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Beyond Clean: Tips to Get Whiter Whites

Do you wash your socks with the rest of your whites? Me too. Well, I used to. Then I realized that our clothes were getting dingy because we were washing them with dingy footwear.  After the first wash of separate items, I didn’t notice a difference. I started wondering how I was going to get my clothes back to sparkling white. Here’s a recipe to get the job done and save you some money because you won’t have to replace clothing. Plus, by washing in the sink, you’ll save water and electricity.

You Need

  •  1 capful of  laundry detergent
  • 1 cup powdered dish washing detergent
  • 1 cup bleach
  • 1/2 cup Borax

You Do

  • Fill the sink , a bucket, or the washing machine with extremely hot water.
  • Add all of your socks and other dingy items.
  • Mix ingredients in with a large spoon.
  • Let sit for at least two hours.
  • Drain out excess water.
  • Refill with cool or warm water, stir and drain again.
  • Air dry on clothesline or in dryer.

I was so surprised at how white our socks came out that I did it to our normal whites, too. It worked great!

 This has been a guest post by August from Granite Falls, NC
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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9 thoughts on “Beyond Clean: Tips to Get Whiter Whites”

  1. SamanthaB says:

    I soaked my nephew’s chocalate milk stained, white t-shirt in hot water and one of the tides packets that I got with a coupon.  After two hours it was clean.  Every now and then I went into the bucket and rubbed it. 

    This makes me wonder if it would work without the bleach and just hot water, detergent and time.

  2. Rbj976 says:

    I never have to separate my clothes but into TWO categories: 1.underwear, socks, towels, sheets 2. permanent press. All items are washed in Shaklee Basic L (no phosphates)with Nature Bright and Basic G that takes care of ALL sorts of germs. All whites remain white with NO dingy looks because I hang all of category 1 outside. Category 2 is put in the dryer for a few minutes and then hung up on hangers to finish drying. No ironing required.

  3. susie says:

    When you use bleach to wash clothing it stays on your clothes and continues to gradually erode the fibers …in everything. Ever wonder why your elastics get really loose in your undies and socks? Why your t-shirts get to the point of see through? 

    Try this….when using bleach to soak,wash or anything …,.allow the recommended amount of time or at least until you are visually happy with the brighter results, then add the same amount of white vinegar as you did  with bleach…I know yet another great tip for this amazing product! It will neutralize the caustic effects on your material and STOP the bleaching process,then just start your wash load again ~ I learned this from crafting, there is a project where you can paint with straight bleach on  dark fabric and then once your done the instructions tell you to dunk the material in a bath of water and vinegar to stop the bleaching.
    Another  tip, when your dark loads need an extra bit of something to freshen them I use equal amounts of bleach and vinegar in the wash load at the same time to get the  fresh bleach scent without the bleaching effects,always add both  to  full water load and then add clothing.I have never had any fading.This is especially useful when you  leave clothing in  for too long after it’s done and you get that nasty odor.Goodbye the cost of  an additive like clorox two!
    If you ever get a chance to talk to someone that works with concrete ask them what they use to neutralize the cement that they get on their skin…cement will  burn your skin,vinegar stops that process.
    Vinegar is amazing!

  4. Moremailforafb says:

     Soaking clothing  in bleach for two hours ought to destroy the clothing.  Maybe the amount of bleach is small relative to the volume of water in the machine though.  I like white clothing too but not to the point where I have to replace everything.

  5. Joanna says:

    There is also this stuff called ‘Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Blueing’ – hard to find, but it works great!

    • Anonymous says:

       I also use Mrs. Stewart’s Blueing along with bleach on my husbands carpenter white pants and white T shirts. Before I wasn’t getting the bright white that I wanted and the Bluing really helps make a difference, but I am going to try both August and MonaMpls’s ideas and see if this  makes a difference too!
      P.S. I find Mrs. Stewart’s Blueing at Kroger here in Mo.

  6. MonaMpls says:

    I think the powdered dishwashing detergent works if it has phosphates in it.  This is an old idea but worked best because of the phosphates (they took phosphates out of laundry soap years ago).  Most detergents (laundry and dishwashing) no longer have phosphates, so try both with and without to see if there is any difference.  If not, no point in wasting the dishwashing power.