Washing Tips

How to whiten clothes without bleach | 10 easy and effective steps

Bleach is a simple, one-step solution to a myriad of problems. But it can be harmful to your health and the environment. Your clothing will also become sticky, smell bad, and look yellow after applying bleach.

So, even though you want your clothes to be whiter, you don’t want to use bleach on them. What can you do?

There are many “natural alternatives” to bleach, but many people avoid them because they’re unfamiliar with them or don’t want to take any chances with their laundry. 

In this article, I will explain how you can whiten clothes without bleach and some other helpful tips to help keep your laundry smelling fresh and clean!

white T Shirt with towels and box
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Why do white clothes become dingy?

A clean white shirt or a white T-shirt with the appropriate cut are wardrobe classics. However, have you noticed that they have turned into dirt? There are many causes of white clothes becoming dirty.

Some of them are given below:

  • Other textiles’ colors may transfer, especially if you wash everything together.
  • The residue of fabric softener and detergent is left in the fabric.
  • Environmental factors, such as tobacco usage or air pollution.
  • Body stains and oils are caused by food and drink.

Methods to whiten clothes without bleach:

There are different ways to whiten clothes without bleach at home. Let me show you some great alternatives when you are wondering how to whiten clothes without bleach. After reading this article you will learn how to whiten your clothes using just a few household ingredients properly.

1. White vinegar:

white shirt table
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White vinegar is helpful for cleaning stains and filth. It is also kind on fabrics and aids in naturally softening them, so you don’t have to use fabric softeners with chemicals.

To use it:

  • Add 1/2 to 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to your regular laundry detergent before starting the wash cycle.
  • If there are stains on your clothing, put a little white vinegar into the spots and let it sit for an hour before washing.
woman pouring detergent-cap
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2. Aspirin:

Aspirin, a fantastic pain reliever for all aches and pains, breaks down the yellowing agent from your clothing.

To use it:

Aspirin will help to remove stains as well as make your clothing whiter. Your clothing will come out of the washer looking brand-new if you do this before every wash. When washing white clothes, you should avoid using colorful varieties of aspirin.

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3. Lemon:

Lemons contain citric acid, which can bleach materials. It is also effective at whitening polyester, cotton, and linen fibeers.

To use it:

  • Mix a half cup of lemon juice (made from about four lemons) into 1 gallon of hot water.
  • Then, in the lemon water, add white clothes and let them soak for at least an hour.
  • To make clothes whiter, you can soak them for longer, even overnight.
  • Then, at last, wash them as normal.
Lemon in water
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4. Baking soda:

You already have baking soda in your kitchen cabinet, but you should also put some in your laundry room. A mixture of baking soda with water aids in whitening the clothes.

To use it:

  • Mix one cup of baking soda in 1 gallon of boiling water.
  • Then remove the pot from the heat and add the white clothing.
  • Let the clothing soak for at least an hour or maybe overnight.
  • The sodium bicarbonate will aid in removing the soil that dulls cotton clothing.
  • Then, wash them normally.
baking soda
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5. Borax:

Borax, a naturally occurring mineral, aids in stain removal and cuts through dulling residue. If you add a tiny bit of borax to your regular laundry detergent, it will function better and restore cleanliness and color.

To use it:

  • Add a half cup of borax powder in 1 gallon of warm water.
  • Put the white clothing in this mixture and let it soak for at least 30 minutes or longer.
  • Then, wash the clothing as usual.
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6. Dishwasher detergent:

Dishwasher detergent is a hidden whitening tool in your kitchen. Sodium hypochlorite is a common ingredient in most powdered dishwasher detergents that whiten natural fiber clothing.

To use it:

  • Add 1/4 or 1/2 cup of the powder detergent in 1 gallon of boiling water.
  • Mix it completely.
  • Then, add the stained white clothing and let it soak in the mixture for at least 30 minutes.
  • Then, wash them normally.
Dishwasher detergent
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7. Hydrogen peroxide:

Hydrogen peroxide, frequently found in medicine cabinets, helps brighten up faded clothes. In addition, hydrogen peroxide can assist in removing stains from garments.

To use it:

  • Apply the peroxide directly on the stain and let it sit for a while.
  • Then place the item into the washing machine.
  • Peroxide will remove the stains from clothes during the wash cycle.
plastic container medicine bottle written english hydrogen peroxide
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8. Bluing:

The traditional substance known as “bluing” is available in powdered or liquid form. It adds a tiny amount of blue iron pigment that gives the cloth an optically whiter appearance. Find a bluing agent at your neighborhood grocery store and follow the bottle’s instructions carefully.

Bluing can be applied to either the wash cycle or the rinse cycle, but you should always dilute it and carefully follow the instructions. Although it fades after a few washing, it can be utilized again.

Mrs. Stewart's Concentrated Liquid Bluing
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9. Color remover:

Color removers, used by textile artists, are chlorine-free yet include sodium hydrosulfite to remove the color from fabrics. It can be used on synthetic, cotton, rayon, wool, linen, silk, and ramie materials without causing any harm. Natural fibers will yield the best results but will also brighten dull white polyester.

10. Sunshine:

UV rays from the sun can make colorful clothing fade, but they also make white laundry shine. In addition to bleaching cloth, UV rays also aid in disinfecting materials by killing various microorganisms.

When the clothes are freshly washed and wet, skip the dryer cycle. Then, instead of subjecting them to intense heat, lay them out in the sun to naturally whiten them.

Line drying your clothing will make them whiter and ensure it lasts longer. So let the wind and sun restore the color of your clothing.

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Whites are the most difficult color to keep appearing fresh and new. They start looking dirty even after a short time. Your oils and sweat quickly turn into stains that are more difficult to remove.

But whitening clothes with bleach can be harmful to you as well as clothes. Now you must be wondering how to get clothes white without using bleach.

We have described 10  easy methods in this article to help whiten your clothes without using bleach. Just follow any of those methods and get clothes white without using bleach. Also, don’t be scared to try out different whitening techniques to see if you can find fresh ways to keep your clothing clean and white.

Frequenty Asked Questions

Q: Can we use baking soda and vinegar together?

A: Acetic acid and sodium bicarbonate would be added in this case. Utilizing an acid and base will neutralize and result in a weaker acid, defeating the initial goal. Use one or the other.

Q: How can I make a shirt with black and white stripes whiter without harming or fading the black stripes?

A: Use the sunshine, vinegar, or baking soda procedures. The colors won’t fade if you do this. Never use anything chemically based, such as bleach.