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Bright And White – Whitening Laundry Tips

March 4, 2024

Bright And White – Whitening Laundry Tips


Laundry can lose its brightness and turn dingy over time. Whiteness makes clothes look crisp and clean. As a laundry enthusiast, I’m always looking for ways to keep my laundry looking bright and white. Here are my top tips for whitening laundry and keeping it looking its best.

Washing Machine Tips

  • Use hot water – Washing with hot or warm water helps dissolve soils and oils that dull fabric.Cold water is fine for lightly soiled loads, but use hot for really dirty or dingy clothes.

  • Add bleach – Liquid chlorine bleach is an effective whitening agent. Be sure to follow garment care labels and only use on bleach-safe fabrics. Start with 1/4 cup in a regular load. Increase bleach for heavier stains.

  • Use detergent with brighteners – Look for laundry detergents that contain optical brighteners. These special additives help reflect light to make clothes appear whiter.

  • Skip the fabric softener – Fabric softeners and dryer sheets can coat fibers and make clothes less bright. Omit these products when aiming for brilliant whites.

Treating Stains and Discoloration

  • Treat stains before washing – Pretreat heavily stained areas with a paste of granular laundry detergent and water. Or use a prewash stain remover. This helps lift stains so they don’t set during washing.

  • Use bluing agents – Bluing is a special liquid that adds a slight blue tint to overcome yellowing. Add it to the rinse or washing cycle for a boost of whitening power. Start with 1/2 cup.

  • Sunlight – Hang white laundry outside in direct sunlight. The sun’s UV rays help naturally bleach and whiten fabrics. Wet clothes or damp spots whitens best.

  • Vinegar rinse – For dingy laundry, do a soak or rinse cycle with 1 cup vinegar. The acetic acid cuts through detergent residue and brightens whites.

  • Baking soda – Make a paste with baking soda and water and rub it directly on stains before washing. Let it sit for 30 minutes before laundering as usual.

  • Borax – Add 1/2 cup borax to your regular detergent. It’s a natural whitener and deodorizer that’s safe on most fabrics. Great for diapers and workout gear.

Maintenance Between Washes

  • Air out – Open up towels and sheets and allow them to fully air dry between washes. This prevents moisture buildup that can prematurely yellow fabrics.

  • Iron – A quick touch up with an iron on cottons and linens can whitespace them up between washes. Use the steam setting on a stubborn yellow spot.

  • Hang in sunlight – Before folding and putting away laundry, hang items outside for an hour. Sunlight naturally removes odors too.

  • Check ingredients – Lotion, makeup and deodorant can transfer onto clothes and dull the brightness. Switch to “clear” or “free and clear” products to avoid graying of laundry.


Following these simple tips and tricks for laundry should keep your whites looking their absolute brightest. Always check care labels before trying any new technique. With some diligence about washing and stain removal, you can maintain that crisp, fresh white laundry. Bright whites reflect cleanliness, so take the extra time to keep your laundry gleaming.

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