Get white clothes white

Get your whites whiter without bleach

So you’ve been wearing your white pants, capris and shorts since Memorial Day and they’re starting to look a little less crisp. Even those white t-shirts and tank tops are starting to take on a dingy, yellowish gray tone. What was once white is slowly slipping away to an off-white existence.

The good news is you can reverse the off-white effect. The first method that might come to mind is to use bleach. It’s an obvious choice, but what if you don’t want to use such a harsh chemical on your clothes? How do you get the same whitening effect?

There are a couple of methods for getting your whites whiter without bleach.

Dropps 4-in-1 Booster Pacs

Give your laundry the ultimate boost by adding a Dropps 4-in-1 booster pac with your next wash cycle. Stains and odors disappear, colors shine brighter and whites become vibrant. With 4X the cleaning power in one pre-measured pac, your laundry looks and smells brand-spanking-new after every wash. Plus, Dropps booster pacs are chlorine, dye and fragrance-free — a win for both the environment and your skin.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a whitening wonder. Add a ½ cup to your wash along with your detergent and it will whiten, freshen and even soften your clothes. You can also pre-treat stains with baking soda by mixing a little bit with water. Then add the paste-like solution to the stained area on the fabric.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Everyone has a bottle of this in their medicine cabinet. It’s a great multi-tasker, because it’s a non-chlorine bleach. You just need to add ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide to your wash along with your laundry detergent.

Dishwasher detergent

Another multi-tasker, dishwasher detergent can be added to your wash to whiten fabrics. Use ¼ cup in addition to your regular laundry detergent.


Distilled white vinegar will bring your whites back to pre-Memorial Day condition. This household cleaning super hero also freshens and softens fabrics (it’s great for refreshing towels). Start with ½ cup of distilled white vinegar added to your wash with your laundry detergent. You can go up to 1 cup to get the desired effect. The vinegar scent will go away after the fabrics are dry.


Take advantage of the summer sun’s whitening powers by hanging your laundry outside to dry. You’ll get great smelling, brighter whites.

This article originally appeared on To learn more .

Ever see someone wearing a crisp white T-shirt or gleaming pair of white pants and wish your clothes could look like that? Ditto goes for your sheets and towels. Well, now your laundry can look spectacular with these tips from cleaning expert Linda Cobb, the Queen of Clean. And says Cobb, these tips not only keep whites white, but can make dingy clothes look like new.


Separate your colors

“The biggest mistake people make is that they don’t really separate their loads,” says Linda Cobb, author of nine books including Talking Dirty Laundry with the Queen of Clean. “Even light colors can transfer onto whites, so make a pile for clothes that are white only, no exceptions, then wash light clothes together in their own load.”


Don’t use too much detergent

We all think the more detergent we use, the cleaner it will get clothes. But that isn’t the case at all. “Too much detergent and fabric softener coats fabrics,” says Cobb. “When there is a lot of residue on clothes it acts like a magnet and sticks to dirt.”

You read that right: Too much detergent can actually make clothes dirtier. And no matter how much detergent you use, make sure that the load is always rinsed well.


Consider optical brighteners

Also call “bluing” agents, these products add a trace of blue to yellowed or dingy whites. Since yellow and blue are complimentary colors, the products help create the appearance of a whiter white.

“You can use Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing, which works fantastic,” says Cobb, “but follow the directions. You can’’t pour it on clothes directly or put in the machine’s detergent dispenser, or it will spot them.” Cobb keeps a clean food jar in her laundry area to mix the bluing with water, then adds the mixture to her laundry.


Dry clothes on low heat

Heat can singe or scorch fabrics, says Cobb, making them look yellow. She suggests always following the drying directions on the label. Really. Also consider using a lower heat setting, and take the clothes out of the dryer while they’re still a little bit damp.


Only use bleach on cotton

“Chlorine bleach can be very damaging to some fabrics,” says Cobb. Even though you think it will whiten, it can turn whites yellow or grey. “Bleach is fine for cotton socks and underwear, and towels, but isn’’t great for poly-blends.”


Try lemon juice

Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent and works great on white clothes. Cobb suggests using the hottest water that’s safe for the fabric, and mixing in half a cup of lemon juice. “Then soak the clothes for an hour or overnight, and wash as usual the next day.”


Add borax

“Borax softens hard water, removes residue, and boosts the quality of detergent,” says Cobb. “It’’s all-natural and safe to use, and it works great on whitening whites.” Follow the directions of the box.

Another household item to try: white vinegar, which acts much like lemon juice. Cobb suggests adding 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of white vinegar to a load of laundry, then launder as usual. One household item Cobb says to steer clear of: ammonia. “It’s very alkaline, too hard on fabrics, and if you use with bleach it can be hazardous to your health.”


Try automatic dishwasher detergent

Yes, you read right: dishwasher detergent. “It has brighteners and very good cleaners in it, making it good for things like kids socks and underwear,” says Cobb. Don’t worry too much about which brand, she says—any brand is fine. Add a couple of tablespoons into a couple gallons of water, and wash clothes.


Hydrogen peroxide

“Hydrogen peroxide is 100 percent natural and you can make a great spot-remover from it,” says Cobb. Mix one part Dawn Original or Dawn Ultra dish detergent (it must be one of these two and not another Dawn product, says Cobb) and two parts hydrogen peroxide. Then work the mixture into the collar, underarms or any other tough spots on clothes.

You can even keep the mixture in a squirt bottle for easy access. Another trick: Combine 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide with 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 cup water and use that on spots and stains.


White Brite

If you don’t want to make your own whitener, Cobb loves: White Brite. “It removes yellowing, dinginess and even rust stains. You can use it on colored clothes too,” she says. “A little goes a long way.”



{{slide.caption}} {{}}

Five Ways To Make Your Whites Whiter Without Bleach

Are your whites looking a little yellowed? Nothing is more depressing than tossing a brand-new white shirt into your closet, only to notice your existing ones look dull in comparison. Whites are the hardest colour to keep looking bright and new. Not only do colours from other clothes eventually bleed into the fabric, discolouring your bright whites but your sweat and oils can quickly become stains.

Also, if you faithfully use bleach, then it’s probably the culprit. The chemical makeup of household bleach can make white clothes turn yellow. Keep reading to find out how you can make your whites whiter without bleach.

Here are a 5 simple tricks to help you restore the brilliance to even your dingiest whites

1.Start with lemon juice.

Although I am very willing to pull out the big guns, I like to first start with the remedies that are least harsh. Dilute 1/4 cup of lemon juice with 4 litres of very hot water (boiling, if possible). Soak your yellowed whites in the solution for at least 1-2 hours. Then wring out and allow to dry in the sun. If results don’t make you happy, then move on to the other ideas. You can also add lemon juice to your regular wash cycle and achieve similar results.

2.Break Out the Aspirin

Aspirin, is not only great for aches, it breaks down the gunk that’s yellowed your whites. Dissolve five white aspirin pills in water, and add your clothes to the mix. Let them soak a while, and then toss them into your washer.

3.Dishwashing liquid does the trick

According to Apartment Therapy, eco-friendly dishwashing detergent works to whiten whites as well as other DIY methods. Simply add a bit in with your regular laundry detergent, and run your whites through their regular wash cycle.

4.Add White Vinegar

Add a few spoons of white vinegar during the wash cycle. Vinegar doesn’t only make your whites whiter, it softens fabric, brings brightness and comfort back to your clothes.

5.Soak your whites in Baking Soda

With a homemade mixture of water and baking soda, you can whiten your whites without any additives in your washing machine. Mix four litres of water with one cup of baking soda. Soak your white laundry for a few hours. You’ll be amazed by the results.

Do you have problems with whites turning yellow? What do you use to help get them white again?

Tags: No bleach, Whiten whites, Yellowed whites

Who wants to wear dulled out, once-white clothes? Nothing looks less appealing than drab – not quite gray but definitely not white – clothes. Whites should appear crisp and fresh, and pure as a summer’s day. Unfortunately hard water and age can turn whites cloudy-colored or not-so-pretty yellow.

Plus whites actually seem to attract stains. It seems like you only spill coffee or red wine down your front on the days when you’re wearing a pure white shirt. Am I right?

Luckily several products in your green cleaning stash can help brighten whites and remove stains naturally. Find out how.

To keep whites white

Baking soda, vinegar, borax, lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide all naturally whiten. Add ½ cup of any of these cleaners to each wash cycle to keep your clothes bone white. For double duty, mix in ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup borax to your white loads. Both ingredients will help brighten whites, and the vinegar will soften clothes.

To restore whites

Presoak dingy whites in a mixture of one gallon hot water and ½ cup washing soda, a powdered mineral soap that helps brighten clothes. Then launder your clothes as usual.

For clothes that haven’t been white for quite a while, try this method. Fill a pot with water and add several lemon slices. Bring the water to a boil. Fill a tub with the mixture and soak white linens, socks and non-delicate items until the water cools. Then wash clothes as usual.

Finally hang clothes to dry in the sun, the least expensive all-natural whitener out there. The sun will naturally bleach the garments, without setting stains like a dryer.

Natural stain removal

Depending on the severity of the stain, try a combination of these natural tricks to get your whites sparkling clean.

Rust stains: Remove as much of the pesky stain as possible before treatment. Saturate the stain in lemon juice and then sprinkle salt directly on it. Let the mixture react overnight then rinse it with cool water. Do not use hot water, as it will set the stain. Repeat these steps if the stain persists.

Grass and ink stains: Drench the stain in cheap vodka (yep, vodka!) and launder as usual.

Armpit stains: Ah. Lovely yellow armpit stains. Remove these bad boys by scrubbing the spots with baking soda and water. Mix together four tablespoons of baking soda and just enough water to form a paste. Scrub the mixture into the stains. Let it sit for a few minutes, then launder as usual. The key to keeping the underarms of shirts snowy white is to treat shirts before each washing—even if you can’t see staining yet.

Red wine stains: Immediately pour salt on the stain to absorb the moisture. Let the salt work its magic then scrape it away. Next blot the stain with liberal amounts of club soda.

For all other stains, try dabbing the area with lemon juice, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

Related on Organic Authority

9 Laundry Tips to Make Your Pricey Workout Gear Last Longer

The Most Eco Way of Doing Laundry Ever?

10 Best Products For Doing Laundry

image: KatCat

7 Tried-and-True Ways to Whiten Your Clothes—Without Using Bleach

December 12, 2019

The average family does approximately 6-7 loads of laundry every week, and that adds up to a lot of detergent. Conventionally, white loads require bleach, but more families are foregoing this caustic chemical over concerns about potential bleach hazards and skin sensitivities.

Bleach is a harsh chemical, so you’ll never find it in any of our Puracy ingredients. We prefer to whiten our clothing with gentle and natural methods, so we’ve rounded up seven of our tried-and-true natural bleach alternatives that will have your whites looking as fresh as the day you bought them.

1. Pre-Soak Your Laundry with Lemons

Fill your basin with hot water and 1-2 sliced lemons (depending on how soiled your clothes are). Add your laundry, let it soak for one to two hours, and wash as normal in your washing machine.

If your clothes need an extra brightening boost, boil the water first, add the lemons and laundry, and let it sit overnight. Before doing so, however, make sure to check the fabric care instructions for each garment to ensure that it can handle hot water. Never use this method on fabrics that require washing in cold water.

2. Tackle Multiple Laundry Issues with Vinegar

In addition to whitening clothes, distilled white vinegar softens fabric, while removing musty, mildewy smells. Simply pour 1/4 cup of vinegar to an already-running machine during the last rinse cycle.

For clothes that need a bit more attention, soak them for a few hours in a basin full of water and one cup of white vinegar.

3. Treat Your Whites with Hydrogen Peroxide

This medicine-cabinet staple does more than disinfect mild cuts and wounds: It’s one of the best ways to brighten whites without bleach. When starting a load, simply pour 1 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide straight into your detergent or bleach dispenser. Proceed with your regular laundry routine.

Whiten Extra-Dirty Clothes with Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

Hydrogen peroxide also does wonders on pesky underarm stains. Make a paste of equal parts hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and water. Cover stains with a ¼” layer and allow it to sit for about 30 to 60 minutes. Lightly remove any extra residue with a soft toothbrush and throw in the washer.

For stubborn underarm stains, our customers also swear by Puracy Natural Stain Remover.

4. Make White Clothes Whiter with Baking Soda

Baking soda factors into most natural cleaning tips – and for good reason! You can use this gentle substance to safely clear your drain, eliminate odors from the fridge, and even amplify the whitening effects of your laundry cycle.

Start your washing machine, pour ½ cup of baking soda into the water until it dissolves, and run the cycle as normal. For a larger load of laundry, we recommend using a full cup of baking soda.

5. Reduce Your Utility Bill and Freshen up Your Whites

On warm, sunny days, we recommend line drying your whites outdoors. There’s something comforting about the smell of crisp, sun-dried linens, and hanging laundry outside also naturally brightens white clothes. In fact, the longer you leave them in the sun, the greater the brightening effect.

There are plenty of other reasons to switch to line drying. Not only does tumble-drying shrink and fade your clothing, but the Department of Energy states that switching to line drying can also conserve up to 4% of your electricity usage.

Remember: Just like UV rays cause sunburn, they can also discolor your clothing. Before hanging them up, turn your white and dark items inside out and limit drying time to a couple of hours.

6. Attack Stains with our Natural Stain Remover

If your whites only need brightening in a specific area, spot treat them for maximum results.

Using Puracy Natural Stain Remover, spray the affected area and agitate with a soft brush (or by rubbing the fabric together), then wait at least 15 minutes before laundering.

For tough stains, you can leave the spray on overnight or for several days (the longer the better), then launder using the warmest water that the fabric care instructions allow. If necessary, opt for the “extra rinse” cycle on your machine and repeat the treatment once more.

For in-depth instructions on how to use our natural stain remover, see our related post: How to Use Enzyme-Based Cleaners: A Step-by-Step Guide

7. Choose a Detergent with a Gentler Formula

Continual washing with harsh detergents will wear down even the strongest materials. Prolong the life of your wardrobe and household linens with a gentler formula.

Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent uses plant-based enzymes and natural minerals to clean just as effectively as synthetic brands – without harsh residues. For your whitest whites yet, use it with any of the natural methods listed above.

Choose Puracy Products to Whiten Clothes Without Bleach

It’s hard enough to find the perfect white shirt or pair of pants, and it’s even harder to keep them stain-free. But there’s no need to use harsh chemicals on your beloved wardrobe staples.

Keep Puracy laundry essentials on hand to brighten whites. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose!