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?
“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?)