OT- men's undershirts

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ajuly09. Show ajuly09's posts

    OT- men's undershirts

    I totally feel like a 50's housewife asking this question! How do you keep undershirts white?  I end up buying DH new shirts about every 6 mon. because they get yellow or brownish, it seems like after even a few wears. I tried buying the cheaper hanes ones (instead of polo or higher end brands from TJmaxx) since I was buying them so often, but those seemed to discolor even quicker.  I've added borox to our whites, tried detergent with bleach, nothing seems to work.  I am assuming sweat stains must be permanent...any tips?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Leila32. Show Leila32's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    I prefer oxyclean over bleach.

    My grandmother told me to keep a bar of lye soap around for laundry.  She said to rub some soap on the armpit area (or wherever else tends to yellow) before throwing it in the hamper.  That way, if you don't wash it right away the stain won't set in. 

    I rarely do my husbands laundry, so I don't do this very often, but it seemed to work for a couple of my shirts.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    try soaking them in white vinegar.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    July try Cascade.  My mom used to work in a cafeteria at a school and she had to wear white uniforms, she swears by it.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    Here's an article about water temperature for laundry.  One reason we're having trouble keeping whites white is that the gov't has regulated hot water in washers to be no "hotter" than ~100 degrees instead of the 130 that washing machines are designed to give you when you choose a hot wash.   But, water becomes a better solvent the hotter it is, and bleach and detergent work best, therefore, in conjunction with hot water.  You can get a repair guy to override the gov't installed temperture reducing chip and allow your washer to give you hot water if you want it, and then your whites will be whiter.  It's why the bleach doesn't work anymore imo.

    Aside from that, I second both of Leila's suggestions.  Oxyclean works MUCH better in hot water, though, so you can get the most out of it if you soak the shirts in water as hot as your water tank will heat it in the sink first.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    I am FAR FAR FAR from laundry guru-dom, but I've always been told that hot water causes stains to set in.  But then, if bleach and Oxyclean and the like work better in hot water, what does one do?

    During my single days, I used to go to a laundromat owned by a Chinese lady.  She was ALWAYS there, by herself, open to close, 7 days/week.  And it was the kind of place where you could drop off your laundry for her to do and she'd charge by the pound.  Her English wasn't very good, but one day after I'd been going there a while, I asked her how to get armpit stains out.  She told me to pour liquid detergent directly on them, SCRUB it in, rinse under running water, and repeat.  It did work, but it took several repetitions, and eventually I stopped bothering with it.

    DH's grandparents owned a drycleaning business for YEARS...I suppose I could ask them to give me a lesson in doing laundry next time I see them.  My mother basically told me to wash sheets/towels/underwear in hot and everything else in cold and to dump in the right amount of detergent.  And that's pretty much what I do.  I'm sure there's more to it.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    Hot water makes colors run because it cleans better.  It's literally cleaning the color out of clothes.  That's why whites are washed in hot water.  It cleans best, there's no color to fade, and sheets and towels are sturdy enough to handle it.  The article I linked to explains what hot, warm, and cold water washes are for.  Cold is gentlest, but its cleaning power, therefore, is the least.  Warm (which is what you get on the "hot" setting now, as per the gov't), is a compromise of gentler than hot but higher sovent power than cold.

    I am a 50s housewife, can you tell?  Wink
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedFishBlueFish. Show RedFishBlueFish's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    Hot water (and/or the heat from the dryer) can sometimes have the opposite effect and set the stain. It depends on what the stain is.

    But I am confused: how does a washing machine know the temperature of the water? When I put mine on "hot" it only takes water from the hot tap and vice versa for "cold" and you can clearly see that it takes longer to fill than when "warm" (which is a mixture of both) is used.

    Then it would seem that the water temperature comes from whatever temperature you set your hot water tank. When I had one replaced, they set it way too high and I almost got burned in the shower, putting the control at the same "temperature" as always. I had to adjust the heater in the cellar to lower the maximum temperature, which is also an energy savings. I don't think the washing machine itself has any impact on temperature whatsoever, unless I'm really wrong on how the plumbing mechanics work. It makes no sense.

    ETA: I also can't find any regulations anywhere that state the government has put controls on maximum water temperature. I'm genuinely curious, because I've never heard anything like that and it smells like conspiracy more than reality.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    Consumer Reports says this about the reduction in the ability of washers to clean clothes (bold added):

    Washers have become more energy-efficient over the last 10 years. Recently, some manufacturers took shortcuts to meet the federal energy standards—they lowered the water temperature and sacrificed cleaning ability in the process.

    It's in this report:  Consumer Reports Washers

    So, maybe the temperature lowering, per se, wasn't mandated, but the energy requirements are and there you have it.  If your clothes aren't getting clean, you might want to investigate how hot your water is allowed to get in your washing machine.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedFishBlueFish. Show RedFishBlueFish's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    Right, but the washing machines themselves don't do anything to the temperature because a basic washing machine doesn't have a heating or cooling mechanism. It comes from the water in the pipes in your home. That's how the machine works.

    Water heaters can still produce very hot water (up to 150F), but it's not recommended both for energy efficiency and (especially for homes with small children) the very real risk of a burn from the hot tap. Most people keep their hot tap at a maximum level that won't result in an ER visit if you aren't paying attention.

    Dishwashers do have a heating element, so that's a different story. Washing machines don't.

    ETA: Some of the super high-efficiency ones use hardly any water (I think less than a gallon per load), so those probably do sacrifice some cleaning ability in exchange for high efficiency.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    No, of course, they do not have water heaters.  But, some washers do electronically control the heat of the water by controlling the flow of hot and cold water coming in so the mixed water is a certain temperature.  Those are the ones that can have the chips that change the factory setting for "hot" to "warm" without the consumer knowing it.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedFishBlueFish. Show RedFishBlueFish's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    Really? I would think only really expensive machines would have that. The one I have was purchased less than 10 years ago and it has three settings: hot, warm, and cold. It takes the water directly from the tap, both for hot and cold, neither of which mix. That could make sense for the ones that have 5 temperature settings, since the machine needs to know that somehow.

    I'm in the market for a new washer/dryer later this summer, though, so I will be paying more attention then. It still isn't something that's the norm on every single machine, though, because even that report states that it's only some.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    I think part of the problem with armpit stains specifically is deodorant residue.  In my husband's oldest undershirts, the underarms are not just yellow, but also have a deodorant residue.
    I don't have any advice, I just have given up on armpits.  Although I may try OxiClean.
    I "do the laundry" at our house, but if it requires anything other than chucking it in the machine, forget it.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    Oh, I hope you'll read that CR article before you buy a washer - there is very surprising (to me, anyway) stuff in there that would influence my purchase decision in a way that I wouldn't have expected at all.  And, if you don't have a membership, trust me, it's worth buying just for this article before you buy a washer.

    No, it's not every single one, but I mentioned it simply because if you're washing with bleach and picking the hot setting it should get the clothes clean.  If it doesn't I'd count that chip as a suspect worth investigating.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    Medford, you should try the Cascade it worked wonders for my mother and I tried it with my son's white school uniform shirt.  It even got out some mystery stain he coudn't identify.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    Do you put the cascade right in the washing machine, or saok the shirt in it first?  Also, liquid or poweder Cascade?  This possibility fascinates me for some reason.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from ajuly09. Show ajuly09's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    sounds like I have a lot of options here to try. Maybe I should write a blog about the trials and tribulations of trying to get underarm stains out of men's shirts.    
      Some of the new washers have a heating element, but they are more expensive. We def. need a new washer, maybe we should look into them..
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    I can't stress reading everything CR has to say about all the different types and brands of clothes washers before you buy one.  CR is usually a decent resource, but in this case I think it's absolutely essential reading.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    I have no idea how this will work in the washing machine, but I have had really good luck w/ plain old baking soda. I had white dress pants w/ a stain, so I used some Tide to go and then got a bleach target-like stain around the original small stain.  :-(  I hand washed it out w/ baking soda. Super white!  I wanted to try it in the washing machine, but didn't know how it would  translate in an HE washer, and we are renting.  But I have never gotten things so white before.  Bleach tends to yellow whites. 
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    Novem, I usually just pour some in with the wash if I have a tough stain I can't get rid of.  I only tried the powder because that's what my mom said she used.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    We have an HE washeer (top loading, not front) and it DEFINITELY gets clothes cleaner than the older style we had before (could be that it was on it's last legs anyway...)  I don't have an answer on the armpits, other than bi-yearly replacement, which is pretty much what we do - a steady supply of cleaning rags as a result!

    My SIL reccomended ZOUT for tough stains (Target has it, some grocery stores)  and it works awesome!  NOTHING my 3yo has come home with from daycare has beat it!  I keep meaning to keep one upstairs near the kids laundry, as I think it helps to pre-treat sometimes
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    We have a HE machine, front loading, and if you're looking at one I do recommend it. However, a simple wash takes over an hour! the sanitize or baby wash takes over 2 hours. Ours does have a heating element to get the water temp up to 140 degrees.

    I'm a big convert to vinegar! I got some nasty smells out of some old towels and some stains out of them too by simply washing them in vinegar, drying them, then washing them again with a little tide.

    I know if you soak the shirts in white vinegar prior to washing it should take the stains out. And it doesn't smell of vinegar afterwards!

    I have noticed our cold wash on the HE machine does wonderful things to our clothes-they come out much cleaner and nicer looking than our old machine did.

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from lukeseri58. Show lukeseri58's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    pardon the ignorance - but what is an HE washer?
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    High Efficiency (meaning front loading, low water).  It requires special laundry soap that doesn't have ingredients to make suds.  And, I don't think they get clothes as clean as the old, top loading agitator kind...
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: OT- men's undershirts

    HE = High Efficiency

    I came on to read these posts because I was fascinated that a thread with this title had 23 posts!  I'm lucky if I happen to remember an article of dirty laundry has a stain on it between the time it goes in the hamper to the time it gets thrown in the washing machine... If I do remember, it gets a spray of stain-remover on it before getting thrown in.  Every christmas DH gets new undershirts.

    I have noticed, however, that the armpits of his shirts don't seem to get stained since he started using Tom's of Maine deodorant.  That stuff does NOT work for me, but it works for him (he is not stinky), so perhaps that is another avenue to try re: getting rid of stains.

    ETA: I picture adding Cascade to the washer resulting in a scene like that from an old Brady Bunch episode...
     
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