothing when combined with iron and hot water, or drying your clothes on a high heat setting. You can prevent your whites from coming out yellowed from the wash by limiting your use of bleach only to cotton fabrics, and using low heat. In case the accident has already occurred, soak your yellowed garment in a mixture of lemon juice and boiling hot water for at least a couple of hours, wring it out, then wash as usual.
Follow the below steps to properly take care of your favourite white cotton dress:
Pre-treat any stains by soaking the garment in a solution of Ariel Matic Liquid Detergent and cold water.
Machine wash your white and light-coloured cotton item on the highest temperature setting allowed by the fabric care label with your choice of Ariel detergent.
Hang your dress outside to dry to make use of the sun’s extra whitening power
Now that you know everything there is to know about how to remove stains from white clothes, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying the confidence that wearing bright whites gives you! Hungry for more? Ariel has got you covered with guides on how to remove ink stains from white shirts and how to get rid of tea and coffee stains from your clothes, as well as many more tips on stain removal.
How to remove food stains from clothes
Coffee, ketchup, orange juice – these food stains are more common than you would think.
How to wash and dry white sheets and bed linen
Your bed should be a calm and peaceful retreat.
Washing baby clothes with liquid detergent
Picking the perfect detergent for your regular clothes is already a big enough challenge, but you have to be even more careful when it comes to choosing the right detergent for baby clothes.