How do you keep your white clothes white, or

carla17April 18, 2007

I have been using Clorox bleach alternative. I used to use bleach and use bleach to clean toilets and sanitize kitchen counter tops. A friend warned me about bleach being bad, I know it's not friendly.

What do you wash your whites with?

Thank you,


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I am very careful NOT to wash anything colored with whites...synthetic fibers pick up dyes very easily.
And if something does get dingy, a good soak in an oxygen bleach, like for 24 hours, whitens it right up.
Clorine bleach is not can weaken fibers, so I wouldn't use on anything like fine table linens or cotton lace, but for white towels and underwear, it's find if used according to the directions. Mix with water and pour into the washer before adding the clothes and add only the maount called for by your washer's directions.
Linda c

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 12:53PM
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I once read to boil your whites in water with lemon juice added to it.
i've tried a couple of times, and it does seem to whiten a little.
it's a lot of work for little result thou.

Here is a link that might be useful: reusing, home ideas

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 2:56PM
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The first thing to think about is - what makes your white clothes dingy? Until you figure out the cause, the treatment will be hit-or-miss.

The cause can be too much detergent (improper rinsing) and/or hard water. Which means you may need to use less detergent, or soften the water. If you use a softener additive, then you need to add it during the wash AND the rinse/s. A water softening system works best. With a water softening system, you actually need less detergent to get good results. Both minerals from the water and accumulation of detergent can cause not-so-white whites.

Adding bleach, if you have a lot of manganese in the water, can make clothes look gray, not white, after a period use.

If you add bluing to the rinse water, it doesn't really make whites white, it shades them a slight shade of blue, which creates an optical illusion that has nothing to do with making clothes white. They are still gray with a blue tinge that fades after several washings, back to gray.

There are chemical whiteners if you have a high iron content in your water that causes yellowing. "Iron Out" works well to whiten whites, and you would only need to use it periodically.

Hanging whites in the sun is still a good choice. I've also read where adding hydrogen peroxide to the rince water will whiten clothes. Try adding 8 ounces of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your wash in place of bleaches.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 8:03PM
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Try vinegar. It actually works quite well as a water softner, cuts the soap and if you do have a high iron content it helps to cut it. Safer than chemicals.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 8:24PM
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Thanks everyone. There is NO WAY I'm boiling my whites.
I assume vinegar would be white. I would never add bleach straight either. I do not know what the iron content of my water is and mostly don't care.
I appreciate your suggestions but in the back of my mind I think I'm searching for a mini miracle.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 8:32PM
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I was told a long time ago that for synthetics use a small amt of bleach and a 1/2 C. of vinegar and for cottons use bleach.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 3:11AM
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Thank you all.

Thank you Steve.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 10:01PM
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I live in the mid-west and I have found that hanging your clothes out in the sun is not only a great whitener for whites but also for stains in light colored clothing like kids clothes. It fades the stains in about a day in the sun. I hang the ones that have stains on the surface in the direction that they will receive the most exposure. If you want stuff really white leave out all day. It was by accident that I discovered a stain in my kids shirt was gone after hanging on the line. Give it a try!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 11:29AM
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I add 20 Mule Team Borax to the wash. My whites stay white much longer.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 7:26PM
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This is supposed to work well, but I haven't yet tried it.

1 cup powdered Cascade
1 cup Clorox 2
Add to 5 gallons of the hottest tap water. Soak overnight.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 10:30PM
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Every couple of months or so, I gather all items that have tough to remove stains and white items. Fill the washer tub with cold/warm water and add clothing. Add about 4 scoops of Oxyclean. Agitate long enough to mix--then leave it overnight.
My 44 yr old daughter was with me recently and brought the nastiest looking pink robe you could imagine. Her dog had drug it outside into the mud. Stains were very set.
After Mom's treatment, she gasped!!
Good stuff when you learn how to use it right.
I prepare a lot of old linens for resale. Oxyclean gets the yellow out and yet it is safe for the most delicate linens.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 8:25PM
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Strong sunlight. Really! I have a dingy white hand towel in the guest bath that the children use and abuse. I washed it in regular water and soap and then let it dry over a lawn chair in the full sun. It came back like new. I swear! now, can't imagine hanging all the laundry but for some small things like hand towels it is the best!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 3:38PM
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I second the vote for Oxy Clean. Soak stains or anything dingy in Oxy clean. I add it to the wash cycle for all my whites.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 11:15AM
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