Hard Water Leaving Laundry Dingy and Gray?

November 4, 2011

Woman holding a hamper with dirty laundry.Our laundry is suffering as a result of hard water. The whites are gray, and the colors are dingy/faded. The hard water softeners are really expensive. Any thrifty advice?


By Alison


November 4, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hi. I am a little crazy when it come to cleaning and pretty much I'm crazy about everything. Its OCD. How I do laundry, get the dishwasher soap liquid or powder even drop ins. Put it in your washer first let it dissolve by agitating washer a minute. Use soap powder and then I use small scoop of oxi-clean and mule borax. Wash that with your clothes. If washing with bleach let your clothes wash first then use your bleach. You always let soap powder do its job first then add bleach. This keeps all our clothes clean, sparkling, and look new.
Good Luck

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 23, 2018

Bleach + hardwater (high iron) caused whites to turn beige. How do I get them white again without using Iron-Out which is not available here, or any ready made product for such problems.

I've already used baking soda. It didn't work. What else can I use? Perhaps something from the chemical shop. A DIY solution?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
July 24, 20180 found this helpful

Try soaking in a 5 gallon pail of hot water to which you have added 2 T each hydrogen peroxide and dishwasher powder. Soak overnight and wash in the morning

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July 25, 20180 found this helpful

We have hard water where I live and it is really tough on your whites. So what I use that keeps my whites really really bright without bleach is called Calgon. It is not the Calgon bath soap or bubble bath that you would think it's actually in the laundry section of the store and I love this it makes your whites gleam.


You can also use Woolite for hard water if you would like but the Calgon detergent works fine on its own in my honest opinion.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
July 30, 20180 found this helpful

My go to's are:

1. Vinegar and baking soda (equal parts) in a bucket of warm water and let it soak for a hour or so. It will fizz up which is normal.

2. If that doesn't work, I try 1 cup of lemon juice (real lemon, not the bottled kind as that has artificial colors sometimes) and warm water and let it soak for an hour or so.

If neither works, then I bring out the big guns of one of the Oxy products (Oxyclean brand usually) and Zout.

If you are going this route, do it in a bucket following the instructions on the packages for your fabric.


FOR ALL 3 METHODS--Run through a rinse on the washer and then hang OUTSIDE in the sun to dry. The sun is critical as it is a natural bleach.

For ongoing washes, 20 Mule Team Borax or a like product will help soften the water so your items won't yellow in the future. Be sure to follow the package directions exactly!

Good luck!

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April 11, 20200 found this helpful

When you say dishwasher powder, you mean laundry soap in powder form?

Does liquid soap not do the same thing?

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