If you’re like me, you probably have a handful of undershirts that you prefer wearing over others. For me, I have a couple favorite undershirts that I rotate through sleeping in every night, and due to the amount of wear these undershirts get, they have been washed a ton of times.
Now, I don’t know how it is in your household, but my lovely wife pretty much forbids me from doing the laundry. I think she thinks I’ll mess it up somehow, even though I lived on my own for 10+ years and I’m a pretty self-sufficient guy. Like many others, the Mrs. regularly uses liquid bleach on the whites, and while solutions like Clorox do a good job in cleaning whites, over time and many washings, my nice bright white undershirts tend to dull over time.
For those unaware, when fabric is initially knitted, it’s usually in the form of what is called greige goods (undyed/unbleached fabric). This means that to get your white shirts really white, manufacturers will usually dye the fabric white.
So, it’s logical to assume that if you wash and chemically treat your white undershirts frequently, over time, you will essentially wash the white color right out of your undershirts!
Here’s an email from a reader who was looking for a way to brighten up his dull, yellowing undershirts (not yellow pit stains):
I hope you can help me. My favorite brand of undershirt (Life by Jockey) has been discontinued, and I start a new job soon that requires me to where a button-down oxford without a tie. The type of job that it is (selling advertising to small business owners), I will need to wear an undershirt everyday, and since I am starting out on this new job, I don’t have the kind of funds to go out and buy a bunch of new things. A majority of my undershirts are yellowed because I have had them for a long time. What is the best remedy you know of that I can use to clean up my undershirts so my yellowed crew necks don’t show through my button down.
Thanks for your help.
one idea would be for you to pick up some white rit dye or some rit dye – white wash and use it on your yellowing shirts to bring back the whiteness.i’ve never tried it to bring back white, but i’ve used rit dye very successfully to dye white undershirts other colors.
other than that, i don’t know anything off hand that will remove yellow from the collar of the shirts. that said, there are a couple articles on my site that might be worth a look. this one in particular might be of interest:
keep me posted!
I picked up some RIT white wash and just threw about 10 of my yellow undershirts to soak in the washer.
Here are the results of my Whitewash:
The undershirts I washed in RIT Whitewash came out significantly whiter than they went in as. In fact here is a shot of one of my undershirts which was as yellowed as the cream colored overshirt (natural color) I am wearing, so you can see how white it came out.
Interestingly I threw a bunch of the Hanes T-shirts in there that I don’t really wear because I don’t like the quality and they did not come out as white as the Jockey or Life underwear I have most of.
Category: Ask Tug