Alternative titles for this post include:
How to destroy your show clothes
How to destroy your washer
How to combine chemicals in ways that are dangerous
The point of all that is to say, do not do this. This is not a “How To,” but rather a “How I Do.” Do not try this at home.
The tech fabrics that I like to wear for showing require careful washing. If you read the laundry directions tag, it’ll say to wash on delicate cycle and not to use bleach or oxiclean. That’s all well and good until the whites get stained and won’t come clean.
Last year I had gotten to the point where my white show shirt and white breeches were so stained that I was going to have to buy new ones. So I figured I might as well go ahead and try cleaning them intensely. If it ruined them, well, I was going to replace them anyway, so I’d be no worse off than before. As luck would have it, I didn’t ruin them and I’ve been using this method for a while now with no ill effects.
I put my whites in a big bucket. Then I pour on a scoop of Oxi-clean and dump some bleach in there. I measure nothing. The combination of these two things can create toxic gases that can kill you. Don’t combine these things. Again, this is not a DIY. Do not do the things.
I fill the bucket with hot water. The clothing tags all say no hot water. I ignore this. Our sink water can reach near boiling temperatures. I cover the whites with enough water to mix them around occasionally. I often forget to do any mixing though.
I let them sit for some undetermined amount of time. A few hours or whenever I wander past them while looking for something else and remember them is about right.
I pour all of the liquid and clothes directly into the washer and then add laundry detergent. This is another thing you’re not supposed to combine. Don’t do this.
I sometimes wash on hot, sometimes on cold. It really doesn’t seem to matter. The hot soaking in toxic chemicals is the part that really gets the stuff clean.
I have used this on my tech fabric shirts and my white dressage breeches, which have fake suede. I was pretty sure it would destroy the breeches in particular because fake suede seems like something you shouldn’t bleach, but nope; they’re in great shape. This even got the black dye from the Wintec off.
I mean, look how white these things are:
And that’s how I clean my show clothes. Does anyone have a nice, safe way of actually getting their whites white? Please share.