Whites look fresh and brand new when they are really white. Whites become yellowish, dull, or grayish in appearance for a number of reasons. These include stains that are not properly removed and hard water which prevents soap from properly lathering. With a few helpful tips, making whites whiter is possible. Although these tips may require extra effort on your part, doing them will really be worth it.
1. Prepare a pre-wash soak. Soaking whites before washing is one of the key steps to making whites whiter. There are several options that you can take when it comes to pre-washing soak:
- Fill a large bucket with a gallon of hot water then add half a cup of lemon juice. Mix the water thoroughly then add your clothes. Soak the clothes overnight before washing.
- Boil a gallon of water then add a cup of vinegar. Remove from the heat before adding the whites. Soak the garments overnight before washing.
- In a pail of water, add 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar. Mix properly before adding the garments. Soak for at least 3 hours before laundering.
- Fill a large bucket with cold water and add 3% hydrogen peroxide. For every gallon of water, add 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide. Mix the water then add the garments. Soak overnight then launder as usual.
2. Spot any stubborn stain and deal with it. After soaking, check each garment and spot any stubborn stain that remains even after soaking. More common stains are due to sweat or perspiration which causes whites to be yellowish. It is ideal to treat stains as you spot them before loading the garment into the washing machine. To remove stains, you can prepare a homemade stain remover such as one that uses vinegar or lemon juice. A more effective solution is by applying a mixture of 1 tbsp. of borax and 1 tbsp. of dish detergent combined with a cup of water. You can apply this solution around the stain and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
After soaking and removing the stains, you can now start washing the white garments. When washing, there are also recommended tips to have cleaner and whiter whites.
1. If you have hard water in your area which leaves your whites grayish, soften your water during the final rinse by adding a cup of vinegar. This can help whiten the garments.
2. As you wash, you can also bleach the whites by adding 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of lemon juice into the water together with your laundry detergent. Launder as you normally do. As an alternative, you can add 1/2 cup of borax plus your laundry detergent during the washing cycle.
3. During the final rinse cycle, add 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide for whiter effect.
The sun serves as natural bleach so dry your white garments outside as much as possible. Hanging whites under the sun gives it a lighter and brighter appearance and can even lighten up some stubborn stains.
As you plan to launder your whites, don’t forget to follow the tips mentioned above so you can have whiter whites.