Although high quality thermals can last many years, many people find that the undergarments develop yellow or brown tinged stains that look pretty ugly. These stains don’t mean that you have not looked after your clothes, or have not washed them – it is a pretty normal result of wear.
When people think of stain removal they tend to think of dry cleaning – it works for most other clothes, so why not for thermals? The fact is though that chemical dry cleaning is NOT a good idea for getting stains out of thermal underwear.
One – the cost is usually not worth it.
Two – chemical residue in underwear is potentially quite unhealthy…think skin rashes.
Three – there are much simpler, cheaper, and easier ways to whiten up your thermals! Here’s how I do it.
1. Hang them out to dry. Wash them and hang them in the sun. UV rays in sunlight are great at bleaching, and will also remove odours very well. A full day in the bright sun, with any yellowed patches turned to the light, is often enough to cure even really browned underarm thermal tops. This is a good preventative for thermal long johns and other underwear too.
2. Wash – and really wash – by hand. A washing machine only agitates, it does not scrub. put on some gloves, sprinkle on some gentle washing powder on your thermals, and scrub the fabric for a few minutes. Then dry in the sun.
3. Laundry bleach. Not really a safe or gentle wash, but still cheaper and less toxic than the dry cleaners place. Bleach is not at all good for woollens and silks, so use it only on small patches. Don’t soak the whole garment (unless it is seriously yellow and brown all over and you have nothing to lose), rather just mix up a small batch of bleach and water and dab this onto underarm/ other yellowed areas of the thermal underwear.