How to Clean White Uniforms

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(Image: Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Getting clothes to stay white after wear can be a challenge. Inexpensive home remedies abound. Lemon juice, baking soda, Borax and dishwashing detergent are some of the products said to improve whiteness. Of course, there is the time-proven method of bleach, and laundry detergents often advertise on their packaging that they will help keep whites white. Washing a uniform, depending on its design and whether it requires hand washing, shouldn't be any different.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Detergent
  • Washing machine (optional)
  • Bleach
  • Baking soda
  • Dish detergent (optional)
  • Borax (optional)

Pre-treat Stains

Step 1

Rub either a bar of soap, liquid detergent or a paste of powdered detergent and water on any pre-existing stains or marks on the uniform.

Step 2

Let clothes sit with the pre-treatment for 30 minutes to a couple of hours (for grease stains).

Step 3

Add clothes to the rest of your wash load.

Machine Wash Clothes

Step 1

If using a washer and dryer, turn the cycle on hot water. If you choose to use cold water to save energy, make sure you are using a cold water detergent, and know that cold water itself does not kill germs.
Use cold water and bleach to kill germs.

Step 2

Add either 1/2 cup of bleach or 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water. Don't overload the machine. Clothes will not get clean if they don't have room to be tousled with the water and soap.

Step 3

For a high level of whitening, add 1/2 cup dish detergent, 1/4 cup Borax and 1/4 cup of water softener to the hot water cycle.

Tip

  • If you don't have access to a washing machine, you can try hand washing your uniform. Keep the washing ingredients the same, use hot water and let your hands (instead of the machine) do the scrubbing.

    If the uniform is of a delicate fabric, hand washing may be best. You can use body wash or shampoo as a delicate soap that won't harm the fabric.

    If the uniform has expensive buttons, ribbons, sequins, beads or other additions, it may be best to take it to a dry cleaner.

Warning

  • Bleach can cause stains, yellowing fabric and holes in fabric. Be careful to follow the instructions to the letter. Always mix bleach with water thoroughly before adding clothes to it.

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