My whites are dull, because I wash my clothes in lake water. How do I get them bright? I don't really want to use bleach.
Try adding some borax or oxyclean to your detergent. If that's not possible, hang your wash to dry in bright sunlight--natural bleach.
Lemon juice and baking soda in any wash cycle work wonders. I am careful about the lemon juice with bright colors, however. The baking soda can go with any load. I love it because the clothes always, always smell so fresh as well as come out so clean and bright!
Once a month, I toss a dishwasher tab in with my whites. Brightens them up nicely.
I use borax and vinegar but my favorite product for whites is liquid bluing. It is sold on the top shelf of the laundry isle at most supermarkets and has saved many a yellow shirt that used to be white from the wastebasket or rag pile.
The crazy part is that its what your grandma used to dye her grey hair to make it sparkle and its perfectly non toxic and 100% biodegradable. I know a woman with beautiful long grey braids that dips the ends in it at full strength. Its quite stunning.
Warning: do NOT get on other clothes besides whites and follow bottle instructions to the letter! It washes out eventually but at full strength it can take forever!
You could hang them to dry in the sun.
Try using dishwasher detergent instead of chlorine bleach. Pre soaking in a tub of water with detergent mixed in helps.
Agree with the posters who said to hang your clothes in sunlight; my DH is allergic to bleach, and I've found that there's nothing like the sun to brighten whites( and there's also the perk of saving a few bucks on the electric bill by using the line instead of the dryer!)
Double check your dishwasher detergent, most of them contain chlorine bleach.
Especially for the red clay stains on white baseball and softball uniforms: Fels Naptha bar soap can be found in the handsoap or laundry aisle (depending on your region). Very inexpensive. Maybe you can purchase online. Get the bar wet and rub or grind it into the stain as a prewash (instead of Spray'n Wash). Add Borax to the wash and it should all come out. Hope this helps!! I remember the agony before I found this solution! These other bleach alternative tips here are very good, too. I have successfully used all of these awesome alternatives: lemon juice, hydro-peroxide, baking soda and sunshine!
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