Published: June 24, 2018 Updated: April 04, 2020 2 min read
Summer is officially here, which means it's time to break out your summer whites - the ultimate closet staple for effortless style. While we love the beachy bohemian vibes of an all-white outfit, but, when it comes to keeping clothes from turning yellow and looking dingy, the struggle is real. Don’t worry, we have you covered, try these tips to keep your clothes sparkling all season long.
Bleach could be the reason your clothes are turning yellow. Detergents like Clorox contain chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) which doesn’t mix well with petroleum-derived synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon. It actually breaks the fibers down and makes them turn yellow faster.
Clorox isn’t all bad though, it's great for whitening natural fibers like cotton. Just don’t use it too often or your clothes will start to look worn out.
For polyester and nylon try an oxygen bleach like OxiClean - sodium percarbonate. It’s basically a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide that will keep synthetic fibers their whitest.
If you're trying to go all natural, try washing soaking your clothes in vinegar or lemon juice.
Optical brighteners also are known as fluorescent brightening agents and can be added to your laundry to make your whites sparkle… literally.
Optical brighteners work by using fluorescence, it’s the same type of technology that gives highlighters that glowing color. The brighteners absorb yellow light and then emit blue light. This doesn’t just make clothes look whiter but actually brighter!
It is believed that optical brighteners aren't easily biodegradable and may bioaccumulate, so their long-term effects on the planet are still unknown.
Bluing agents work the same way as a color corrective concealer. By using colors opposite one another on the color wheel we can cancel colors out. With makeup, green will hid a red blemish, and orange will make dark undereye circles disappear.
Blue will make your yellow clothes look whiter. Bluing agents add a small amount of blue dye to clothes during laundering. By adding a microscopic blue tint, the yellow is canceled out and your white will pop again.
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