How Do You Get the Laundry Really White?

White laundry is one of the most commanding clothing to wash. After some time the laundry can turn yellow or gray, if not washed correctly. Most people will advise you to use bleach. Although it’s a great solution, bleach is a high chemical, and if not handled correctly, it can cause damage to laundry and humans.

To get laundry white, people swear to use lemon and hydrogen peroxide. Oxygen-based bleach is also a great solution, but just like with any bleach, read the instructions on how to use it. 

How do you get the laundry really white
How do you get the laundry really white?

To make sure you get your laundry to stay white, take a moment, and think about how you are treating your laundry and the washing machine.

How do you get the laundry white?

White clothes are very demanding. The first mistake we can make is to wash clothes badly because the dirt that accumulates only creates new layers and that is why it is so difficult to get rid of.

You may not have known, but yellow stains on clothes are caused by our bodily secretions. Therefore, especially in summer, once worn white clothes should be washed immediately. When washing, pay attention to basic rules such as overloading the washing machine, because the clothes will not wash well.

1.   Wash the washing machine

The laundry cannot be completely clean if the drum and rubber sealing the washing machine door are dirty. Your clothes will come out of the washing machine not properly washed and with a strange odor.

Cleaning is best started with a drum. Check for sealing rubber, as sand, hair, and other debris are deposited there. Clean it with detergent and warm water. The best way to clean the drum is to put 2 dl of alcoholic vinegar and one glass of baking soda in it. Be careful and use gloves because the reaction of these two means is quite strong.

Then switch on the empty washing machine to the laundry disinfection program or the classic 90°C programs. Set the spin to a lower speed or disable it completely if you have this option.

2.   DIY products

To get clean and white clothes, think about skipping the excessive amounts of laundry detergent. Instead, use vinegar to replace fabric softener. Your clothes will be soft, the odor of vinegar will not be present, and you’re cleaning your washing machine at the same time.

Instead of strong chemical bleaches that often damage the structure of the fabric, use more natural and easy methods. Put a pot on the stove and fill it with water. Add two fresh lemons sliced into rings. When the water boils, put out the fire and put the laundry in the water. Let it soak for about an hour, then put the wash as usual.

3.   Don’t mix whites with colors and color

This rule is as simple as it sounds, and we’ve known it since forever. Also, look out for towels and sheets that are lighter in color, and you feel like you can wash them along with white laundry. Rather, wash them separately because even lighter colors can let the color boil and color your white laundry.

Also, separate clothes of different materials. For example, you can wash linen and cotton together but wash the synthetics separately.

If your white clothes have turned yellow over time or you have yellow stains, wash them first by hand in detergent, and after rinsing them well, soak them in water mixed with vinegar and let them soak. Drain and put to dry.

4.   Wash the stains first and wash at high temperatures

Wash stains first. Although it seems like a time-consuming job, if you want that stain to disappear from your white shirt, you have to wash it by hand first. If you do not have a stain washing detergent, a regular liquid or dishwashing detergent can also be used. Apply it on the stain, leave it to stand for a while, brush and rinse in hot water.

A paste of four tablespoons of baking soda and four tablespoons of water will come in handy to remove stubborn stains. Rub the paste into the stain and let it stand for about half an hour, then wash as usual.

It is best to wash clothes at 90 or 95 degrees Celsius because hot water maintains whiteness. If you do not want your laundry to turn yellow or gray, add a little citric acid, vinegar, or baking soda to the drum of the washing machine. Half a cup of citric acid, baking soda, or a cup of alcoholic vinegar will help your laundry stay white as new.

5.   Restore the whiteness

There is one great trick to help you keep your laundry white, clean, and stain-free forever. Larger quantities of white clothes should be washed with one cup of fabric softener, half a cup of ammonia, and wash without detergent.

You can remove stains on clothes by immediately rubbing a few drops of dish detergent and washing it by hand before putting them in the washing machine. The same rule applies to bleaching clothes and restoring whiteness.

Put some detergent in the washing machine along with the powder. You can also combine vinegar with the usual detergent. It will also serve the purpose well, and it is enough to put just half a cup for the washing.

6.   Use alcohol vinegar

If you often notice traces of detergent on your clothes, alcohol vinegar solves this problem. Fill the liquid detergent dispenser halfway with vinegar, put it in the drum along with the clothes, and turn on the washing machine. Vinegar will reduce the deposition of detergent on clothes that will be without a single stain after washing.

Also, vinegar helps against static electricity, which often appears on woolen sweaters that we like to wear in winter, and it is also effective against creating wrinkles on certain fabrics.

Can you bleach all laundry?

Everyone seems to turn away from bleach when it comes to whitening clothes. Since bleach is a very strong chemical, people are afraid of using it. The bleach doesn’t have to be a hazard if you use it correctly.

The first mistake some people will make is mixing bleach with other household cleaners, such as toilet cleaners and ammonia. Since bleach is a high chemical, other ingredients can cause fatal injuries to your nose and eyes. When mixed with certain products bleach can release chlorine gas and can seriously damage your lungs.

You can use chlorine bleach and oxygen-based bleach. Chlorine bleach is much cheaper, but it is also more aggressive. A chlorine-based product can not only whiten things, get rid of germs, but also clean the machine from unpleasant odors.

Inspect your clothes, remove metal parts if possible. If you can’t remove them, you’ll need to use a different bleach, not with chlorine, because chlorine can darken the metal. Moisten clothes with cold water and place them in a drum.

If there are not many clothes, then use half a glass of the product, otherwise pour a glass. When pouring the product into the drum, dilute it in a large amount of water. This is necessary so as not to burn the fabric.

Bleach is a powerful chemical that can affect the metal parts and rubber of the washing machine. That is why, regardless of the manufacturer, chlorine-based bleach is sold in plastic containers. If the manufacturer of the washing machine allows the use of chlorine bleach, then, most likely, the pipes in such a machine are plastic, and the drum is made of durable material.

To safely use bleach, test your clothes. Mix 1 tablespoon of bleach and 2 tablespoons of warm water. Take a cotton swab, dip in the mixture, and dot on the inside of a shirt or anything you wish to wash with bleach. That way you will check if the fabric is prone to colorfastness. Let the spot dry completely and see if the color changed. If you see that the color has faded out, don’t wash the fabric with chlorine bleach.

Also, many tags on the inside of the clothes will tell you if you can use bleach on the fabric. Still, even if the tag says you can use it, to be sure, test the bleach the same way as said above. Even if we’re used to only using bleach for white clothes, some colored fabrics can be treated with bleach.

Oxygen-based bleach is a costly product, but not as strong as chlorine bleach. Oxygen bleaches are designed for softer and gentler fabrics. They can be used to wash colored items to refresh the color. Oxygen bleaches are designed for softer and gentler fabrics. They can be used to wash colored items while refreshing the paint.

A big advantage is that the oxygen-based bleach is effective at a temperature of 30-40 degrees. It is environmentally friendly and hypoallergenic. Oxygen-containing products are essential for synthetic products. The main active ingredient in oxygen bleach is sodium carbonate.

When dissolved in water, this chemical decomposes to hydrogen peroxide which releases active oxygen. Under the action of an oxygen agent, the surface layer of the fabric is oxidized, removing stains, grayish hue, yellowness, and unpleasant odors.

Oxygen compounds can be used for white and dyed clothes. The anti-bacterial effects of such bleaches allow you to avoid additional treatments when you need to disinfect your clothes. Oxygen products are available in liquid form, powder, and granules.

The main disadvantage of oxygen products is their high price. In liquid form, the mixtures are stored relatively short – about six months, so it is recommended to buy powder products if there is no need for regular bleaching of things. Oxygen bleaching powder retains its properties for five years. But the level of quality is very high. After such washing, things stay clean for much longer and the fabric does not deteriorate.

Oxygen bleach will increase the cleaning power of your regular detergent and is often added to homemade laundry detergents. In machines with top and front filling, first, add powdered detergent to the empty washbasin, then add clothes.

As with any product, take a moment to read the package instructions as each brand is a little different. Follow the instructions on how many products to use per gallon of water or load of clothes.

How to make white clothes white again after the color run?

If you’re wondering why our white fabrics turn yellow over time, it’s because they were never even white. Natural cotton is off-white, and to obtain a snow-white fabric effect, it is most often bleached or even dyed white with a small proportion of blue in the mixture. Every time you wash your white laundry little by little, that blue is released, and dirt and natural grease further promote the loss of base color.

Blue washing is a practice in which a white cloth is rubbed and rinsed with a little diluted, non-toxic, and biodegradable blue powder. The century-old trick of using blue for white clothes is the most effective and environmentally friendly way to whiten your whites.

We found this blue powder on Amazon. Dilute the powder in the water as directed – mix a quarter teaspoon of the blue with four cups of water for a large amount of laundry. When using, be careful not to use a plastic bowl and mixing spoon, but glass and metal as the blue will color the plastic. To avoid staining clothes, wait for the drum to fill with water before adding blue to distribute it evenly.

With a very yellowed fabric, more washing will be needed to fix its color. Resist the urge to add more blues as this will not promote whitening but will result in blue spots or a grayish tint to the fabric. If this happens by accident, do not use classic bleach on the fabric as this will only solidify the effect of blue. Instead, you can remove excess blue by immersing the fabric in a 2:1 mixture of water and ammonia.

Chlorine-based bleaches used to be the only means of removing traces of color from the white laundry. Meanwhile, experts have discovered that it is an extremely aggressive agent that damages fabrics, but also health if used carelessly and in large quantities.

Instead, you can find oxygen-based bleach in almost every store. Soak the colored laundry in a basin or sink filled with water with the addition of bleach. When dosing bleach, follow the dosing instructions on the back of the product. Let the laundry soak for about an hour and a half (or as directed) and then wash it in the machine on a 90-degree Celsius program.

You can restore the whiteness of the laundry with the help of lemon and hydrogen peroxide, which you can get in pharmacies. Mix half a cup of hydrogen peroxide, half a cup of lemon juice, and 4 liters of distilled water and soak the laundry in it. After an hour, put it in the washing machine at 90 degrees.

When whitening agents fail you can always go back to the good old boil. Fill an old pot with water, add a glass of washing powder, and put the laundry in the water. Put on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Cook the laundry for about half an hour or depending on how colored it is. After boiling, let it cool, put it in the washing machine, and put it on the rinsing program.

Use lemon juice to bleach your laundry and restore whiteness. The juice of a freshly squeezed lemon in combination with UV rays has a whitening effect. Although lemon is not as strong and effective as hydrogen peroxide, regular laundry washing with this citrus will get the desired effect. Citric acid is a natural ingredient that allows the fabric to whiten and lighten and is just as effective as conventional fabric whitening products.

Add 1/4 or half a cup of lemon juice to the dishwasher dish along with the detergent to lighten the laundry or remove yellow and gray stains. Separate colorful or colored laundry, because lemon juice will dissolve its color just like bleach.

For hand washing, it is enough to wash a piece of clothing in a solution of 100 ml of lemon juice in 3.5 liters of water and put it to dry in the sun.

On warmer days, you can use natural bleach to restore the whiteness – the Sun. When you wash your clothes, hang them on a rope and leave them in the sun to dry. Skip the dryer as the sun’s rays will whiten your clothes without the smell and danger of bleach. Bleaching occurs due to strong solar ultraviolet rays that break the chemical bonds in the stain, so the stain disappears. Such a process also occurs with chemical bleaching agents.

Baking soda also acts as bleach. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is chemically very similar to washing powder (sodium carbonate) so it can be used similarly. Baking soda is a natural softener for unpleasant odors, so your clothes will not only be lighter, but they will also have a very fresh scent. It is also a mild antiseptic, so your clothes and washing machine will be protected from bacteria.

Related questions

How to get discolored laundry white again? To get discolored laundry white, many people use lemon and hydrogen peroxide. It is also possible to get it white again with an oxygen-based bleach.

How to wash white sheets? White sheets should be washed at the maximum allowable temperature on the washing line. Sheets of different materials must be washed at different temperatures. Feel free to hang the sheets outdoors to dry after washing.

How to wash clothes with Chlorine in the washing machine? If you have a full machine, pour a dl of Chlorine into the washing machine and dilute with plenty of water. Check the washing thread, or test in a secluded place of the garment if it can withstand chlorine bleaching. Also, check that your washing machine can withstand chlorine; not all washing machines do.

How to get a discolored bra white? Use lemon juice to whiten your discolored bra. Lemon is a mild bleach, and it is best suited for the delicate fabrics that a bra is often sewn from.  

Annika Vallgren

The old housewives, in general, were in charge of everything in a household. From doing budget deliberations, meal planning to implementing actions and everything in between, they are simply the right person for the job, period. A major portion of their time was spent doing laundry, cleaning, and feeding her hungry children, who would come home tired from school. I believe we have a lot to learn from her. So, here you will find old housewife tips mixed with modern life hacks, knowledge about washing and cleaning, and much more the modern housewife needs!

Recent Posts