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Why Is My Laundry Dingy?

My 10 year old front loading automatic washing machine finally died and I replaced it with a twin tub washer. I make my own laundry powder using baking soda, borax, washing soda and grated laundry soap mixed together in equal quantities. The trouble is, my whites are looking very dingy which never happened with my automatic.

Do I need to change the formula of my detergent or am I doing something wrong? I always wash with very warm water - not too hot - so that the detergent will melt properly. PLEASE HELP! The water here is hard but I've never had problems before. I can't afford to buy another machine so I have to sort something out.

Cettina from Malta, Europe


Why Is My Laundry Dingy?

When I made homemade laundry detergent I thought it worked great-at first. Then the same thing happened to my laundry. It started to look gray and dingy. Now I say heck with homemade-I buy the regular detergent at the store and only use 1/3 of what it says to use. No more problems! (04/17/2008)

By Cindy S.

Why Is My Laundry Dingy?

I used to use well water; but found that it made my problem worse. Now I use water from the mains but they are still dingy. I think Cindy has the right idea. It's fun to be frugal, but you want good results. I think for my type of water - hard, with limestone deposits, using store bought detergent and washing soda or bleach or borax to boost it, is the best idea. I can't change my water. It's the same all over the island where I live. Thanks for all your suggestions. Being frugal is good but you have to be sensible and adapt to situations. (04/18/2008)


By cett

Why Is My Laundry Dingy?

I also have to agree that Iron Out works great on whites, but be careful using it on colors. My water is well water and turns everything orange or yellow. (04/19/2008)

By nan80

Why Is My Laundry Dingy?

I have used the homemade laundry detergent recipe for years and it is a lot of fun using it. The problem though that you are having and most all I know who use the homemade laundry detergent is, that Homemade laundry detergent does not contain anuyoptical brighteners like commercial laundry detergent. When you read about optical brighteners, they sound awful really as it is a glowing dye they use on your clothes to make them appear brighter and whiter than they really are. You could add a product to your homemade laundry detergent that has optical brighteners in it, of course that would bring the cost up to making it. You can also try using store bought fabric softener as this has optical brighteners in it. I have tried to find a "natural" product to have this effect without the dye and chemicals, and I myself have not found a solution yet. Many of my friends who use the homemade laundry detergent, will wash their clothes in store bought detergent every now and then to prevent them from looking dingy.


One time I grated an entire bar of Ivory soap and put it in my whites and they looked bright and clean. But using a whole bar of soap on 1 load of laundry is not very cost effective. (08/16/2008)

By Tabby

Why Is My Laundry Dingy?

I never had a problem until I bought a front loading washing machine. So far it seems to be mainly the wash clothes and towels that look dingy. You can easily see it on both colored or light ones, although I do not think that the shirt collars are getting as clean as before. I am afraid to try the above mentioned remedies after all that is said about using special HE detergents only with my machine. Any suggestions, or is someone using the Borax with a front loader? (11/23/2008)

By karla

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