The One Thing You Should Never Do When Washing Whites

October 19, 2016 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Style

Washing your white seems simple enough–right? Unlike colors, they are really easy to sort, you know that you can use hot water on them, and you can use a little bleach to keep them super white. Sounds easy? Not so fast–there’s one part of that equation that is actually really risky and potentially harmful with whites. It’s a common misconception, but it’s a misconception nonetheless. What is it?

READ MORE: Is There Harm In Not Washing Clothes Right Away? The Answer.

“Contrary to popular belief, using chlorine bleach on your whites is not the best course of action for keeping your favorite white pieces looking bright, as it can damage the fibers in your fabrics and even cause yellowing in some cases,” Tide & Downy Principal Scientist Mary Johnson told us. So, if you can’t use bleach–what are you supposed to do?

READ MORE: How To Wash Your Jeans So They Last Forever

To wash whites correctly, Mary suggests the following steps:

1. Deep clean your whites with a detergent designed to remove the build-up of body soils that make whites appear yellow and dingy, like Tide PODS Plus Febreze Odor Defense.

2. Combine the Odor Defense and an oxygenated bleach safe for all fabrics (like their Tide Rescue with Febreze Odor Defense) for a deep clean and brightening action.

3. Always sort whites into their own pile to prevent dye from other colors from bleeding onto the whites and discoloring them. This can happen outside the wash! (Who knew?)

READ MORE: The Millennial’s Guide To Laundry: Everything You Need To Know

[Photo: Shutterstock]


Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...


8 Straw Bags For Summer That You'll Want To Wear On And Off The Beach

One of my favorite ways to welcome a new season ...


The Perfect Summer Blouse To Wear With *Everything* Just Went On Sale For 40% Off

Even though spring and summer are all about dresses, some ...


Order This Flattering $39 Maxi Dress In Every Color While It's On Sale At Nordstrom

If you're working on stocking your closet for summer, ...


The Easy Outfit Trend That Will Instantly Become Your New Go-To Look

Remember when your mom used to dress you in matching ...


This $19 Top Is *Super* Flattering (It Hides Your Tummy!)

I don't know about you, but I'm all ...


Shoppers Can't Stop Raving About This $14 Tee--It's So Soft And Flattering

Sure summer is all about skirts and dresses, but you'...


Don't Miss Your Chance To Score This Super Popular, Stylist-Approved Bra For 40% Off

When we talk to celebrity stylists and personal shoppers about ...