The crisp, white shirt – it’s a fashion classic for both men and women. It never goes out of style and it can be paired with anything from tuxedo pants to a denim mini skirt. However, this wardrobe staple requires more specified care than one might think. A good quality, cotton-weave, white shirt is best maintained by washing it in the washing machine and not being dry-cleaned. This will require a bit of work on your part, but in the end your white shirt will always be noticed as the crispest and whitest of them all.
Before washing, inspect the shirt for any stains around the collar, cuffs or underarms. Pre-treat them as soon as you find them as lingering stains discolor and weaken fabric. Wet the area with water, add stain remover and scrub it with a toothbrush until the stain disappears. Next, you will keep your shirt looking ultra-bright by using a specially formulated detergent for whites and the hottest temperature the fabric can withstand – the hotter the better. Obviously, do not mix any colored clothing with your whites (and especially when your best white shirt is in the load). Bleaching is a two-edged sword. If used too frequently it will cause your shirt to yellow, so be sure to use it on a VERY occasional basis. A brightening additive, such as Oxy-Clean, can be used with each washing and doesn’t damage the fabric fibers. The best way to preserve the ultimate longevity of your shirt is to allow it to air-dry on a hanger and never put it in the dryer, as the dryer will weaken the fabric and slowly erodes the fibers. Once it’s dry, you’ll have to iron it with a steam iron for the crispest look possible. For the best results, and to prevent the shine that sometimes come with steam ironing, use an ironing-cloth between the shirt and the iron. Finally, hang your shirt on a wooden hanger to maintain its ideal shape and it’s now ready to wear with anything.