Home Remedies for Brighter Whites

by Karen Bates
(last updated May 18, 2009)

With every wash, it seems that white clothes become duller and darker. Over time, the brightness fades and you are left with a clothing item that is really less white and more of a dingy gray color. This can become very frustrating, especially when you realize that your favorite white clothing item is no longer white!

Often, people turn to bleach or other commercial cleaning products that can be found in the store to get the brightness back into their clothes. While this is a perfectly good option, you might prefer to try something more natural, or use products that you already have around the house. Bleach can cause fabrics to break down over time, and it isn't something you want to over-use. If the idea of using products that are around the house appeals to you, then you are in luck: there are several easy ways to use home remedies to safely and effectively get your whites bright again.

The next time you find your whites looking dull, try one of these easy remedies for washing your clothing:

  • Wash Whites Together. This may seem simple, but at times it can be tempting just to throw all of your dirty clothes into the washer together. In truth, though, washing your whites with darker colors can cause them to lose their brightness faster. For best results, wash only whites together in one load, and other colors separately.
  • Vinegar. You can use vinegar to help bring out the brightness in your white clothing. When washing, add ½ cup white distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  • Dishwashing Detergent. In some cases, it may be safe to use dishwashing detergent (such as Cascade) to soak your white clothing before washing. Such products are likely to contain bleach, so only use this method on clothing that can safely be bleached. Use about ½ tablespoon and one gallon of water, and soak the clothing before washing it in the washing machine.
  • Dry on a Clothesline. Hang your clothes out to dry in the sun if possible. The sun can help to bleach the clothes naturally, making them brighter. If you can hang your clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer, it can also help save energy, making this option even better all around.
  • Baking Soda. Using a little baking soda can help brighten your laundry. Just add about ½ cup to the load.

Give any of these easy home remedies a try and your white laundry should be bright again!

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

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