How to Whiten White Laundry

If your white clothes are turning yellow, or just not as bright as you would like, try a natural approach to whitening laundry. Most people use chlorine bleach to whiten laundry. Although chlorine bleach is effective at making your clothes brighter, it is toxic and not eco-friendly. There are a variety of products and methods you can use other than chlorine bleach to brighten white laundry.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine

  • Laundry detergent

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or baking soda

  • Large stock pot

  • Lemon

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice

Vinegar, Baking Soda or Hydrogen Peroxide

Step 1

Fill your washing machine with the white clothes you want to brighten. Set the washer on the appropriate load size and use the hottest water setting allowed by the fabric.

Step 2

Add the normal amount of laundry detergent for the load size you are washing.

Step 3

Pour 1/2 to 1 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide or 1/2 cup baking soda into the washer as it is filling up with water. You can also pretreat any spots on your white clothing before washing by spraying them with vinegar.

Lemon Juice Soak

Step 1

Fill a large stock pot with water. Slice up one lemon and place the slices into the water.

Step 2

Put the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat.

Step 3

Put the clothing you want to whiten into the pot. Let the clothing soak for one hour and then wash as usual.

Step 4

Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice to the washer along with the laundry detergent as an alternative method to brighten up white clothes.


Hang your clothing out in the sun to dry. The sun will naturally help to brighten white clothes.

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