Whites Aren't White After Washing?

I am using a homemade laundry powder. It works very well, except my whites are starting to look very dingy. I use a chlorine bleach and I do the whites in hot water. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Any solutions?


By Patricia from Mountain Grove, MO

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August 8, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

My only guess is that commercial laundry detergents contain other ingredients besides soaps like optical brighteners which makes the whites look better. You could try hanging your whites out in the sun to make them whiter or maybe just use purchased detergent on your whites and use your homemade stuff on darks and colors.

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August 12, 20101 found this helpful
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Try laundry bluing. That is what people used in previous times. It should be in the laundry section of your store, and this is what it is for, to whiten your whites.


4H kids use in on the white hair on their show calves. If it works on those stains, it should work on laundry!

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August 12, 20100 found this helpful
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My 80-year old Aunt had the whitest undies and I asked her how she did it and she said baking soda.
I gave up using bleach in my whites because some whites would get yellow. I just add detergent + some baking soda and voila! Very white. For added whiteness, you can also stop the machine in mid-cycle and let the clothes soak in the baking soda for 20 mins or so. The only downside is that it takes away any nice smell from the laundry detergent since baking soda also removes smells.

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August 9, 20100 found this helpful

Sometimes if whites are not 100% cotton, they will turn dingy yellowy or gray. Chlorine bleach doesn't work, nor does hot water on these types of clothing. You can check out some of the Rit dye products that are made for whites, and a product that helps with iron in the wash water, for whitening. We live in an area where it is usually caused by the water supply, and as a nurse, I have quit wearing white uniforms due to that reason.


But it still affects my socks, I just wear them until I can't stand the color anymore, give them to hubby for rags, or use around the house as rags, and then buy new ones.

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August 9, 20100 found this helpful

An old wash woman years ago told me not to wash clothes any longer than 7mins., otherwise dirt just goes back on the laundry. I also add about 3/4C. of baking soda to my whites in the wash cycle and I don't use hot water any longer for laundry. When my whites were dingy I filled the washer with warm water, added about 1C. of bleach, agitated it a bit, then added my whites and let the soak for awhile. They looked brand new. If you have a clothes line good old sunshine is wonderful for whites. :)

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August 13, 20100 found this helpful

Sun will whiten and remove stains if left out long enough (with lemon juice to hasten the process).

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