Ammonia To Whiten Clothes

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I found a way to whiten and brighten my clothes without bleach or Oxyclean, which I am allergic to. I take a bucket of approximately 1/2 gallon of very warm to hot water and 1 cup of lemon ammonia. I start with my lightest color or white garment that has turned dingy or gray and put it in the bucket. I swirl it all around with a stick. I take it out, wring it out and throw it in the washer. Then I go to the next lightest garment.

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If I should run low on this mixture, I just add another 1/2 gallon of very warm water and another cup of lemon ammonia then load the washer with the other clothes.

If there's any solution left, I just dump it in the washer and start the load in the usual manner. On occasion, I put a cup of white vinegar in the rinse water. I've never had my clothes smell like ammonia and the ammonia is much gentler on the fabric then bleach.

WARNING: Never use bleach if you use ammonia!

Source: I noticed my cleaning rags would come out cleaner when I use ammonia so I gave it a try.

By Babette from Lemon Grove, CA

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful
Top Comment

Ammonia and vinegar should NOT be mixed. My husband is a chemist and I am a fire fighter/EMT.....toxic fumes could result and some synthetic fabrics or materials could be damaged as a result.

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May 11, 20190 found this helpful

This is a good warning that we should be aware of. Thank you. To be fair though, she did say she added vinegar to the rinse water which means most - if not all - the ammonia would be gone down the drain already with the wash cycle water at that point.

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May 6, 20120 found this helpful

Thank you.Will give it a try on my husbands exercise socks which are no longer white and some undergarments, too.I appreciate the method explanation and the warning on never using bleach and ammonia together.Know someone who did and it nearly fried her lungs about a year ago.

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May 6, 20120 found this helpful

Thanks for the 'Ammonia' tip. I have used vinegar as a rinse before (it is also great for cleaning windows ) '-D

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May 7, 20120 found this helpful

Another great idea! Babbie in Lemon Grove!

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March 27, 20130 found this helpful

My grandmother taught me this years ago - although she did say never to use vinegar in the rinse water. And after my favorite shirt got ruined I knew why (I forgot and added in vinegar it ate the material and left big holes) therefore I don't suggest the vinegar in the rinse water. This also works great if you have stinky socks!

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4 brothers and eww...works like a charm.

The other method is to put the washer on a small load use a 1/2 cup of ammonia and let the machine do the work...then take the clothes out and repeat...wash as usual. (As I am older now I had to learn to cheat a little.)
I agree about the warning as well some people are just starting out and don't know you can't mix things together.

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March 27, 20130 found this helpful

Good tip, cheaper than the hydrogen peroxide or oxyclean I was using. Thanks.

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March 27, 20130 found this helpful

Last week I used 1 tsp. dish soap, 2 tbs ammonia, 1 qt water to remove blood from a sheet. The blood completely disappeared after 15 minutes of soaking.

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April 1, 20130 found this helpful

This is one of the best laundry tips I've gotten. I use ammonia from the dollar store (a large jug is $1.00 at mine) and it is great for whitening and removing stains, even old stubborn ones which you will have to soak.

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Another benefit from ammonia is that it removes the faint sour odor that sometimes lingers on washcloths and kitchen cloths.

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