In as many ways you can wear white clothing, there are methods to maintain them clean. Many are adamant about the whitening effects of lemons, whereas others use conventional stain-removing products. I’m in the middle, open to DIY recipes but not over some pre-packaged actions.
I chose to wear white clothing for summer because of two reasons. The primary reason factor is temperature. Residents flee New York City in droves during July. The weather is mostly responsible -warming garbage bags along the curb, reflecting the sun’s rays off the concrete and creating a climate you cannot avoid. The other, less serious reason for my wardrobe is that I hate wearing a summer dress. My ideal attire is well-layered, sophisticated and, ideally, the turtleneck. By sticking to white, I simplify my process of choosing an outfit and get getting back into the AC quicker.
The white dress code is always a risk in the city, but it’s not bad. Grills are known to be a source of spills. Don’t even think about picnics. It’s a miracle if someone makes it back home without leaving a mark. Even a stroll in the park or to the store could lead to the iconic “how did this get here?” The mystery stain is found in the middle of the night.
Some years ago, as I was preparing to embrace what I believed was a mature white-washed approach to my laundry, I started looking for a detergent that could keep my whites spotless without leaving a stench of bleach. The solution came through upon the advice of an extremely stylish editor friend. “The Laundress,” she said before turning her back when she revealed her secrets in dirty martinis. The next day, I made orders for Whites Detergent. It’s been four years since then, and I clean my sheets using them each week.
As per Hannah Yokoji, brand director of The Laundress, the detergent will do more than just whiten. “It also helps prolong fabric life, protect fibres, and keep them looking new and crisp, for longer!” she explains. “Also notable is the fact that it’s chlorine-free, so it won’t damage or fray fibres as it brightens.” The brand’s Whites Detergent is great for washing delicate vintage clothes. I simply fill my basin with lukewarm water and then add the cap of detergent and then wash it by hand.
I was determined to boost my whitening game during the hot summer days, and I decided to find a new addition to my routine. I knew that bleach was too harsh. I was looking for something cheap that I would not have to feel guilty about putting on. A couple of moments using TikTok is all that is required to discover the unrecognized star of laundry whitening: Borax. This household cleaner that has an eminent following was precisely what I was searching for.
I began my whitening experiment by adding the teaspoon of Borax to the washing machine and the laundry detergent I bought from The Laundress. The results were great and really great. So, the next time around, I decided to add an additional half cup instead. My white T-shirts had been restored to their original state. A few days ago, I scrubbed a mix of Borax and water to remove marks on the white linen dress I wore to a dinner party the day prior. The dress was like new when I washed it with my preferred detergent. Perhaps summer isn’t as awful after all.