Although most people assume dry cleaning is the best way to treat whites, it's actually better to wash them yourself. A good cotton shirt needs a 40c wash but make sure your check the label for all the information that's unique to your garment. Fashion whites often have certain details or embellishments that can affect the way you need to wash them. Also, never wash your whites with colours - it's a sure fire way to leave them looking dull and tired.
Avoid using bleach in a wash as it can turn your favourite shirts or bras yellow. Adding a scoop of a reputable brightening product like Vanish Oxi Action Crystal White is a great way of keeping your whites bright as when you first wore them. It has a special formula that not only gets rid of tough stains and dirt but also leaves your whites up to 3 shades whiter without damaging the fabric.
To protect your shirts or blouses, make sure you unfasten the buttons prior to washing them as pressure in the drum can loosen the stitching. Also try to dry your clothes on hangers to prevent creasing.
Invest in a good steam iron if you want the best results with minimal time and effort. The steam gets into the fabric and helps to moisten stiff creases, so they are easier to remove. Delicate items are also best treated with a steam iron as you can use a minimum temperature setting with a maximum steam setting. If your shirt is made from a stretch fabric or has a lot of give in it, avoid using the iron on too hot a temperature.
Try to group whites together in your wardrobe so you don't get any colour rub from dark clothes. If you are running out of space, try to look for any items that could go in drawers. Having clothes too tightly packed can damage collars and sleeves.
It seems like common sense but you'd be amazed at how many garments are damaged through carelessness. If you are cooking a meal with oil or enjoying a glass of red wine at home, remember to put on an apron or a jumper to protect your whites. The same goes for looking after your whites on the go. If you're travelling on the bus or the train during rush hour, consider throwing on a light-weight top that won't make you too warm, but will protect your whites from unwanted dirt and stains.
5. Treating stains
Naturally it's impossible to avoid stains altogether. Whether it's an accident with some food sauce or the inevitable yellowish sweat stains that come with wearing whites in hot weather, there is plenty you can do to treat them. A stain remover like Vanish is indispensable when it comes to treating those ugly marks on collars, cuffs and underarms. Simply apply some of your stain remover to the affected area with a toothbrush prior to the wash, just don't rub too hard or you could end up damaging the fabric.