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How do you keep white clothes white?


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#1 jo-v

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:00 PM

I've just been given a load of lovely second-hand clothes for DD (2). Included were a couple of beautifully white t-shirts and a couple of dresses, so white they look brand new. DD wore one dress yesterday and it is already STAINED BEYOND BELIEF.

I have washed it with regular powder with that vanish/napisan stuff added to the wash AND sprayed it with the vanish spray. Dried it outside in direct sunlight and you can still see all the stains.  sad.gif

How do other people keep kids clothes white? Are my kids just particularly feral??? I must admit I'm not particularly precious about clothes and yesterday involved chocolate icecream and playing in a very dirty woodchip covered park.... (in my defence we were meeting friends for lunch which was why she was wearing a nice dress, knew within 10 minutes it was a bad move).

What's the secret???? Do you keep kids locked in a clean room when they wear white clothes and not feed them all day?  blink.gif

#2 Leggy

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:05 PM

Mum used to boil our school socks (white socks, polished black shoes...you get the picture.)

You can also soak things in bleach, though this will yellow them over time. To combat that, look for blueing liquid/powder near the laundry detergents.

#3 niggles

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:07 PM

Wrong thread.

Edited by niggles, 08 February 2013 - 04:08 PM.


#4 Bluenomi

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:07 PM

I leave them in the shop for other people to buy  biggrin.gif White clothes and kids are a complete disaster.

#5 Lifesgood

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:11 PM

Watching this thread with interest...

I did have some success with white vinegar and a couple of badly yellowed swimsuits recently.

#6 ~Supernova~

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:11 PM

Both my kids are beyond feral...

Every white load I throw in some oxyaction. For really filthy clothes I soak for up to a week, after spraying and scrubbing. DS had a white dress shirt he wore to a Christmas party that could no longer be identified as white...it came up absolutely spotless after I sprayed, rubbed in some oxyaction powder, scrubbed with my hands, then soaked for a week.

ETA after a long soak, I rub in some more powder, give another scrub, then wash. I've never had an issue.

My MIL uses some little yellow block that is supposedly great. Not sure what it is called, but I see it in Coles all the time in the laundry section.

Edited by Mareek, 08 February 2013 - 04:13 PM.


#7 Belinda18

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:12 PM

Anything with stains on it gets soaked overnight in a bucket of Napisan (actually I use the Aldi brand one). Then I pour the whole bucket in the washing machine, including the water, and wash as normal. Most things get clean that way, occasionally a baby poo disaster will need to be done twice. I've even got set in stains out of second hand clothes this way.

#8 Beancat

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:14 PM

sometimes it can take a couple of washes.  My routine, which seems to work for white and light clothes is

spray the affected area with stain remover and allow to sit for 5 mins

soak the garment for 12-24 hours in a bucket with nappy san

Wash on cotton wash, for my machine this takes 2 hours (front loader).  Add some extra nappy san to the normal detergent, ie about half a cap

Only wash whites with whites

Line dry in the sun

I have found I get a much better result since having a front loader

#9 Flaxen

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:20 PM

QUOTE (Mareek @ 08/02/2013, 05:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My MIL uses some little yellow block that is supposedly great. Not sure what it is called, but I see it in Coles all the time in the laundry section.


I believe thats the sard wonder soap. I used to use that to get the stains out of my horses white tail.

I soak my DD's white clothes with napisan, in hot hot water, and sometimes repeat it, and usually that works fine, then i just throw it in the wash.

#10 B-B-M

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:21 PM

The only way i can keep white clothes white is to never EVER let the kids wear them! EVER! LOL

Once they (DD2 inparticular) dirties something white, it can not be saved. I don't buy white clothes anymore.

Edited by B-B-M, 08 February 2013 - 04:21 PM.


#11 ~Supernova~

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:24 PM

QUOTE (Flaxen @ 08/02/2013, 04:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I believe thats the sard wonder soap. I used to use that to get the stains out of my horses white tail.

I soak my DD's white clothes with napisan, in hot hot water, and sometimes repeat it, and usually that works fine, then i just throw it in the wash.


Nah, it's not Sard. It's some thing that's been around for donkey's years. From memory it is a little yellow block with white paper wrapped around the middle.

#12 RedBob

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:28 PM

It's Sunlight Soap. It does work wonders on most, but not all stains, provided they're fresh. I don't tend to buy a lot of white clothes for DD though.



#13 Jaffacakes

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:38 PM

Hmm good to be reading this... DDs school uniform includes a white polo shirt (already slightly stained after two wears  rolleyes.gif ).

#14 Isu

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:49 PM

Anything with stains I squirt dishwashing liquid on the stain, leave for about 5 minutes and depending on the stain either throw it in the machine or soak it in the Aldi oxy-action laundry soaker thingy. Only works on fresh stains, if it has already been laundered and it is white I will squirt some bleach like white king onto the stain and leave for a couple of minutes and then rinse well.  If you don't rinse bleach well it can eat away the cloth.

#15 credence

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:53 PM

Can I hijack just a bit - what about a white shirt with a school emblem on it that has gone a bit grey, any saving that?

#16 CharliMarley

Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:08 PM

I never wash my white tee shirts with all the rest of the wash, as I soak it overnight in Napisan and a bit of washing powder (biozet). The next day, I tip the lot into the washing machine and let it grow through the cycle on its own. I do this every time I wear it.

#17 Soontobegran

Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:22 PM

My steps to keeping whites white original.gif

* Always wash whites separately
*Soak all stained things in a bucket of cold water with Pink Oxyaction over night. Hot water can make the stain 'set'.
*Spray Pink Preen directly onto the stain before throwing them in the machine , I use cold water.
* Hang outside on the line in direct sunlight.

If the stain is something like red wine then I occasionally put a cap full of White King into the soak for the night.

#18 icekool

Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:34 PM

DS2! takes a few seconds to stain.

My steps:

1. For very stubborn stains, I use Sard Wonder soap (bar of soap) for about $2.50 from the laundry aisle. Rub it in with cold water. I never bother with the sprays (I don't find it concentrated enough).
2. Soak in Oxy Boost White King with COLD water - however long
3. Wash with COLD WATER OMO Extreme (gold box) in the washing machine.

Cold water removes stains in my experience.

#19 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:42 PM

I think the soap block in question is EXIT stain block.  You can get it in Target.  

This one?

http://exitsoap.com.au/about-us/

I just oxy action everything for 2 days, then wash and sun.

Edited by lifehacker, 08 February 2013 - 07:43 PM.


#20 WizzFizz

Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:45 PM

Can I just ask, what bright spark of a person at my kids school decided that boys school uniform polo shirts should be white. I mean really, seriously ? Idiot. Must have been a man. or someone who never washes clothes. ohmy.gif

Thanks for all the washing tips though guys.



#21 RealityBites

Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:53 PM

Our girls have just started a school with white polo tops. Honestly. The 4yo's three tops are still not perfect, even after soaking in napisan, preening and sun drying. Will try some of these tips!

#22 Coffeegirl

Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:57 PM

DS plays cricket and has the dreaded white sports polo shirt for school sports (with coloured embroidered logo)

Spay with stain spray, soak in napisan and hot! hot! hot water for up to a week (or over school Christmas holidays if you forgot the bucket and DH put into the cupboard when guests arrived  wwhistle.gif )

Wash all whites on hottest cotton setting with napisan added and a dash of bleach.  Dry in full sun.

I also do DH's white and coloured business shirts in Hot wash, with a dash of bleach added and napisan added to normal powder.  Always come up a treat.  

Everyday wash is cold with Omo or Tide.  



#23 iwanttosleepin

Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:05 PM

My kids school uniform has white shirts!
A white polo (with logo) for the first 2 years and then a white dress shirt with tie from year1.
WTF were they thinking - who makes a 3 year old boy wear a white shirt?  

I wash their shirts separately once a week in very hot water and with some laundry bleach.  they are still not that white anymore.

#24 Monket

Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:15 PM

I agree, hot water makes all the difference.  I spray if the stain is really bad, wash in hot, hot, hot water with napisan and washing liquid and then hang in the sun.  If that hasn't worked, I do it a second time.  I love white and my kids wear a lot of white and their clothes are still really white.

#25 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:43 PM

Agree with the hot, hot water.  I am going to start soaking mine for longer now.  I thought 2 days was a lot but maybe not.

I have a lot of white manchester that gets really dirty but it looks so nice when it's crisp and white.

Thank goodness our school shirts are dark.




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