6 genius tricks for keeping your favorite white T-shirt stain-free all summer


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Photo: Stephen Zeigler

While I don’t personally prescribe to the thought that white can only be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day (hey, winter whites are a chic trend I’m not letting go of anytime soon!), it must be acknowledged that my whites—especially my white T-shirts!—definitely get exponentially more use during those summer months. What’s more? There are also a ton of obstacles that make it decidedly harder to keep them pristine than there are during fall and winter. Sweat, grass stains, BBQ condiments, rosé spillage…the list goes on.

As such, I’ve developed a rule book of sorts to try to help keep them working overtime all summer long. Below, my favorite tips and tricks to not only help minimize (and dare I suggest prevent) staining your bright white T-shirts, but also a little help if you do run face-first into one of those aforementioned sticky situations.

1. Clean your whites often

Even if you don’t think you sweat at all, let alone “all that much,” wash your white T-shirts after nearly every wear this summer. Sweat has a pesky way of remaining totally clean and clear for weeks until you pull that would-be clean tee out of your drawer the next time you’re looking for something classic to wear and realize that the underarms and neckline have begun to turn a less-than-flattering shade of yellow.

2. Prioritize your white T-shirts

Did you splurge on a perfect white T-shirt that costs more than the full-blown outfit you wore yesterday, but is just so perfect that you couldn’t say no? Keep it just as perfect as ever by choosing a more affordable and durable option for those sweaty summer errand runs or messy picnic in the park, and reserve your luxury tee for cocktail party pairings.

3. Be prepared

Tide to Go ($3) is about to become your best friend. If you happen to drip that little bit of something on your clean white T-shirt, don’t wait until it’s set in and never-to-be-removed. Grab that slim pen from your bag and dab a bit of the magical solution onto your top to try to nip it in the bud before it’s too late.

4. Don’t be afraid of natural remedies

If you’re not into bleach, consider adding natural additives to your wash, like baking soda or lemon. The former (baking soda) provides for a great few-hour soak pre-wash, while the latter (lemon juice) is better when added by the half-cup to a load of laundry itself.

5. Turn to technology

Didn’t think laundry was a job for the tech gods? Think again. With apps like Clorox’s myStain, you can search stains from “burger drip” to coffee; grass and ice cream alike to get a step-by-step guide to the best way for removal.

6. When all else fails… it’s tie-dye time

Might we suggest a fun DIY project when that white T-shirt is too far gone? This is practically what one of the biggest trends of the season was made for! That’s right, we’re talking about tie-dye. If you’ve somehow wound up with that stain that won’t come out, a yellowing tee that was once bright white, or a top that’s been loved a little too much, have a little tie-dye fun and repurpose it into something totally different!

Here’s the fastest way to get makeup out of a white tees, and *this* is how to remove blood stains from your sheets.

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