How To Keep White Shirts White


Plain white shirts… something almost everyone has in their closets. After all, it’s the most versatile item in your closet: Whether you’re using it like it was originally intended – as an undergarment – or styling it out for everyone to see, a white shirt can transition into an off-white, stained tee pretty quickly.

Here are a few simple steps that you be aware of to ensure your white clothing remains white. Or, bring your white clothing into a Red Hanger location near you to undergo professional cleaning.

Avoid Aluminum in Deodorant

Preventing a mess on your white tee is better than having to clean it up. It’s a vicious cycle when it comes to deodorant stains; sadly, once those stains set in, they’re nearly impossible to remove. A common issue with white shirts is yellow underarm stains. Believe it or not, yellow underarm stains aren’t caused by your sweat. They’re actually caused by the aluminum found in many deodorant products. Aluminum is great for preventing sweaty pits, but not for keeping your white tee clean, crisp and pristine looking. A reaction occurs when the aluminum mixes with the salts of your sweat, which causes the yellow staining. This happens more often in the summertime. 

Feel free to take a look at our published blog post to learn more about caring for underarm stains on your clothing.

Keep Your Neck Clean

It’s true… dirty collars can be prevented even before you get dressed for the day. Dirt, sweat and even hair products such as sprays, gels and oils can transfer from your neck to the collars of your shirts. To avoid this, make sure to thoroughly scrub your neck in the shower and rinse it completely of hair products.

Remove Stains ASAP 

Uh Oh… you just noticed a coffee stain on your white shirt. When something like this happens, it’s best to take care of it ASAP. The longer you let a stain sit, the harder it is to get out. Using a clean towel, remove the debris, being careful not to spread the mess further.

Take a look at our blog post to learn more information on removing stains. Along with our blog post that specifically talks about removing grease and oil stains.

Keep White Shirts Separate – Always

Duh! This should be a no-brainer, but we’d rather explain it in more detail. Dyes from colored clothing leech out in the wash cycle and can lightly change the color of your white clothes, giving them a dull, grey appearance. Washing your white garments separately will help to preserve the color and integrity of your white clothing.

Use Hottest Setting When Washing

While cold water is gentler on your clothes and prevents them from shrinking, it’s not as helpful for getting rid of stains. Especially on your white garments. Although its recommended to bring your white clothing in to your reputable cleaners to undergo professional shirt cleaning methods, if you wash your clothing at home, hotter temps are better at loosening debris and breaking up oils. But, some materials can’t take hotter temperatures and will get damaged. Always be sure to follow the care label’s recommended wash instructions prior to washing your white garments.

Don’t Overload Wash

When washing white garments, make sure to give your clothes enough space. Part of the job of the washing machine is to cause agitation in order to release dirt and grime from the fibers of your clothes. In order to do so, this requires room in the machine. If you stuff the washer with too many shirts, you’ll come out with a bunch of shirts that are just wet and dirty, rather than wet and clean.

Red Hanger is Here to Help

Although at-home washing methods can help a bit when it comes to caring for white clothing, the absolute best way to care for them is to bring each garment in to your local cleaners. Even if you don’t have any stains, your local cleaners will do everything they can to get your whites sparkling. Reach out today with any questions you may have in regards to caring for white garments.