I recently requested help with my cloudy coffee which I still have. Now I need to know why all of my whites are a dingy yellow or brown. I use bleach, but that doesn't help. What should I do? I want my white clothing and towels back!
kathleen48 from South Portland
Sounds like your pipes/or area! Contact your city's office for water and they should give you information on what is going on. Try Oxiclean on your whites, I have heard from others that may work, if it isn't your own pipes. I would contact Rainsoft or Culligan about looking in to installing a system, especially with reverse osmosis (that gets rid of any bad microbes/nitrates). (03/09/2006)
You probably need a water softener, but they are expensive and sometimes that is just out of the question, as with our family. What I use is a product called "20 Mule Team Borax" in with my laundry. It sure seems to help. Also, if there is ever a time when things come out all rusty or dingy looking, I can go to my city water department and they have a product that they will give me that will take the crud out.
I don't know if you know this or not but bleach and laundry detergent don't mix when you put them in the water together. You should let your washer agitate 5 minutes with the soap before you add bleach. Just put the bleach in a container and dilute it with water before you add it to your clothes. I'm sure you will see a big difference in your whites. But adding the bleach and soap together will make your clothes dingy. I also add oxi cleaner to my clothes, and 1 cup vinegar to my rinse. Hope this helps and good luck. (03/10/2006)
Sounds like you have really hard water with a lot of calcium in it. Use a Brita water pitcher and filter for your coffee, for your wash use washing soda. It really seems to help boost your bleaching power, etc. (03/11/2006)
I use a product called Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing and my whites come out really white. I get it at the grocery store (Kroger) on the detergent aisle, a little ways down the aisle from the detergents. You wouldn't believe it, a product that turns the water blue, makes your whites really white. (03/11/2006)
We have "iron bacteria" in our district water. The iron bacteria reacts with chlorine bleach and will really stain your clothes, sometimes bright orange! You can buy a product called "Iron Out". I find it at our True Value Hardware store and I used to buy a similar product from my neighbor who sold Amway products. It gets expensive if you have to do this very often.
I learned to not use liquid chlorine bleach. I now use Tide with alternative bleach, Clorox II, Biz (an enzyme cleaner), or an all fabric bleach instead. I really like the "oxi-clean" type additive too. Dollar Tree sells a container of it by Awesome for $1 and it works great. That same size will cost $3 + at WalMart. I wash my whites in the hottest water and usually add half cups of any 3 of the favorites I mentioned earlier. I may let them soak for an hour to 4 hours and then I do an extra rinse at the end. I do this about every 2 or 3 weeks. I guess it works because folks are always asking "how do you keep your whites so bright?"
Another trick I learned along the way is if you have pastels, yellow, pink, blue, or green, you know the pale baby colors, they can start to look dingy so fast. I always wash them with my whites, no chlorine bleach remember and they will come out bright and pretty again. (01/17/2007)
By Marge Mayhew
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