Now that you have to wash your clothes, you should learn to do it as well as your parents did. 

Here is how to wash white clothes so you don’t ruin them.

Table Of Contents

How to Wash White Clothes

How To Wash White Clothes

Total Time: 1 hr

Cost: $0.53 (one tide pod)

  • Buy Tide Pods for $55

Carefully follow the steps below to properly machine wash your white clothing.

1. Check the care label

Check the care label on your clothing before you do any washing. The type of material your garment is made from will dictate which water temperature you can wash it with. If you are unsure, choose the safe option and use cool or cold water.

This is a photo of tall paul checking the care label on a white shirt

2. Sort your clothes 

Sort your clothes first by only washing your white clothing with other garments of the same texture, weight, and color. This is especially important if you are using hot water since hot water transfers colors from one garment to another more easily. Remove your colored clothes & dark clothes to wash them separately.

this is a photo of sorted white and colored clothes

3. Treat stains 

Treat stains on your white clothes before putting them in the washing machine so that the washing machine doesn’t accidentally make the stain worse or transfer the stain to another garment. 

this is a photo of tall paul treating a stain on a white shirt

4. Add laundry detergent

Add laundry detergents such as Tide Brights + Whites or Oxiclean White. Laundry detergent for white clothes will help to revive the bright white color of the garment. 

this is a photo of a laundry detergent on a white shirt

5. Avoid overloading 

Avoid overloading the washing machine so that your white clothing has room to mix and move around in the wash. Having ample space in the washing machine allows the dirt and residue to be lifted and washed away more effectively than if it were full. Space also allows the garment to contact the laundry detergent more easily. 

this is a photo of a non-overloaded washing machine

6. Adjust the settings 

Adjust the settings on the washing machine to normal or delicate, depending on the type of white garments you are washing. Use hot water if possible since hot water is the best way to clean and brighten white clothing. If your garment is made from shrinkable or delicate fabric, wash it in cold or cool water. Check the care label on your clothing to ensure you use the correct settings on the washing machine.

this is a photo of properly adjusted settings to wash white clothes

7. Push start 

Push start and run the wash cycle. Once the wash cycle is finished, proceed to check your clothing and dry your clothes. I suggest line drying or one of these other methods to dry clothes without a dryer.

this is a photo of tall paul pushing the start button on the washinge machine with white clothes in it

How to wash white clothes: quick tips

1. Washing regular whites

Hot water does an excellent job of cleaning and restoring white clothing. However, not all clothing can be washed with hot water. You may use warm or hot water when washing heavy clothing such as jeans, jackets, or sweaters made from certain synthetic fibers or cotton polyester blends. Refer to the garment’s care label before washing it in hot water. 

2. Washing delicate whites

Delicate white clothing items, such as garments made from 100% cotton, silk, linen, or wool, should be washed in cold water to avoid damage and shrinkage. Some of these garments may even be required by the care label to be hand washed because they are so delicate. In that case, wash in the cold to lukewarm water no hotter than 80°F/26°C and use gentle laundry detergent for whites or delicates. I can’t preach this enough; hot water will shrink your clothes.

3. Washing white towels, socks, sheets, and pillowcases

Thicker and more durable white items such as towels and sheets can be washed in hot water as they can handle much higher heat than delicate and regular white clothing. Hot water is also beneficial in these cases because it does a better job than cold water at killing bacteria and removing odors. 


White clothes should be washed with warm water and other white clothes, not colored.

You want to wash white clothes in warm/hot water because it will help make the white whiter.

Do not wash your white clothes with dark or colored clothes. If you do so, the colored clothes will bleed onto your white clothes and ruin them.

The best way to ensure your whites stay white is not to wash them with any colored clothes and always wash them in warm water.