No matter how you try, your white clothing, sheets, and towels will begin to dim with time, wear, and washing. Bleach is not always the best answer. Because too much bleach on white clothes can begin to yellow them or damage the cloth itself. Read on for ten ways to whiten clothes without using any bleach, simply and inexpensively. But before that, we will explain to you why do white clothes dim or turn grey.
Why do white clothes dim or turn grey?
Even if you are doing your laundry properly, your white clothes will eventually turn grey and less brilliant. There are many reasons this happens; some can be changed, and some can’t. Here are some reasons that your white clothes are no longer the clean, sparkling white that they once were:
• The most common reason for your whites to dim and become grey is that you aren’t separating your wash. Light and white colors should always be washed alone to prevent darker colors from transferring on to them. If this happens to your favorite white shirt, put it back in the wash immediately as hot as you can; do not put it in the dryer. There is a good chance the dye will wash back out again. Washing lightly soiled whites with heavily soiled clothes is also a reason that your favorite whites aren’t as bright as they used to be.
• Yellowed whites tend to be the result of using liquid chlorine bleach, which can have a chemical reaction with minerals commonly found in your water. Rather than adding chlorine bleach, go for a detergent that has bleach or a bleach alternative added to it, or tries the oxygen-powered products like OxiClean.
• White clothes can also fade when you are using too much detergent or packing the clothes too tightly into your washer. The soap suds need to be able to wash the dirt away and be rinsed clean from your clothing. If a clean rinse can’t happen, the dirty soap will get caught in the fabric of your whites and cause them your whiten clothes to fade.
• Whites will dim if you are washing them in cold water; read the label to see what setting is recommended for your white clothes. Try to wash your whites in the hottest setting you can to keep them brighter, using a laundry detergent that is made for whites.
• Avoid wearing your white clothes for more than a time or two before washing them. Clothing collects dirt and perspiration that we can’t see and washing your whites more often can help remove them before they build up and cause your clothes to dim. When you see spots or stains, pretreat them as soon as you can to keep them from setting in.
• Your water may also be hard or have high contents of iron, which can fade whites or turn them grey. There are laundry additives that fight iron levels in the wash. If you suspect that you have high iron levels, never use liquid chlorine bleach; try for the bleach alternatives instead. Other minerals commonly found in hard water may also be the culprits for your grey whites.
• White clothing is often produced with temporary artificial whitening chemicals that will eventually wash out; it is possible your white clothes will never be as pristine as when you first bought them because they were treated to look whiter than they will ever be able to remain.
From water quality to artificial marketing ploys, you can see that there are many factors at play here, and many things are conspiring to turn your whites into anything but whites.
Ways to whiten clothes without using any bleach:
Don’t despair. There are many ideas for brightening your whites clothes and keeping them at their brightest. Here are ten ideas for whiten clothes, using products you may already have at home or that you can easily find in any store.
1. Color remover
Color removers are found in the laundry aisle, and they are meant to remove dyes that have bled onto your whites. You can use these products once a month as a routine, or as needed to help restore your whites to their brightest.
2. Bleach alternatives
If your label says that your clothes can be safely washed with a bleach alternative, this is hands down the best solution to using liquid chlorine bleach. Bleach alternatives will not yellow clothes or damage the fabric, and they can be added to your wash or used as an overnight soak before a regular wash cycle. Bleach alternatives include the oxygen powered products, and those containing hydrogen peroxide.
3. White vinegar
You can safely add white vinegar to your laundry without bleaching or damaging your clothes. However, before that measure out one-half cup of the distilled white vinegar, add it to the load, and run the wash cycle as normal.
4. Bluing products
If your whites are grey or yellowed, bluing products will add a whitish blue tone to them. You can use up to ¼ of a teaspoon per load.
5. Natural whitening
The sun has UV rays which may be harmful to the skin, but it causes whites to become sun bleached. Rather than drying your whites in the dryer, hang them out in the sunshine.
6. Lemon juice
Adding one-half cup of lemon juice to your whites will give them a pick me up of brightness. This is best used for all white clothing with no prints because lemon juice can cause white “bleach” stains to patterned clothing.
7. Baking soda
Baking Soda is the hero of the cleaning world. It removes spots and stains on nearly any surface, including your clothes. Add one-half cup of baking soda to your wash to brighten your whites. You can also mix baking soda into a paste to use as a spot treater.
- 13 Shoe Care Advice That Can Make Shoe Life Longer
- 8 Ways to Stop Bad Breath and Get Rid of Mouth Bacteria
8. Sodium borate
Also known as Borax, sodium borate will break down the stains that have caused your whites to be yellow or look dingy. One half a cup of Borax will do the trick to whiten your whites.
9. Hydrogen peroxide
Adding a cup of hydrogen peroxide to your laundry will lighten even the dullest of whites. Hydrogen peroxide is also an efficient stain fighter to spot treat your clothes before washing.
10. Washing soda
Washing soda can also make white clothes even more whitening. One-half cup of washing soda in your laundry will lighten your clothes using a compound like that found in baking soda.
A few Additional Tips for your whites clothes.
- When you are washing your white clothes, keeping them inside out will keep dirt from “grabbing” to the outside of your clothes as they wash.
- Wash your whites as hot as you can if they are labeled “hot water safe” and will not shrink.
- Clean your washer and dryer on a routine basis.
- If you have an energy efficient washer, make sure you are only purchasing detergent that specifies “HE” on the label. Other detergents aren’t as effective in these models.
- Dry your whites on a lower setting to avoid the yellowing that can be caused by exposing them to too much heat.
These ten ways to whiten clothes without using any bleach contain a lot of helpful tips that can also be used for spot treating everyday problems such as perspiration, ring around the color, and food stains on white clothing. Using these ideas should get your whites bright and glowing again.