How to Keep White Clothes White (Especially With Kids)

tips for keeping your whites white, even with kids

How in the world do I keep my white clothes white, especially with three little boys? Let me spill a few secrets. 


Outfit details: 
Olive green shirt (wearing a size XS)
White Jeans (one of my very favorite pairs!)
Pink Sandals (so comfy!)
Leather Barstools in kitchen 


I get asked all the time about how I keep my white clothes white. Especially white jeans, and especially because I have three little boys.

Today I want to share my top tips for wearing white, even when you have kids, plus a few laundry tips.

keep your white clothes white even with kids

Keep your white clothes white by planning out your day ahead of time.

If your dinner plans are Italian food, or you’re taking your kids to the park, or are going blackberry picking, white is not going to be a good choice. Obviously. I like to wear my white jeans on days when I know the kids will stay fairly clean, I won’t be eating anything that could majorly stain it, or I’m not going anywhere where I could sit in something dirty.

This seems obvious, but it makes a big difference!


Accept that fact that white clothes might get a little dirty. That’s okay.

Many of you are too afraid to wear white because you’re afraid it will get dirty. It will sometimes. That’s okay! If you want to wear white, wear white.

My kids get foot prints on my white jeans, or I get a little something from dinner on my white top. It’s not the end of the world. Everything can be cleaned. Just be careful and do your best.


Keep your white clothes white by trying stain resistant technology clothing.

Have you heard of Old Navy’s STAIN RESISTANT JEANS? If you’re too nervous to wear white jeans with little kids, try these jeans! They’re made with some crazy technology that repels stains. I personally haven’t tried them, but I’ve heard great things. Leave a comment if you have tried and loved them, or if you know of other brands who do this!


Pre-wash your stains in cold water, but wash your whites with hot water generally.

Hot water can set the stain, so pre-wash or soak in a stain in cold water, but warm/hot water keeps your whites brighter. So when you don’t have a stain, wash your whites in as warm of water as the fabric allows!


Keep your white clothes white by adding Oxyclean to your detergent.

Whenever I use powdered detergent (I like TIDE), I mix it in a large container with OXYCLEAN DETERGENT. The combination of the two makes a great stain fighter and keeps my clothes all bright and white.

I also love PERSIL PRO CLEAN detergent to keep all my whites white (and my colors bright).

Separate super dirty white items from your white clothing to keep your whites pure white.

If your kids have white soccer socks, or your husband has white gym socks, wash those separately from your white tees, dresses, or jeans. Mixing all that dirt and sweat in the washing machine can transfer from the gross items to your items.

Know the right tools to treat a stain on your white clothing before you launder.

If the item is solid white, I like to use a BLEACH PEN to remove stains. If I’m dealing with a stripe or a slight off white, I treat with a TIDE PEN or OXYCLEAN STICK and a FELS NAPTHA bar. Let it sit for a whole day and then launder. It’s gotten even really bad berry stains out of pure white shirts!



I’d love to hear more of your best laundry or outfit tips for white clothes!


photos by priscilla frey

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  1. McKenna says:

    I got orange grease stains on my white pants cleaning and tried everything… in the end dawn dish soap is what took the stain out! But love my white pants!!

  2. SandraW says:

    Presoak in powdered Cascade with water as hot as fabric care guide indicates, then launder as usual; a trick I learned as a barmaid back in the 70’s. I always had the whitest bar towels in all of Ft. Lauderdale!

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