How to Use the Sun to Bleach Clothing


Light-colored clothing often requires more than a simple wash to keep the colors bright and attractive. You can add chlorine bleach to your washing machine to assist in the whitening process, but this chemically-based ingredient can harm clothing and skin and has a strong odor that often sticks to your clothes even after washing and drying them. Bleaching your clothing in the sun is a more natural and completely cost-free option.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • Water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Lemon juice
  • Clothesline
  • Hangers
  • Clothespins
  • Load the clothing you wish to bleach in the washing machine with your normal detergent.

  • Turn on the machine and let it complete the wash cycle.

  • Pour 1/2 cup of lemon juice into the washing machine during the rinse cycle. Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent. Allow the machine to finish the cycle.

  • Remove the clothing items from the washing machine and hang them on an outdoor clothesline in direct sunlight. The sun will naturally whiten the clothing as it dries.

Tips & Warnings

  • Air drying your clothing has the added benefit of eliminating the energy required to run your clothes dryer.

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  • Photo Credit sweater and shirt on a clothes line image by Gina Smith from
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