How to Keep White Shirts Stain-Free and Looking New


A crisp white shirt always looks sharp and chic, unless it's dingy or stained. To keep white button-down shirts looking as new as the day you bought them, treat spills and perspiration stains promptly and have a regular routine for washing your white shirts separately from the rest of the laundry.

  • Wash the shirts separately to avoid dye transfer from even light colored clothing.

  • Wash immediately after wearing. Stains from perspiration can cause yellowing, so the quicker you wash the shirt, the less time these stains have to set in and become difficult to remove. If you don't have time to wash, pre-treat the shirt underarms with laundry detergent rubbed into the fabric from the wrong side.

  • Wash white shirts in warm water rather than cold -- or hot, which can set stains. Don't skimp on detergent -- too little and the shirts may not come clean. Rinse shirts thoroughly; soap residue can turn white shirts grey and dingy.

  • Remove food stains promptly. Use the back of a spoon or knife to gently scrape off food solids. Flush the stain with cool, clear water. Blot the remaining stain with a clean cloth. Pre-treat the stain with laundry detergent. If a stain remains, check the fabric care label to make sure the fabric is bleach safe and soak with bleach, or use an oxygen bleach, before washing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the care label of your white shirts before using chlorine bleach. Bleach may cause shirts made with synthetic fabric blends to discolor.

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