White fabrics are wonderful to look at. Whether it’s your favorite plush white bathrobe or a gorgeous white sundress that shows off your summer tan, we love our white fabrics. But the tricky part about white items is keeping them looking bright and fresh forever.
While you may turn to bleach for the whitest whites, keep in mind how damaging bleach can be. Keep reading to learn what bleach does to our fabrics and how to get whiter whites without it.
Beware of Bleach
In a pinch, a bit of bleach is a lifesaver on a white t-shirt. But in reality, bleach is a strong chemical that can damage your clothing and raise your risk of medical concerns.
Chlorine bleach is so strong, it weakens and deteriorates your fabric. It cannot be used on silks, wools, or synthetic clothing.
Breathing in bleach can be harmful to your body. It damages your lungs and may lead to coughing. Studies show bleach products affect lung function and increase respiratory problems like asthma.
Finally, bleach is not an environmentally-friendly cleaning product. It contributes to pollution by releasing toxins. Bleach can linger for years in air and water and be harmful to various bird and fish species.
How to Get the Whitest Whites
If you’re dreaming of a whiter wardrobe, we’ve got the natural solutions you’re looking for. From lemon juice to natural sunlight, try these bleach-free methods for whiter whites.
1. Add a Little Lemon
Citrus fruits are naturally acidic and act as excellent stain removers. According to Martha Stewart, a little lemon juice goes a long way for brighter-looking and fresher smelling clothes.
Instead of adding bleach to your load of laundry, splash in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice. If your clothes are looking a little dull, soak them in hot water with lemon juice for an hour before washing them.
2. Substitute White Vinegar
White Vinegar is another household product you can use to get the whitest whites. It’s non-toxic and acts as a natural whitener for clothing.
White vinegar has the perfect amount of acidity levels. It’s not strong enough to harm or damage your clothes, but the acetic acid in distilled white vinegar dissolves residue and creates brighter clothing.
For whiter whites, add one-half cup of white vinegar into your washing machine’s fabric softener dispenser. You can also add the vinegar at the beginning of your laundry’s rinse cycle. Both options result in white fabric that looks brand new.
As a bonus, white vinegar is also a safe method for brightening gray cotton clothing. For these clothing articles, boil one cup of distilled white vinegar with your grey clothing. Let them soak overnight and then throw them in the laundry as usual.
3. Try Some Sweet Sunshine
Instead of drying your whites on high heat, let the sun naturally dry and lighten your clothing.
Sunshine acts as a natural bleach for clothing. As your clothes absorb the sunshine, they’ll dry and lighten. Plus, the sun ensures your clothes smell fresh and dry quickly.
Wash your whites as normal. While they’re wet, lay your clothing articles flat under the sun. The fabrics need to receive as much as direct ultraviolet light as possible to lighten.
Let your whites sit for a few hours before you bring the clothing inside. Keeping your whites under the sun for too long can damage your fabric.
Keep in mind the longer you leave the clothing in the sun, the lighter they will become. Some sweet sunshine can lighten any lingering stains and spots on your clothing.
4. Throw in Some Aspirin
Aspirin might be your go-to cure for a hangover or headache, but it can also be used to achieve the whitest whites. Aspirin breaks down residue and buildup within a fabric that keeps clothing looking dull.
First, fill your washing machine with hot water. Add five white aspirin tablets and let them dissolve. Use white pills and not colored ones.
Once the tablets have completely disintegrated, add in your white clothing. Soak the clothing and aspirin for a half-hour to an hour, depending on how dull your fabrics are. Run your wash cycle as normal.
5. Soak Your Whites in Baking Soda
Baking soda is another household ingredient that works wonders on white clothing. It pulls through tough stains, and a baking soda scrub leaves whites looking bright.
Take one gallon of water and combine one cup of baking soda to it. Add your white clothes and let them soak. Run your whites in the laundry as normal.
After using baking soda, you should notice whiter, brighter, and fresh-smelling laundry.
6. Treat With Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is something that lives in most medicine cabinets. Not only is it an effective cut and scrape cleaner, but the peroxide acts as an excellent alternative to bleach for whitening your laundry.
We recommend using 3% hydrogen peroxide for the whitest whites. Add one cup of peroxide directly into your laundry machine or into your bleach dispenser. Throw in your whites and run your laundry as normal.
If you have specific dull spots on your white clothing, you can create a hydrogen peroxide and baking soda stain remover.
Combine 1/4 cup of peroxide, baking soda, and warm water. Use a toothbrush to scrub the mixture into your stains and let it sit for thirty minutes. Wash your laundry as normal.
Explore More Laundry Tips and Tricks
When it comes to whiter clothing, there are plenty of natural solutions you can turn to instead of relying on bleach. From peroxide to lemon juice, try out different methods to find the best one for the whitest whites.
Explore our blog for more household tips and tricks. From choosing the best bath towels to guides for washing bath mats, we have the answers you’re looking for. Discover more on our blog now.