While it’s great for giving us a golden glow during the winter months, fake tan can be a nightmare when it comes to your bed sheets.
Not only do large brownish stains look unsightly, they can also be difficult to get out in the wash.
Thankfully expert Deyan Dimitrov, who is CEO of Laundryheap, a door-to-door, 24-hour dry cleaning and laundry service operating across the UK, US, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UAE, has shared his top tips for keeping your whites sparkling.
From trying out natural bleaching to keeping vinegar in your cupboard as your secret weapon, here he shares his sage advice with FEMAIL.
Deyan Dimitrov, CEO of Laundryheap, has shared his top tips for keeping your whites sparkling. Pictured: stock image
Trying a spot of home bleaching
When you’ve stained your whites, it’s tempting to head straight for the bottle of bleach.
This can either work wonders or be a disaster, so it’s essential that you use the chemical safely and effectively.
First, check the care label and only consider adding bleach if it’s safe to do so. Bleach works well on cotton, but is far too abrasive for silk and wool.
Next, wash your clothes in a machine as you normally would, and add a quarter of a cup of bleach to the machine drawer 15 minutes into the wash. This allows the detergent to work its cleaning magic first.
Home bleaching can either work wonders or be a disaster, so it’s essential that you use the chemical safely and effectively
If you don’t want to take such drastic measures, experiment with detergents with a little added bleach first, for more subtle brightening.
Similarly, if you can, opt for bio detergents, as these will remove stains more rigorously than non-bio.
Explore natural bleaching
Before bleach was commercially available, many would be left with no option than to whiten their clothes with Mother Nature’s rays.
So try heading back to basics and dry your white items on a washing line, letting the sun get to work on brightening those whites, naturally.
You could also try soaking your dull whites in some very hot water, along with a whole sliced lemon, or five crushed aspirin tablets.
Aspirin contains acetic acid, which works brilliantly as a natural cleaning agent.
Leave them overnight and wash, either as normal, or add half a cup of white vinegar to the final rinse cycle for some added softness and cleaning action.
Before bleach was commercially available, many would be left with no option than to whiten their clothes with Mother Nature’s rays. Pictured: stock image
Vinegar is your secret weapon
If hanging your clothes on the line is not an option – not surprising if you live in the UK – reach to the back of your cupboards for some home essentials.
Distilled white vinegar naturally softens, deodorises and brightens fabrics.
For best results, simply pour half a cup into your washing machine drawer during its final rinse cycle. This method also works wonders at removing any mildew smells.
If you’re looking for a bigger impact, swap a quarter of a cup of your powder detergent for baking soda.
Or you can try adding a quarter of a cup of lemon juice to your washing machine drawer during the final rinse cycle.
Banish underarm stains
Over time your beloved whites can become stained with frequent wear – especially in the summer months when it’s warmer.
To avoid – or remove – unwanted underarm stains caused by sweat and antiperspirants, soak your white tops in a solution made up of one part distilled white vinegar to two parts water.
Distilled white vinegar naturally softens, deodorises and brightens fabrics, while baking soda (or bicarbonate of soda) also helps to give them a natural boost
Leave your garments in the solution for 30 minutes before washing them normally in a machine.
This should be enough to prevent stains from setting in; for deep-set, yellowing stains, make a thick paste of baking soda, water and a little vinegar, rub it into the stain and then wash as normal.
Create an optical illusion by tinting them blue
It sounds counter-productive, but this handy hack will trick the eyes into registering a whiter white.
Blue pigments cancel out yellows, so adding a little laundry-friendly bluing solution to your white loads will have them looking impossibly white.
Bluing solutions are available at online retailers like Amazon and are super easy to use. Simply dilute a quarter of a teaspoon of bluing liquid in one cup of water, before adding this cup to the final rinse cycle.
This trick has been used for years in the cosmetics industry to make teeth appear whiter. You may be surprised to learn that many of your favourite red lipsticks contain blue pigments for this reason!
Separate whites from lights
You wouldn’t throw a bright red T-shirt in with your whites, so why would you chuck in almost-white items too?
Deyan says it’s essential to keep your whites separate from all your other coloured washing to stop them becoming dull
Avoid dulling your crystal whites by being strict with your loads; keep any creams, beiges and greys restricted to their own colour category.
To ensure your whites stay truly white, you need to separate your washing into three categories: whites, lights and coloured.
For more information about Laundryheap, please visit https://www.laundryheap.co.uk/