maddie_in_kyMarch 22, 2010

Hi all!

This is OT, but since we have some mightly wise folks here, I thought I'd ask in this forum.

Can someone recommend a good non-chlorine bleach for white clothes, if there is such a thing? I am having major problems with my washer when I use regular bleach for my whites. (I don't know if I'm using too much bleach or what (I use 1/4 C for a whole load), but if I don't run the washer at least 3 times afterwards (once empty, the next two times with towels or area rugs), I get little spots of diluted bleach marks on the clothes. I always take a clean rag and wipe the interior of the washer while it is filling when I do the 3 extra loads, and I splash water everywhere to make sure that I've removed any bleach that may have splashed up when I was washing the whites. I can not keep doing this as it is wasting water and electricity.

Any suggestions? What about blueing?

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The bleach must be getting trapped somewhere in your washer. Try a nonclorine bleach or just washing soda to do your whites and a pretreater for spots. I'd do a double rinse to remove all traces of soap too. Leftover soap om your clothes makes them dingy over time

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 5:51PM
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Do you have a top or front loading washer? Are you using bleach to sanitize, whiten, or both? Do you use hot water for washing whites? As with most things, there's not just one alternative, but I've included several and hope one helps you out.

-If you are not washing whites in hot water, that's a good place to start. If you switch to oxygen-type bleaches (like Clorox 2), they work best in hot water.

-Bluing doesn't whiten clothing - it covers the fabric with a blue dye that tricks the eye into thinking it sees white. It also washes out after a few washes and you still have gray or yellow whites. It doesn't remove stains, if that's what you are using bleach for, nor does it sanitize.

-Bleach can actually react to minerals in hard water and turn your whites yellow, defeating the purpose. Bleach is not recommended for whitening clothing in our area for just that reason. If you are sanitizing clothes, it only takes one or two tablespoons. If you are trying to remove stains, try soaking them before you launder them.

-Dry your whites in the sun to "bleach" them. Although it's a rather old-fashioned treatment, it still works well.

-Add 1/2-cup 3% solution hydrogen peroxide in the bleach dispenser to your laundry to "bleach" them. Use sparingly, it can damage fabrics.

-Since phosphates have been removed from our detergents, which worked very well in hard water to clean and whiten laundry, you can add 2 T.-1/4 c. dishwasher detergent to your whites, along with your regular detergent. Dishwasher detergents still contain phosphates. This is a method I use occasionally.

-If you need to soak whites, like cotton socks:

1/2 c. lemon juice
2 T. Cascade Dishwasher Detergent
1 gallon hot water.
Soak 30 minutes, or overnight if really stained.

-If your whites are turning gray, it can be caused by soap build-up, which often happens in hard water. Follow the advice given by oilpainter (above), or try this method.

To get clothes white again:
(source: Getting Clothes Clean - Guide C-503 - Cooperative Extension Service - Mexico State University)

*Wash the clothes again in hot water.
*Add enough water softener to make the water feel slippery (about 1 cup).
*If the water becomes sudsy, the clothes were not rinsed enough. Wash them again adding only water softener.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 7:09AM
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I do use hot water to wash the whites, and I use the bleach to both whiten and sanitize. And I didn't think about the hard water aspect of it; we do have hard water here.

I'll try the soak and the water softener trick and see if that helps!

Thanks again! :)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 3:34PM
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Don't use the bleach dispenser.

Let the washer fill partway, then add the bleach to the water, swich it aorund, then add the clothes when the washer is at least 1/2 full.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 7:36PM
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Fill the washer completely with water, then add diluted blench. Don't glug the bleach from the bottle into the washer. That way if any splashes somewhere it won't be full strength. Keep a plastic pitcher in the laundry room. Pour carefully.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 2:24AM
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Why don't use the dispenser?

Here is a link that might be useful: retaining wall blocks

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 1:57PM
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