Got a question on Shop Girls last week that led to an unexpectedly lively discussion about how to keep whites white. I’ve long subscribed to the advice of my best gay friend (yes, the gay is relevant in this case. Can you recall ever seeing a gay man in yellowed whites?): fill the washer with warm water and mix in bleach before throwing in the clothes to ensure an even wash. But my listeners are laundry pros – several called in with these suggestions:

  • Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing – An age-old, non-toxic, biodegradable blue liquid that doesn’t clean, but adds a microscopic blue particle to whites, which makes them appear brighter.
  • Blue shirt remedy – An even lower tech alternative with the same basic idea, one caller suggested throwing a blue shirt in with whites.
  • Soilove – An expensive laundry detergent with a cult-like following, said to be especially good at removing perspiration stains and whitening whites.

Eat your heart out, Martha Stewart!